Almost everyone who starts out in this business wants to be a writer/director. Getting a job in the creative field is hard. Very hard. As one of our cast members would say, "it's about like watching a dog shitting a peach pit." With this in mind, I wanted to share some bits from a conversation I had with a young aspiring writer/director. He's in his early twenties like me, but unlike me, he thinks that you can learn how to make movies and TV shows just by watching the special features that get included with DVD's. How I wish it were that simple.
DVD special features are included with the purchase of a DVD with the simple aim in getting someone to buy it. Distribution companies feel that if a little bit extra gets included with the DVD it may possibly prevent someone from pirating it. And they're right. I know several people who pirate all day long, but they'll go the extra mile to run out and buy for example "Watchmen: the directors cut."
All of this is reinforced by directors, producers, and actors claiming that you can now go to film school just by watching the DVD. Maybe. At least it's a good sound bite. The only problem with this is that DVDs don't teach you how to unfold a C-stand. They don't teach you how to bargain for a higher rate on a deal memo. They don't teach you how to coordinate multiple crews in multiple time zones all moving, shooting, and prepping all across the country, nor do they teach you how to deal with the high levels of stress that comes along with it. Last for now, and perhaps most importantly, neither film school nor George Lucas on the Star Wars special features are going to tell you how to actually get a movie made because doing that requires more than just theory and knowledge of the craft, it requires diligence and charisma beyond what most people would probably ever begin to imagine or to grasp.