Hi /lit/, i will go straight to the point. I am studying film making at UCLA and while having a discussing with one of my teachers, who is highly renowned within the faculty, he said to me that i should choose another career because of my lack of interested in literature. I tried to argue that cinema and literature are two different things, that he was being to arrogant and couldn't judge such matters, but his conviction made me really insecure and question my decision. So, /lit/, whats your opinion? Do you really need a deep appreciation of literature to do cinema?
>Do you really need a deep appreciation of literature to do cinema?
to do cinema proper, as in good movies? yes. if you just want to make shitty b-movies then its fine.
>I tried to argue that cinema and literature are two different things
eh, i guess if you're a DP, but being a good all-around filmmaker means you need to understand and have read a lot of theater as well as literature.
but do what you want i guess
They are pretty similar. Literature and films both have themes and need to be written well surrounding area whatever themes. An appreciation for Literature wouldn't hurt though. Most movies today are from books too so make of that what you will.
The two are different mediums but they both are composed of similar traits (storytelling, etc.). You -should- have an interest in literature if you're pursuing film; the case isn't as strong vice-versa. Film derived from literature and literature lets us imagine and open us to creativeness and open-mindedness. Literature and film now go hand-in-hand, where we have seen many novels and short stories turned into films. The way a director interprets it may not be exactly the same way we interpret it. Literature trains the mind and that is important for filmmaking.
This is a pretty devastating blow DESU.
For him, a lack of interest in literature is likely symptomatic of future failure, and if he is highly renowned, he is probably basing this on decades of observation. He is essentially telling you that you don't have the necessary creative disposition, artistic temperament, natural curiosity about human nature to be a filmmaker. It certainly wasn't an invitation to debate literature vs film, and taking it that way sort of proves his point.
But fuck him. There is no cut-off date on being able to develop these traits. Study literature, art, drama, poetry, and thought and combine that with your talent towards images/film and you can soar my friend.
Like others have said, it depends on your ambitions.
I'm a film graduate myself, it's absolutely zero problem what so ever to work in the film and TV industries without reading literature, most don't, that is if you're talking about commercials, TV documentaries, reality TV, promotional videos, etc., basically the normal prod. co stuff.
If you want to write and / or direct art however, read up you doofus.
>"Read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read. If you don't read, you will never be a filmmaker." - Werner Herzog
The answer though is it depends on what kinds of films you make. You don't for pure cinema that exists for its own sake, but if you want your films to have a subject matter then you do, and the reality is that most films demand a subject matter.
There is no reason to limit yourself as an artist. Take in what respected opinions say is good and see what inspires you. That could mean reading the canon of literature rather than John Green, and/or watching classic cinema rather than some whatever B- rated film.
Honestly I don't like cinema as much as I like literature but I've read more than I've watched. If I was your bro in real life I would try to strongly convince you that you are sabotaging yourself by only reading stories made by people who have to worry about things that arent just the script (as in the final film that has a script that has been edited and manipulated to hell and back) when you could read those stories as well as the stories made by people who literally do nothing else but make the stories as best they possibly can
Yes your professor is right, read for fucks sake
He's trying to make a point, the general advice I heard to become a good film maker is familiarize yourself with older works
What decent films have came out in relatively recent years?
What about older films?
Plays? no problem.
>Moar Shakespeare, I want Hamlett rammed up my ass
If I had to guess he wants you to be familiar with their inspirations (unlikely) or he's saying that you need to be a better writer and you took it as "He says I can't read".
It depends on what you want from your education. From what I remember from my time at ucla, the film students were often the sorta people who hadn't even progressed beyond the basics of world cinema (I knew a senior film student who told me that no one in the program knew about tarkovsky, for instance) and would probably rather be thwith next cameron than the next godard. You're not exactly trying to meet a high bar wrt artistic achievement.
That said, that is mostly true because while ucla is creatively vacuous (not just with the film desu - it's just a very bland school that attracts very bland people) it is very competent in its careerism. Tbh if what you wanted was to make art films, you wouldn't be at ucla. No, the reason you go to ucla/usc and major in film is to make it in the business (just look through the alumni network desu - plenty of people at studios, in production roles, whatever, and strangely very few od the worthwhile filmmakers came outta those places - what does that tell you?). The professor isn't giving you advice with that in mind cause quite frankly he has a fucking job already and can afford to worry himself with whether some kid is a good artist. Just keep your focus on the end goal, whatever that is for you, and his comments will become irrelevant.
That depends on your career path. Are you aiming to become a techie or a creative? If the latter, then I'd find it concerning that you don't have a strong interest in all forms of art (literature being perhaps the king of the arts; certainly the narrative arts anyway).
I'm drunk enough to be bitchy about this but ... dude he goes to ucla. You'll seriously never meet so many people who are smart on paper and dumb in reality. Fuck I hated that place (and this isn't just me btw. I met a large number of people there complained about how fucking boring and fratty the student body way).
Do you appreciate any literature? Even graphic novels?
How do you get inspired to make 'great' cinema?
Why don't you do shitty B-movies until you get your feet wet and really discover yourself? I would wager better income from shit movies would be worthwhile if you use the money to fund what you believe in. You can always shit on the industry and say they were suppressing what you wanted to be. If you get to the point anyone would care.
Why not just do reality TV an fund your own 'good' movies.
Also, link your vimeo / youtube. An aspiring college filmmaker should have close to decade of experience making content.