Academic by day, filmmaker by night

The New Yorker’s Richard Brody put up a post today that I find quite relevant for anybody who—like yours truly—is approaching the precipice of grad school and worries that pursuing a MA or PhD in film studies might foreclose the possibility of someday being able to make the films that one has always dreamed of making.

Taking “Putty Hill” director Matthew Porterfield as a prime example, Brody speculates that the future of American independent cinema doesn’t lie in inexpensive digital cameras or “new media”-centric marketing strategies; instead, he thinks it resides (or will come to reside) in the American university system, where filmmakers can teach in order to make the bucks that will eventually serve as capital for future productions.

Of course, this is nothing new to practitioners of the other six arts. But what I like most about Brody’s vision is the idea of filmmakers/professors having clauses woven into their contracts with the university that would help them to finance the production of their films, something that he compares to science professors and the research that they’re paid to conduct in their labs.

Great: More reasons not to stray from academia for too long. Oy vey.


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