When I entered film school freshman year, I had two things on my mind that I would come out being a pro at: writing and directing.
Every film major at CU Denver is required to take three writing courses, two during your first year, then the second usually during your third. As I wrote throughout my freshman year, my teachers generally liked what I did.
There is only a single directing class required for FITV majors, with the option to take an advanced acting and directing class later. Students must also take an acting class before they can take directing. My freshman year, none of these classes were on my horizon and I ended the year having directed nothing.
Sophomore and the beginning of junior year, I took the acting and directing classes. I learned a lot, though only got to direct a little. I still worked on projects I neither wrote nor directed, but I worked with two people who’ve become my closest friends, so I enjoyed the projects much more.
Then, finally, during Spring 2020 semester, I got my chance. A script of mine was chosen to be a part of the webseries that the junior class of the FITV program produces every year. I was also allowed to direct the episode. When the day finally came for me to direct, I felt completely relaxed in a way I hadn’t before.
Only because I’d spent my previous five semesters learning about and performing all the other duties involved in filmmaking was I able to have the confidence and knowledge to direct without being afraid of it. It became my favorite day of film school, but only because I had anticipated it for so long.
Whether I want to admit it or not, performing all those other roles for as many months forced me to be humble and respect all the other positions I didn’t want to perform. Then, when I finally did step on set as director, I knew no one position was better than the other. Everyone was just as important and I couldn’t swagger around acting as if I was better than anyone else.
Just because you don’t get to do what you want at first, doesn’t mean you won’t get to eventually. It’s important simply to learn as much as you can in your time at CU Denver or any other school. Chances are that learning whatever you can about other facets of your area of study will make you better at what you want to specialize in.