Article by Audrey Knox, from a liberal arts perspective
Anyone could tell you that Organic Chemistry and Econometrics (whatever that is) would be nearly impossible to earn an A in. This is why I avoided studying any form of science or business as a major whatsoever.
That being said, a liberal arts or film school degree does not equal complete freedom to not study. This I learned the hard way from taking these insanely difficult courses:
- French: You think you get it when the teacher is talking, but if you don’t study or think your proficiency in Spanish means this will be an easy A, you’re going to have a rough time.
- Editing: If this is your thing, it’ll be easy and fun, but Avid is not an intuitive software to master, so everyone who isn’t an insane film geek should avoid this (and audio editing classes as well). On the bright side, film school teachers are a bit more relaxed about the grading portion of their classes, so you can still probably scrape by because they’re more interested in making sure you’re learning something.
- Geology: “Yes!” You might be thinking. A degree in screenwriting (or English or Communications or Philosophy) means I don’t have to take a science class! Incorrect. You have GE’s and if you take one that people only take as a GE and not as a science major, you will have a teacher that tries to prove his science is a REAL science by golly, and will grade you all harder to teach a lesson. I am not kidding.
- History of Film: This isn’t the kind of fun film studies, where you get to watch Wall E in class. Ever heard of “The Battleship Potemkin”? Probably only if you’ve taken a History of Film class, and unless you’re a fan of silent Russian films about massacres from the 1920’s, you’re not going to have fun.
- Feature Screenwriting: “All I have to do is write? Score!” Sounds easy, until you realize writing a paper/screenplay/short story is not something you can bullshit easily. You have to come up with something every week and will probably end up working on it right until the minute you’re supposed to leave for class because you procrastinated again. I hope your printer doesn’t break down on you.
Does your school offer any of these classes? What was your experience taking them? Let me know! And, liberal arts kids, don’t let the engineers talk down on you! We can’t all study math, or who will be able to write the movies about their rise to fame and fortune and sell the screenplay to David Fincher?
by Audrey Knox