Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Life Updates: The MFA Sprint

Life is okay, if more than a little hectic at the end of this first month.

With one month down, I'm 11 months away from my MFA in Film and Digital Technology. Though things might happen and things do go wrong, so far I'm on schedule and things are going well —— though I'm exhausted and working harder than I did for any other degree. Because the MFA requires projects every week, this isn't as easy to schedule as writing. Even researching a paper can be done from the comfort of home, at any hour.

You cannot make movies by yourself, at any time of day. It doesn't work that way. Filming takes time, and often requires a team of people. It's not comparable to working alone on a degree in writing or rhetoric.

The team-based nature of film is exhausting for me, but I enjoy the results. I also like the practical nature of the skills being taught. You either learn how to adjust ISO, f/Stop, shutter speed, and other variables or you don't. You can have theories of film composition, but the technical skills are fairly precise. The image is in focus or it isn't.

There are artistic elements to this work. Every person involved in a film has an opinion on the ideal shot, sound, lighting, and the writing. There's not a "right" but there are definite wrongs (technically, more than theoretically).

The schedule is grueling. I'm hoping this investment in time and money is worth it. I hope to teach and make small-budget films in the future. Ideally, I return to teaching film and theater, with rhetoric as something of a sub-specialty.

No matter what, I'll have more job skills than any other degree has provided. In combination with past education and experiences, I should be employable. Let's hope so.