Note from Nick: We’ll be running content from our friends over at the International Academy of Film and Television in Los Angeles on CHUD, hopefully sharing some new voices and opinions and eventually creating a conduit from the Sewer there and back again. If you’re in Los Angeles and pondering films school, find them at




by Michael Chasin

Before you realize your ultimate filmmaking dream of being a screenwriter or director or producer or DP—you will likely first—be a hyphenate:

  • Writer-Director-Producer-Prop Master
  • DP-Editor-Set Designer-Production Assistant
  • Writer-Director-DP-Editor-Producer-Prop Master-Set Designer
  • And possibly even—Actor

This is because at the zero or micro budget level—where you will probably start—you will be compelled to perform multiple filmmaking functions.

And while doing-it-all in film school is a great way to learn—and a great way to learn which area of filmmaking you love—doing-it-all for too long after film school—could actually hurt your career.

Because reaching your goal of being a writer or director or DP requires excellence—in writing or directing or cinematography.

And excellence—in just one discipline—requires singular dedication, such as:

  • Reading beyond the recommended list
  • Analyzing the best—for insights into what worked
  • Analyzing the worst—for insights into what didn’t work
  • Starting early—leaving late
  • And understanding that your first twenty efforts will not be great—but are needed—to become great

Doing-it-all will not allow you to:

  • Write the needed ten drafts—of just one script
  • Shoot the one hundred hours of diverse footage—as practice
  • Rehearse the pitch one hundred times—before meeting with an investor

So as difficult it may be—resist the temptation—to do-it-all.

Instead, bring in collaborators—in their fields of excellence—so that you may develop excellence in your core talent.

That excellence in your core talent of writing, directing, or producing—will lead to fulfilling your filmmaking dreams.