The cost of divine inspiration

TAKE (NZ Director’s Guild Magazine)  Jan 2007

Each year young graduates descend on the film and TV industry hoping for work. Here, a filmmaker  shares his first-hand experience of teaching film students in one tertiary institution, and how for him this raised important questions around training and creativity within a user-pays system. (Waka Attewell writes…)


Flashback three years. I’m a tutor standing before a group of film students. As I scan their faces for clues it occurs to me that they are waiting for the moment when I will ordain them with ‘the truth’. It has taken a while for me to realise the problem – that is, they have been led to believe that I have all the answers. The students believe they have invested in a film course that has contrived within it a prophetic conclusion. On graduation the heavens will open and a voice will declare: ‘You are now a great film director, arise.’ At this unrealistic point the graduate, having spent three years on a film degree, could be as much as $30,000 in debt.

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