Guys feel like helping me with a life changing decision??

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike_Ped, Feb 15, 2002.

  1. Mike_Ped

    Mike_Ped Second Unit

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    Welp, I'm a sophmore in college right now, attending a community college before transfering to California Lutheran University next semester. Right now, I'm working towards a degree in Criminal Justice so that I can pursue a career in the US Marshalls or FBI. However, recently I've been thinking a lot about whether that choice is the right one. I've always loved movies. I've always thought of how great it would be to make them. But, I've always pushed that idea aside thinking it was unreachable. Maybe even now I'm crazy for even considering it, but I'd hate myself for the rest of my life for not at least trying.

    Welp, with that info in mind, I'm considering getting myself a nice little video camera to play with and learn from. I want something that is complete connectability with my computer. I've heard of/seen the Canon and Olympus cameras that run in the $2000 range, which is expensive, but am more than willing to save for. Any suggestions?

    I don't plan to drop out of my major (for security reasons), but I want this so I can get a good feel for the art. I want to make movies, I just need to find out if I can! Or, if you have any advice, throw it on down my way! Thanx all..

    Mike
     
  2. Darren Crouse

    Darren Crouse Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike, keep studying for now. I'm in the same league as you. I'm finishing up my honours degree in English (with a minor in Film Studies) and intend to do my Masters degree in Pop Culture/Culture and Communications to teach on the side. Maybe even go to teachers college, however in the interim and in my spare time I use my two DV format cameras to create visual narratives, documentaries, school projects at the same time. There's nothing saying you have to forsake one for the other. It's pragmatic to work to survive but that shouldn't take away from creative endeavours, as Alexander Pope says, "know thyself"
    -Take Care,
    Darren.
    PS: And I deliver pizza on the side. Makes for great writing material [​IMG]
     
  3. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    I'm no career psychologist, nor do I play one on the internet, but here's my 2 cents....

    Criminal Justice will put you in a career that is rules-based. You might get a job with the FBI or local law enforcement. Your job will be filled with standard corporate expectations: You come into work, operate at or above an expected performance level, and you advance up the ladder (barring the ever-present backstabbing and political games). While it can be exciting, it's more corporate-based than filmmaking.

    Film-making appears to let the creative juices flow. This can be very rewarding personally, but the financial rewards are very risky. While you may pour your heart, soul and financial resources into a project, this doesn't mean it will sell. You may end up reducing your ideals to the Lowest Common Denominator in order to get a project to sell.

    A good example is a situation a young, broke Jimmy Buffett found himself in (No groans please...). He was trying to sell a song he wrote about his grandfather, who he was very close too. The exec said "Great song, but we need to change the ending where he dies"... JB said "Well, he did die", then got up and walked out, passing up the contract $$$ he desparately needed at the time.

    So... The end result is "what can you stand ?" If you are the creative pioneer type that can live barebones as long as you are living your dream, go film-making. If you like the security of a steady income and activities, then Criminal Justice may be a better suit for you.

    BTW - what made you choose Criminal Justice ?
     
  4. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Screenwriter

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    Mike,

    Here's some advise you may have already gotten, or might not have. If you want to go to the FBI, don't be a CJ major. They want people with other skills, like accounting, foreign languages, lawyer, etc. They can teach anyone to shoot a gun, write reports, and collect evidence. If you have one of the above majors, you are much better positioned to get on with the FBI.

    At a minimum, consider taking one of courses of study as a minor. Right now, the FBI is desperate for people who speak middle eastern languages. Also, they are always looking for CPA's (because of the white collar crime).

    Don't make the mistake I made and just take CJ classes. I have had to learn all the accounting and language skills after college. (No, I don't work for the FBI, but I am a criminal investigator for the State of Missouri. Got too old for the FBI, and couldn't pass the eye exam until last year, after the Lasik surgery).

    As far as your love of film, go for it. Nothing says you can't double major!!! Who knows, that might be attractive to the FBI.
     
  5. Mike_Ped

    Mike_Ped Second Unit

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    Well, originally, I was in the running to attend the US Air Force Academy, but I decided not to do it because I didn't want to give up so many years of my life to the military (I figured it would really suck to go in and find out you hated it, but be stuck in it for at least 8-10 years!). So, I choose the next thing on my list, law enforcement. I choose a Criminal Justice major because it seemed to suit the needs for the profession I wanted to enter. I starting thinking seriously about film in high school when I took a couple film production classes. We didn't have the greatest equiptment, but I had a hell of a time. I loved it. Recently, I bought a digital camera that I've been using like crazy. That's what got me thinking about it again! So, here I am... Thanx for your thoughts everyone!

    Mike
     
  6. Josh_Hill

    Josh_Hill Screenwriter

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    "Hello, Agent Starling." [​IMG]
     
  7. TreyP

    TreyP Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't have any advice, but if it means anything, my wife has a degree in criminal justice. She wanted to be a counselor for abused and abandoned children. Turns out, she needs a lot more school/certifications than she originally thought. She still doesn't have a real job and has been out of school for about 3 years.
     
  8. Bill Balcziak

    Bill Balcziak Supporting Actor

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