1. Direction - Pursuing SOMETHING that you are deeply interested in, is better than pursuing nothing at all.
A parked car cannot be steered. Think about it, the worst thing that could happen is, you realize half way into your degree that you don't want to be a filmmaker. So you take your 2 years partial education and you change your major to your newly discovered passion: Underwater Elizabethan Poetry. But at least now the ball is rolling in your life. Its better than wasting 2 years at a burger joint while you 'wait for the PERFECT direction'. Alternatively, the BEST thing that could happen is you actually School Show Videographerland a job doing what you love and your actually getting PAID for it! Somebody call the cops!
My advice: Get out there and put yourself in a position where you at least are on the path to realizing your dream of writing, directing, shooting, or editing movies!
2. Education - bypass the 'tech' schools that only offer to hold your hand while you meet technical deadlines. Instead opt for the degree at a University.
With an education of the world around you, you'll be better equipped to tell a story that people in that world can relate to. Too much of what we see in theaters is based on situations that are clearly unrealistic, uneducated, and shallow. History, English, Sciences will deepen your story telling abilities just ask Scorcese, Lucas, and to an extent Spielberg.
3. Equipped - You'll get the tools that will enable your talents to be productively utilized for your life. The adage of EVERY film professor should be, "If God didn't give it to you, you aint gonna get it here". Point being, YOU bring the talent, they simply show you how to use it! It's naive to think ANY institution or ANY field of study leads to instant employment. You only go to school to get equipped to pursue the work of your choice. So have an exit plan from school and and an entrance plan to the real world of work.
4. Investment - school is NOT an expense so forget about that mentality, its an investment!
Get a school loan if you don't have the cash. At the end of your 4 year educational journey, you will emerge with a degree that can't be taken away. Never mind the nay sayers creed, "A film degree is useless" often times that statement comes from someone who has either never pursued a degree or is frustrated over settling for less after graduating. Get your degree in film and if you change your mind later, big deal! Simply get your MASTERS in underwater Elizabethan Poetry or something else, and make a movie about it while you do it! It is worthwhile to note here that I am not advocating "career film academia" but rather, a logical pursuit of a worthwhile goal. My Bachelors is in film and I don't intend on pursuing a Masters in the same subject. There are those at USC who have their undergrad in School Show Videographerother subjects: accounting, business, etc and have entered USC's graduate program in film. Diversity leads to versatility and versatility to endless possibility.
5. Clarity - Going to film school, particularly at a University, should offer you the opportunity to experience EVERY facet of filmmaking so that you can gravitate to what you do best.
For me, I started like most film students: I wanted to be a director. Now, I'm a Cinematographer and Videographer. I gravitated toward making things look beautiful, my colleagues and professors picked up on that, and the rest is history. You may find you are an excellent editor and only a mediocre writer. It doesn't matter. As long as your getting the opportunity to try it all!
6. CONTACTS CONTACTS CONTACTS - The main reason that film schools not only exist but THRIVE today!
Like many industries, film is about WHO you know more than WHAT you know. Does this negate my previous point? Not at all. The method for getting IN the door is often times based on your contacts. But I don't care if you are best buds with Stevie Spielberg. If you get in the door and don't know jack squat about anything, chances are, you won't be through that door for long. So WHAT you know, the depth of your experience at life, the clarity of knowing what your good at, and the education/knowledge of how to do that thing that you are gifted for are the elements that will KEEP you in the industry. (It still can't hurt to be good buds with Stevie Spielberg though)