Tell Us Without Telling Us You’re a Film Student

Living and working in a film-school bubble means you pick up quirks that sometimes confuse and/or delight your non-industry friends and family. We made a list of film student quirks that tell everyone you’re a film student without telling them you’re a film student. This list could go on forever, but here are the top 7 telltale signs you are a film student.

Meme-worthy Signs You’re Really Into Filmmaking

You’ve seen so many different movies that sometimes you forget that people haven’t seen as many movies as you. From blockbusters to arthouse, you’ve seen too many films to count and your brain is filled with obscure references. Not to mention your Twitter feed is made up of esoteric movie memes that only a handful of people understand. You’re of like-minded people because you love to use an obscure movie meme when it’s just right. It’s not your fault if people aren’t familiar with the particular 15-minute French short film from 1972 you were referring to.

You’re always in charge of the group pictures because you’re an expert with an iPhone or Android camera, and everyone knows you’ll get the best shot. You know the best lighting tricks as well as all of the best film editing apps. From TikTok to short films for Youtube, you’ve mastered smartphone filmmaking.

Sometimes people don’t understand what you’re saying because you slip in and out of production slang regularly. Clothespins are C-47s, extension cables are stingers. Working on set you’ve even been asked to “kill” which you’ve done without question. You know the difference between a “cowboy” and a “choker” and it’s second nature to hold for sound. You’re among good company even non-working actors do it.

Watching a movie with you isn’t always fun. But it’s not your fault! As a film student, watching movies is homework and sometimes you need a reminder to turn off the critical part of your brain. If you don’t, you’ll end up overanalyzing it and commenting on what you would have done/shot/edited differently. Even if you remember to turn off the film student criticism, good vs bad movie opinions get debated like political conflicts.

As you learn more about the industry, you have a lot of complicated feelings about media and major studios. As much as you love the entertainment industry, you do have your criticisms. You could write a dissertation about how major studios affect independent filmmakers. You also have some thoughts on the streaming wars and access to movies. Entertainment makes up so much of our lives and the more you learn about it the more complicated it becomes.

You’re an expert at film production DIY and you spend a lot of time at hardware stores. When you’re on a small production you have to wear a lot of hats, especially as a student. That also means you’ve picked up a lot of DIY skills. From building a lightbox to striking a set, you can do it all. And like the scouts, you’re always prepared (which is why you have 15 rolls of gaffe tape in your car in all different colors).

You know the stress of working a room. No one knows better than industry folks that what you know is as important as who you know and networking is a science. The question, “who’s going to be there” means more than just what friends you’ll be meeting up with. The ticket to that coveted union is gig is knowing someone who knows someone and constantly making connections. So you’ve got your elevator pitch down.