Janusz Kaminski: On Film School

From American Cinematographer, The Devil Made Flesh, by Christopher Probst (December 1999)

"I recently read an article in which someone was saying that you really don't have to go to film school to make movies. That person also said that Citizen Kane was boring. In my opinion, it is necessary to get a formal film education in order to understand and learn the art of moviemaking. Going to film school for four years might be impossible for some people, but one should then perhaps take some extension courses at UCLA or USC, or attend one of the great workshops that the AFI conducts. It's important to get that kind of exposure, because moviemaking is not a skill that you're born with-- you have to learn it. You can learn certain aspects of filmmaking by working on sets, but I think you'll miss the film theory and history, which helps you understand why things are done a certain way. Once you understand the rules and traditions, you can go your own way. If I hadn't gone to film school, the process of directing Lost Souls would have been much more difficult. I had studied screenwriting, production design, editing, and directing. I cut film, created sound, and did the mixing, so those processes were familiar. In fact, I was shocked how similar the professional process is to what I'd done in school."

- Janusz Kaminski

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