When David Basulto decided to become a movie producer, the first thing he did was enroll in a class at a film school in Los Angeles. The second thing he did was drop out. Film schools “teach you a lot of theory, teach you to shoot on old, archaic systems,” he said. “They’re not cutting edge.” The systems used at, say, the University of Southern California’s Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts are anything but archaic. But Mr. Basulto’s point is worth noting in the era of miniDV digital video cameras, Final Cut Pro editing systems and YouTube auteurs with development deals. Thousands of new filmmakers are just diving in, many with the help of instructional products claiming to provide low-cost, high-impact alternatives to film school. Justin Peters reports.
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