Remarkable Filmmakers Who Never Went To Film School, Part 1

Remarkable Filmmakers Who Never Went To Film School, Part 1

We’ve made a list of highly-acclaimed filmmakers who would advise you to go ahead and shoot rather than seek the four corners of a film school classroom. They would tell you to lug around your camera for those spontaneous moments, and a pen to write your script with. These seriously talented people have shown everyone that it’s not about you know in your head, it’s the amount of dedication and hard work you’re willing to put into an endeavor.

Christopher Nolan


One of those unique breed of filmmakers who never attended film school. He used to take up literature in University College London. His very first foray in filmmaking was the feature film titled Following on a meager budget of £3000. His film had such a good run at the festivals that it was remade into the highly successful Memento which jump started his filmmaking career.


Terry Gilliam

The film genius who helmed the 1998 cult hit Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, is a Political Science graduate from Occidental College.Gilliam started out as an animator for Monty Python’s Flying Circus to become co-producer of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. He wrote his first feature film Time Bandits which was released which eventually became the first installment of Trilogy of Imagination. This was followed by Brazil in 1985 and Adventures of Baron Munchausen in 1989.


Stanley Kubrick

One of the most famous filmmakers who ever lived was a school photographer in high school. He went to evening classes at the City College of New York, unable to transfer to day classes because of poor grades. Cubrick became a freelance photographer, and moved on to filmmaking by renting cameras. Spurred by the success of his short documentary called Day of the Fight, he pressed forward and created his first feature film Fear and Desire (1953). His Hollywood career took off in 1956 with his BAFTA-winning film The Killing.


Wes Anderson

As a child growing up, Wes  would take his dad’s camera and make silent films. He is a philosophy graduate from the University of Texas and once worked as a part-time cinema projectionist. His first movie Bottle Rocket received good reviews but tanked in the box office. Had he given up early on, we wouldn’t have been treated to the Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom, both multi-awarded gems.

On the next installment of this 2-part series, find out which filmmaker was actually rejected by a film school, and which one dropped out of high school to join a  theater acting school?






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