I haven't been in this major for too long, but I have been in long enough to notice things. The first thing I noticed is that we're all taking the same classes. I know, bizarre, right? First we all go to analyses, then the next semester we're all in 2110 or a directing class. So silly how that works out.
The second thing I noticed, immediately after noticing the first thing, is that despite the fact that we're all on the same path, taking the same classes, and having the same teachers, we are all learning totally different things.
In our analyses class, all we did was watch movies and talk about them. It was highly productive. From that class, I learned how to troubleshoot a screenplay to make it a lot better. Austin took the same class, he learned how to direct people a bit better and how to make things fit together nicer. Robert took the same class and now believes that watching movie after movie after movie will make him a good filmmaker.
We all sat through the same lessons. We all suffered through Paul's endless ramblings of military life and being Mormon. We all looked forward to Alex's classes, where we learned important things such as how love stories don't require two people. Each of us listened to the exact same things. The difference is what we actually heard.
Austin, Robert and I all want to direct, produce and/or write. Austin listens for things that will help him move towards directing. I tend to hear things that help me understand the whole process better so that I can do my part better. Robert tends to hear the pointless things, such as "there will generally be water on the road so that light can be bounced off of it." Now, that isn't entirely pointless if you're planning on being a cinematographer. Robert claims that he definitely does not want to do that.
The way each of us learns highly determines which way we'll go and that will, in turn, determine how far we will each go. That's true for everything, not just film making. If I want to be a good mom, then I'm going to watch mom's that I admire and learn what makes them so great. If I want to be a taco maker, I'll probably visit my favorite taco stand and watch them make the tacos. A man is not going to watch mothers and try to mimic their actions. Instead they might learn to appreciate the efforts put in, or they might decide that they do not want to marry someone like that. A tasteless person might not care to make tasty tacos, so when they visit the taco stand, they aren't going to pay attention to the creation of their food.
Everyone has opportunities and experiences. Everyone has the chance to learn the same things. How we handle those experiences and what we choose to learn determines our entire path.
If I wanted to be a DP (director of photography/cinematographer) then when I sit through my 2110 class I'd pay attention to how I should light things so that editing is effortless. If I wanted to be a camera operator, then I'll pay close attention to framing and composition as well as the technical aspects. As it is, I want to be a writer/producer. Therefore, when I sit through a class I wade through all the mucky editing and lighting lessons, and fill my notebook with lessons on how to write an effective screenplay.
In life I want to make films, have a family, and visit Italy. I take classes that I'm required to, but I learn what I want about film making. I watch families interact and pick qualities that I like and want to have in my own family (most of these come from mine and Nathan's families). Visiting Italy is a bit harder, but I always watch for ways and chances to travel.
Everything I will do is determined by what I choose to learn now.