Over the past few months as the brand and movement has grown a lot of people have reached out to me and asked me "I saw you dropped out of school and so it must work for me to be successful" or "I hate being in school and since you dropped out you must think thats the best way". I will never endorse dropping nor do I think it's the only option. I know people who have gone to school,worked a normal job for 5 years and then got into filmmaking and are at the top now. It's situational and shouldn't be compared. We all learn different, so we have different paths
SCHOOL HAS ADVANTAGES
Sure - I hated school and couldn't wait to drop out (lol). But that was the classroom aspect of it all, not the other side of school that no one ever talks about... Networking.
Especially if you attend an art school or some sort of college that focuses on the creative industries more you are at an advantage. Most of the students are in your field and therefore are automatically peers you can network and work with. of course, these aren't industry professionals but they are people who are building and learning (most of them).
When I attended school from 2014-2015 I made sure I worked with all the kids who were doing shit outside of class. What never made sense to me would be kids who just partied all weekend and then went back to class during the week like it was math or science. These are the people I made sure to avoid and you should too when it comes to networking. I still work with people I met in school and they are doing major things
YOU THINK YOU ARE TOO GOOD FOR SCHOOL
This is a big one - and it honestly makes up a lot of the people asking for help. "Hey I make cold videos and I don't think I need school cause I know it all". Your are ignorant as hell if you have an ego like this. I remember working with a kid like this who said they knew everything about film and so I had them assist on a shoot I was directing. I asked them to change out my lenses and they didn't know how. This person would've been kicked off a film set and never let back on in the real world lol.
It's people with that ego who get 0 work and wonder why. Not only do they not know much about the craft, they just don't think long term. You have to crawl before you can walk. So just cause you made a half ass video on your DSLR with a $150 budget doesn't mean you know everything or really anything about filmmaking. They say school won't help them but not going is actually hurting them because they obviously aren't doing anything to progress them on their own. (I also had someone tell me this week that they don't use lights because they don't need them but that's a different story lol)
WHY I DROPPED OUT (AND WHY YOU SHOULDN'T TAKE MY ADVICE)
Back in 2013 I got interested in music videos. I saw frank ocean - pyramids and thought that it was incredible. I knew at that point I wanted to make videos (so I did). I started at that moment and worked with local artists in Dallas and by mid 2014 it was time to go off too school. I chose school because I really had no option. I wasn't making enough to call it a "living" and I wanted to get out of Texas. So with my parents picking up the college bill I really had free range (within a limit) to choose where I wanted to go. My friend at the time - Jake Osmun- (who by the way is CRUSHING it right now) was attending a school in Chicago. My gut told me to follow through and I got accepted into the film program at columbia college chicago.
So let's pause for a second and review everything: I was already making steady content for 1.5 years, my college expenses were taken care of and I was moving to a big city.
No one else will have this exact same scenario as me - so that's why I can't give out advice when someone says "should I drop out?"
There are so many variables in the equation that you have to answer for yourself. You should never get advice for big decisions like that - If it feels right and you feel you can make it. Do it!
My sole reason for dropping out was because class was in the way of my actual paid work outside of class (which is what I wanted to do). I'm not gonna ditch the work that I worked so hard to get to go back too school. It just didn't make sense. So I stopped going to class and worked my ass off on all my client work. With a little bit of luck I was able to turn it into a full time job but it's not as easy as staying in school and having that protection of not having to pay bills every month.
So many variables dictate your future and it's amazing cause you will have your own unique path which makes your story even better. Just keep in mind that even if your idol leaves school, doesn't mean you should too. Factor in all the pros and cons and make a decision. Get ready for the real world so it doesn't eat you alive!