1. Deconstructive criticism
You: “What do you think of this outfit for tonight?”
Film school kid: “Functionally or tonally? Because I feel like— while it is very winter in theme— the boots add an unnecessary distraction in the lower third of yo—”
You: “..Like, do I need a sweater?”
2. Render, buffer, and shut down while losing all available memory
Don’t you dare ask a film school student as single question while they’re editing a project. This process is so painstaking and confusing that it makes M. Night Shamalyn plots look practical. Prepare to be met with a complete loss of control, meltdown, and inability to compute real life if your “wanna go to dinner?” interruption causes them to make one false cut.
3. Extreme use of the word ‘aesthetic’
“The aesthetics of this sandwich are incredible, for real.”
*proceeds to scroll through Instagram and judge the plebes who post pics of their food*
4. Make every friend a reluctant star
Even though you’ve never acted before, have no business acting ever in life, and are repulsed by the idea of seeing yourself on screen, a film school friend will somehow con you into being in their hours-long shoot for a two-minute ‘sketch’ that never even makes it past midterms. (At least there will probably be pizza and/or weed.)
5. Deadline dramatics
For the rest of their lives, film schoolers will have deadline PTSD, in which they proceed to respond to any deadline with an absurd amount of email, asking for very specific extensions at short intervals that no one in the real world real world actually cares about (but would’ve been the end of their senior thesis, so obviously they will carry it with them forever, like their fav Wes Anderson still or Bill Murray poster.)
6. Talk about three-act structure in one-act situations
You’ll ask them what the plan is for tonight and they’ll reply with a meandering answer on who’s going, how they feel about going, and what could actually go down if there were a plot twist of sorts— i.e. not being able to find weed.
7. Make broad strokes
In arguments about anything meaningful to day-to-day life— race, socioeconomics, bills, the economy, grocery shopping— your friendly film school student will bring in helpful, irrelevant information from their freshman year cinema 101 syllabus.
8. Offer everything
They will build up any project, special event, gift, or trip to Dunkin’ Donuts to be the most epic, beautiful, lifechanging product ever delivered into your less-than-cinematic existence.
9. Deliver nothing, unless it’s everything
Film school kids won’t half-ass any of the aformentioned experiences: they will give you total, no-effort bullshit or completely life-ruining (theirs, not yours), genuine greatness.
10. Make reference
To any piece of media that tangentially applies to the media you’re talking about. Forget talking about how good Gone Girl was if you don’t want to talk about David Fincher’s entire filmography.
11. Talk about life and death, moreso death
Life imitating art, art imitating life, or everyone else just wanting to kill them, maybe?
12. Really watch movies
*Tries to talk to film school student during a movie, gets thrown out of building and banned for six weeks*
13. Hijack your Netflix account into oblivion
All of your recommendations will be indies and classics. Good luck ever trying to find Law and Order without a painstaking search.
14. Pull not-all-nighters
They’ll work for 18 hours at a time and then sleep 19, which is pretty typical to the regular college student. Conversely, a film school kid will spend 10 of those working hours on watching other relevant films and clips for ‘research,’ which means several caffeine naps will be crushed, and they will be unreachable for that full 18 hours. Unless you somehow end up with their external hard drive, in which case they will contact you every five minutes until you return it or implode.
15. Invite you over to ‘watch a movie’
Spoiler alert: it’s their movie.
16. Find inspiration in painfully boring places
“Oh my god, should write a movie about…us.”
17. Respond to your life problems with “Wow, that’s a great story—”
“…that would make a great script.”
18. Give you their ‘take’
Just don’t ask what they ‘think’ of anything unless you want a real, multi-paragraph response. Be specific or they will be terrifyingly broad.
19. Try to be dead inside
Film school kids are kind of dead inside from deadlines, endless critiques, and pretentious peers, but you know what? They will keep asking you for feedback on their screenplay and working until they ultimately succeed or die trying. They just can’t help but be alive, babe. No matter how bad you want to kill them.