Keeping it Reel

High School Students: Finding Time for Film

It is your senior year of high school.

Every day you wake up and go to school. After school, you have practice for that sport, a meeting for that club, or rehearsal for that show. After that, you have a couple of hours of homework. Add in travel time, dinner, and a shower, and your day is booked.

Even on the weekends, you have college applications and scholarships to fill out, more homework to handle, studying that needs to get done, and let’s not forget that part-time job.

So here is the question… how are you supposed to make time for film? Even if you are taking film courses, when do you have time to work on personal projects? How can you make time for the things you actually want to focus on?

Well there are a few different things you can do…



1. Take advantage of your commutes

To and from school, to and from practice, to and from – wherever. The odds are that you travel a few times a day. Whether your commute is ten minutes or forty-five, you can utilize it to focus on your personal film projects.

Bus ride? Pull out a journal and start storyboarding for that new skit idea. Driving to school? Turn on that podcast you’ve been wanting to listen to. Even just sitting in silence and thinking about what you want to accomplish can be helpful!

Depending on your commute times, you could have an extra hour or so of time each day that you didn’t even know about! Use it well.


2. Don’t wait while you’re waiting

Whether it is waiting in the lunch line, waiting for class to start, or waiting for the bus to arrive, you probably spend some time waiting each day. Instead of pulling out your phone and scrolling through your newsfeed, why not take that time to explore your film ideas? Think of how you want to shoot a specific scene in the short film you’re creating, make a list of possible cast and crew members for your upcoming project, brainstorm a few ideas for the ending to that screenplay you’ve been sitting on.

Whatever the thing is that you don’t have time to get done, use this time to get to it! Your smartphone can do almost everything your laptop can, so say goodbye to normal work zones and start getting things done while you’re standing around! 


3. Combine your social life with your film life

You most likely have some social time planned in your week. A Friday night, a Saturday afternoon, or maybe the odd Monday evening. Taking a break from work to hang out with friends and relax is absolutely essential, but there is a way to have fun with friends while achieving your film goals.

The first way is to make friends with a few people who share your interests. When you get together with these people, you can talk about film, watch movies, and maybe even work on shooting something.

The second way is to get your current friends (who may not be passionate about film) interested in your project.

In both of these instances, hanging out with friends and getting work done on your personal project could be synonymous! When you combine your social time with your “personal project” time you can get a crazy amount of things done without even realizing it.


Doing all of these things individually can help you catch up on some film work you’ve been wanting to get done, but if you take advantage of them all, you will be able to accomplish things you thought you would never have time for.

Speaking of time…

You’ve probably been meaning to decide which area of film to pursue, right? You like to play directer, cinematographer, AND editor…you just haven’t really had the time to explore each and decide what to focus on. Well, we can save you some time there as well. At Columbia College Hollywood, we offer eight film emphases: directing, cinematography, writing, acting, producing, new media, sound, and editing and visual effects. You can click below to take our Degree Emphases quiz and see which area best suits you!

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This blog is a collaborative effort by CCH staff and administration who want to share their knowledge with the film school community and prospective students.

Columbia College Hollywood is excited to announce TWO new scholarships! Receive awards of up to $5,000 for the 2021 Summer Scholarship for Storytellers and up to $18,950 for the CCH Career Accelerator Scholarship.

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