Photo: Danielle Stine

10 Woes of Being a Ryerson Film Student

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

By Matthew Robertson

Being a Ryerson film student is at most times, a great experience. You’re constantly doing different things on set, you’re learning more about the industry, and you’re getting to know more about your passion: filmmaking. But every now and then, you’ll be reminded that you’re still an impoverished university student living off Kraft Dinner and canned tuna. There’s nothing you can do but accept the inconveniences and learn to grow from them. So I proudly present to you 10 woes of being a film student at Ryerson.


1. When there’s no healthy food options on set

I guess pizza isn’t so bad, but when you’re having it every other day it starts to become too much of a good thing.


2. When you seem to be working on more sets than your sleep schedule can handle

Time to get some shut eye. Oh wait, nevermind, class starts in 20 minutes.


3. When one of your classmates won’t shut up about the project they’ve still got to shoot, write, and pre plan

It’s great that you’ve got an idea that you’re passionate about, but you don’t have to go in depth about it every time we see each other if you’re not even doing pre-production yet.


4. When the Film camera fails on you, and you’ve got to redo your entire project

Why film gods!? Why hast thou forsaken me!? Whatever, I’m just going to shoot with my DSLR now.


5. When the actor you casted decides to show up to your set an hour late

Oh yes, we’ll totally consider you when we’re working on our next project. Hopefully then you’ll only show up 30 minutes late.


6. When you realize how much actual film stock costs

So you’re telling me I got to spend actual money to buy the film, get it processed, and get a work print made? And all this is coming out of my student sized wallet?

7. When the prof decides to give you another lecture about 3 point lighting

Key light, fill light, backlight. Didn’t I learn this last semester? And the semester before that? Wait a second…


8. When you’re editing something and it’s always one frame away from being perfect

Wait what if we… no… I…. no… wait! SHUT UP everybody! SHUT UP I got this… *click. … I don’t know, maybe we should cut it on the next frame.


9. When your crew has absolutely no idea what they’re doing

Look, I’m trying to direct these actors. I don’t have time to explain how to extend the boom pole, or how to read the lightmeter, or how to work the film camera… you guys seriously don’t know?


10. When you have no idea what you’re doing

How in the hell do you extend this boom pole? They made it look so easy in class. Oh wait, nevermind I got it.


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