What I’ve Learned

When I look back at my time here at LMU, I’m so thankful for the friends I’ve made and the great community that exists here. The university really does educate “the whole person” because I’ve found my voice as a filmmaker, and in the process I’ve become a better version of myself. I take more risks and the University provides so many opportunities to discover and learn new things. There are so many lectures and workshops that take place throughout the year in all the departments.  And also professors, even those outside the film school, can offer great advice.

During my time here I’ve interviewed about 40 people inside and outside of film school, from faculty to filmmakers to air pilots. Though every story and career is unique, I’ve found some common threads and great advice that I’d like to share with you:

Jump In

Sometimes you’ll find yourself in a position where you’ll be doing things you don’t know how to do. That’s okay. Don’t worry. The person before you most likely didn’t know what they were doing, but eventually they figured it out and you will, too. Life, especially in this industry, is unpredictable so don’t waste time worrying because eventually you’ll get to where you need to be.

Ask Questions

This is connected to the first tip. Remember, you are not alone. You’ll be surprised who is willing to help you. You just have to speak up. Tap into your inner five-year-old self and be curious. Even after you leave school, you should never stop learning. Growth comes from asking thoughtful questions and embracing what you don’t know.

Stand Out

You can’t afford to do things like everyone else. When you go above and beyond and have skills that no one else has, it’ll be harder for people to fire you. Be yourself and find ways to provide real value.

Be Kind

On your way to the top, don’t believe that you have to go against your values or bring other people down to become successful. We are all trying to make it. Let’s help each other make the journey an enjoyable one.

Posted by Elsie Dortelus

Elsie 4810 Retouched 240x300 - What I've LearnedElsie Dortelus (PROD – M.F.A. ’16) is a producer and director who strives to tell stories that change the way people see the world. When she’s not making movies, you can find her reading a business book or improving her comedic skills. She is currently in post-production for her thesis film Piles.