After writing several award-winning plays and soap operas, Elizabeth Page realized she wanted to direct film, but she wasn’t about to walk onto a set without any skills. Searching for hands-on training, she ended up at a Schools of Public Engagement open house, where she learned about the Certificate in Film Production offered by the School of Media Studies. As she already had a college degree, Page was pleased to learn that the program would let her pursue exactly what she wanted—production expertise. “I didn’t have to take all sorts of courses that didn’t serve me, such as criticism or classes designed for future teachers.”
“The Media Studies program is both an art school and a school dedicated to the humanities, aesthetics, and technique. The desire to communicate meaning is simply a given," says Page. “No one was trying to be a Hollywood moviemaker—this was an indie film world.”
The culture of the program appealed to her sensibilities, and she was impressed that her teachers were all working professionals. “They not only knew their stuff; they were doing it,” she reports. And as a working writer and mother, Page appreciated the flexibility of the program, which allowed her to take one class at a time.Since receiving her Certificate in Film Production, Page has directed several low-budget commercials, a Web video, and a short narrative film, which won several awards.
“I believe that editing teaches you how to direct and directing teaches you how to write," she says. "And when you’ve got all three, you can make films. The New School gave me all three—plus teaching me about lighting, cameras, and distribution strategies. In short, it made me a filmmaker.”