You know the phrase, “Knowledge is power.” This statement is especially true when attempting to break into the movie business.

All you need to be successful and begin your career in the film business is a few simple things – start with just over $100,000 for tuition at a top film school, see hundreds of movies, get used to the lack of sleep, be sure to save at least $25,000 or more for the projects you wish to finish, oh, and it helps to have talent.  

The unfortunate reality is that the money is probably the most important part of this equation. That is, unless you enjoy playing the part of a production assistant working on someone else's movie, probably for the kid whose family was smart enough to take out a loan.  

Now, there really is no formula for success – education, money, talent – it all could amount to nothing. So it might inspire you to know that Quentin Tarantino never graduated high school. And his screenplays are rife with spelling and grammatical errors.

But reading a Tarantino script is like poetry to a movie geek. QT took advantage of his video store job by watching countless obscure films and absorbing everything he could and look at him now.

Sure, an education in film is pricey, but living in the Los Angeles-area affords access to many cheap and free sources to expand your horizons. It just might be the thing to give you that edge.

Whether you're a student who can afford school or someone simply looking to continue their cinema studies. Or maybe you're broke and school is just not for you, these screening series, libraries and tours just might be your ticket to a successful career.  

Or it could all end horribly. You know, depending on how you decide to script the climactic ending of your movie.


6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles

Features classic movies, film forums and daily presentations of Forever Hollywood in the historic Hollywood Egyptian Theatre.

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Various locations throughout Los Angeles

See major films hosted by the screenwriters in lively question and answer sessions.

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Various locations throughout Los Angeles

Hosts special screenings of shorts on Super 8 and 16mm.

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Fairbanks Center for Motion Picture Study

333 S. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills

The official Oscar Web site has incredible resources including The Margaret Herrick Library. This prestigious library collects a wide range of materials relating to motion pictures, including books, periodicals, scripts, photographs, posters and other publicity materials.

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3400 Riverside Drive, Burbank (818) 977-8687

Warner Bros. Studio VIP Tour is an insider's look at one of Hollywood's busiest and most famous motion picture studios – past and present.

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100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City

Not just a theme park with a look inside big movies, but they even serve beer and margaritas.

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10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City (323) 520-8687

Just like the other tours, but its Sony!

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Various locations

Hey, if all else fails, you can be a member of the audience and some shows even pay for you to stay seated for hours. Sure, it can be dull, but you'll get a glimpse into life in TV.

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