Is film school helpful for anything other than networking?
Right now I am not planning on going to film school and am very against it because I see it as a huge waste of time and money. The only thing people say it's useful for is networking what else does it have to offer?
I think you're right about the networking. But with whom? Film school may be a bit of an unintentional scam. Academic college is not far behind. If you can self-educate then I always suggest taking the same cash you would spend attending film school and using it to stay alive while you apprentice yourself to one or more production companies. You'll need to do careful research to pick the one(s) that will be most helpful. And you'll have to work cheaply. Just don't rent a place with like three other guys -- it's a recipe for disaster. Unless you absolutely trust them to be "professional."
Yes! Film history and theory, knowing the rules so you can break them. The networking can also mean meeting great collaborators that help you realize your Films. Also ask yourself of you have the self-discipline to learn outside of school.
I don't think that you should underestimate the power of networking, no matter what industry that you are trying to enter. The world is becoming more and more about connections to people who can make your road to a desired career easily.
I didn't attend Film school but I know two people who went to Film schools and they immediately went into working for a Film company. It was hard for them to get to the jobs that they eventually wanted, but the degree gave them entry in a way that others may not have gotten. Also both of them spent their time in the school doing the job that they were hoping to do. I know in other degree programs, most of us just learn the theory and we come to our jobs with an idea of what it takes to be good at the job but little practical experience at doing it.