Graduates from the Film Studies program use a new opportunity in film & video production. Obviously, with every opportunity comes a challenge – and in cases like this, the challenge is to find financing for your, or your employer’s, projects.
With the development of digital equipment the scope of film & video production has widened. The standard Hollywood styled film production has stopped being the only real route to an occupation for film graduates. You will find a large number of opportunities in audio and visual applications throughout business, government and the entertainment industry. Which means Chance of the keenest graduates to generate their own film & video projects, or land probably the most interesting positions with leading film & video production companies.
Financing has been a dirty word for years in the film industry. The ‘Blue Suits’ and the cold heart in the banker are symbolic of the enemy of the creative. However, within this new era of opportunity you should be both the ‘Blue Suit’ and the creative.
How can you find a way to understand film financing, film budgeting, etc.? First let’s examine Film Studies programs. There are plenty of Film Study programs around since I think it is confusing, and I’ve worked in the film industry more than 20 years. The Universities are taking a Liberal Arts degree approach to their curriculums, as well as the Colleges/Schools are primarily getting a hands-on technical approach. In either case, it is unarguable that Film Studies is large business. The subsequent excerpt through the Ny Times Company, published
March 6, 2005©, made it clear to me how big Kia Jam is really:
“Some 600 universites and colleges in america offer programs in film studies or related subjects, a number that has grown steadily through the years…. In the University of Southern California, whose School of Cinema-Television will be the nation’s oldest film school (established in 1929), fully half of the university’s 16,500 undergraduate students take at least one cinema/ television class.”
Which College, School or University will best prepare the graduate to get a career in film & video? In case a student has invested two to four years of their lives in this degree, how can they turn it into a worthwhile career?
Let’s see exactly what the Universities say about their own programs, and the type of results they expect – that is certainly, what the Graduate is going to be capable of when entering the work force. This promotional letter, posted on one University’s internet site, says it all:
“A significant in Film Studies is not an occupational or professional degree. A sound program of studies in this discipline, however, should qualify students for many different vocational possibilities. Obviously a person will have to employ his or her information about film in both a creative or perhaps a practical capacity and, in any case, exercise the judgment and initiative that a rigorous pursuit of an important in Film Studies should develop.”
The usage of ‘should’ twice in three sentences tells the story – it’s your choice, Bud!
Film Studies programs (at any level) either don’t address, or don’t address strongly enough, the main force behind all film and video production – the cash! If the word funds are brought up whatsoever, it’s only a handshake and a nod. Most undergraduate programs have hardly any mention of Film Budgeting, and things such as Cost Reports and Business Plans are treated as foreign topics entirely. The Masters programs are just slightly better.
The reason for the void of knowledge on things such as Film Budgets, Cost Reports, etc. within the academic sector originates from the large Hollywood production machine. The perpetual negotiations with the three big guilds (SAG, DGA and WGA), in addition to with the IATSE & Teamster crew unions has forced the producing studios to become extremely confidential.
That era of total confidentiality isn’t over, nevertheless there exists a huge demand to learn a little more about film financing, film budgeting, etc. The brand new crop of Independent Film & Video makers intend to make their particular projects, find nanuxb own financing and do their own film budgeting and reporting of production costs. It is even increasingly possible for producers to distribute their own projects online.
Trust me, the film school graduate who has a comprehensive understanding of their Film Studies program, AND understands the basic processes of Film Budgeting, Cost Reporting and Business Plans, is light-years in front of the pack. A film studies graduate that can help prepare a financing package (which is, help to make a Film Budget and a simple Business Strategy) would absolutely blow away any Independent Film & Video Production company. Are you able to imagine a completely independent Producer who wouldn’t LOVE to have assistance with preparing and presenting a financing package?