Graduates from a Film Studies program have a new opportunity in film & video production. Needless to say, with every opportunity comes a challenge – and in this case, the challenge is to look for financing for your, or your employer’s, projects.
With the introduction of digital equipment the scope of film & video production has widened. The standard Hollywood styled film production is no longer the only real way to an occupation for film graduates. You will find a large number of opportunities in audio and visual applications throughout business, government as well as the entertainment industry. This means OPPORTUNITY for the keenest graduates to create their particular film & video projects, or to land by far the most interesting positions with leading film & video production companies.
Financing has become a dirty word for a long time within the film industry. The ‘Blue Suits’ and the cold heart of the banker are synonymous with the enemy of the creative. However, in this new era of opportunity you have to be both the ‘Blue Suit’ as well as the creative.
How will you find a way to understand film financing, film budgeting, etc.? First let’s take a look at Film Studies programs. There are so many Film Study programs available now that I think it is confusing, and I’ve worked inside the film industry for over two decades. The Universities are taking a Liberal Arts degree method of their curriculums, and the Colleges/Schools are primarily getting a hands-on technical approach. In any case, it really is unarguable that Film Studies is very large business. The following excerpt from The New York Times Company, published
March 6, 2005©, caused it to be clear for 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 over the years…. In the University of Southern California, whose School of Cinema-Television is the nation’s oldest film school (established in 1929), fully one 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 for any career in film & video? When a student has invested 2 to 4 numerous years of their lives within this degree, how can they turn it into a worthwhile career?
Let’s see just what the Universities say regarding their own programs, and the type of results they expect – that is, exactly what the Graduate is going to be able to when entering the work force. This promotional letter, posted on a single University’s internet site, says it all:
“A major in Film Studies is not an occupational or professional degree. A sound program of studies in this particular discipline, however, should qualify a student for many different vocational possibilities. Obviously someone will need to employ their knowledge about film in both a creative or a practical capacity and, either way, exercise the judgment and initiative that a rigorous pursuit of an important in Film Studies should develop.”
Using ‘should’ twice in three sentences tells the history – it’s your choice, Bud!
Film Studies programs (at any level) either don’t address, or don’t address strongly enough, the key force behind all film and video production – the amount of money! When the word cash is brought up in any way, it’s merely 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 only 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 using the three big guilds (SAG, DGA and WGA), as well as with all the IATSE & Teamster crew unions has forced the producing studios to get extremely confidential.
That era of total confidentiality isn’t over, nevertheless there exists a huge demand to learn more about film financing, film budgeting, etc. The newest crop of Independent Film & Video makers need to make their very own projects, find nanuxb own financing and do their particular film budgeting and reporting of production costs. It is even increasingly possible for producers to distribute their very own projects over the internet.
Trust me, the film school graduate who has a complete comprehension of their Film Studies program, AND understands the basic processes of Film Budgeting, Cost Reporting and Business Plans, is light-years ahead of the pack. A film studies graduate who can help prepare a financing package (that is certainly, assist to prepare a Film Budget along with a simple Business Strategy) would absolutely blow away any Independent Film & Video Production company. Are you able to imagine an unbiased Producer who wouldn’t Like to have help with preparing and presenting a financing package?