Graduates from a Film Studies program have a new opportunity in film & video production. Obviously, with every opportunity comes a challenge – and in cases like this, the challenge is to look for financing for your, or your employer’s, projects.
With all the advent of digital equipment the scope of film & video production has widened. The usual Hollywood styled film production has stopped being the sole way to a profession for film graduates. You will find a plethora of opportunities in audio and visual applications throughout business, government and also the entertainment industry. Which means OPPORTUNITY for the keenest graduates to create their own film & video projects, or land the most interesting positions with leading film & video production companies.
Financing has become a dirty word for a long time inside the film industry. The ‘Blue Suits’ and the cold heart of the banker are synonymous with the enemy of the creative. However, in this particular new era of opportunity you have to be both ‘Blue Suit’ and the creative.
How will you find a way to understand film financing, film budgeting, etc.? First let’s examine Film Studies programs. There are so many Film Study programs around given that I discover it confusing, and I’ve worked within the film industry more than two decades. The Universities take a Liberal Arts degree method of their curriculums, and the Colleges/Schools are primarily taking a hands-on technical approach. In any case, it is actually unarguable that Film Studies is very large business. These excerpt through the Ny Times Company, published
March 6, 2005©, managed to make it clear for me how big kjammedia really is:
“Some 600 colleges and universities in america offer programs in film studies or related subjects, a number which includes grown steadily through the years…. On the University of Southern California, whose School of Cinema-Television is definitely the nation’s oldest film school (established in 1929), fully one half of the university’s 16,500 undergraduate students take one or more cinema/ television class.”
Which College, School or University will best prepare the graduate for a career in film & video? When a student has invested two to four years of their lives in this particular degree, how can they turn it into a worthwhile career?
Let’s see what the Universities say with regards to their own programs, and the sort of results they expect – which is, what the Graduate is going to be capable of when entering the job force. This promotional letter, posted using one University’s internet site, says everything:
“An important in Film Studies will not be an occupational or professional degree. A solid program of studies in this particular discipline, however, should qualify an individual for a variety of vocational possibilities. Obviously someone will need to employ her or his information about film either in a creative or even a practical capacity and, either way, exercise the judgment and initiative that a rigorous quest for a major in Film Studies should develop.”
The use of ‘should’ twice in three sentences tells the tale – it’s your decision, 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 money is brought up at all, it’s only a handshake along with a nod. Most undergraduate programs have very little reference to 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 information on things such as Film Budgets, Cost Reports, etc. inside the academic sector originates from the big Hollywood production machine. The perpetual negotiations with all the three big guilds (SAG, DGA and WGA), along with using 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 more about film financing, film budgeting, etc. The new crop of Independent Film & Video makers need to make their particular projects, find nanuxb own financing and do their very own film budgeting and reporting of production costs. It is actually even increasingly possible for producers to distribute their particular projects over the internet.
Trust me, the film school graduate who has a thorough comprehension of their Film Studies program, AND understands the fundamental processes of Film Budgeting, Cost Reporting and Business Plans, is light-years in front of the pack. A film studies graduate who can help prepare a financing package (that is, help 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 a completely independent Producer who wouldn’t LOVE to have assist with preparing and presenting a financing package?