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 look for financing for your, or your employer’s, projects.
Using the advent of digital equipment the scope of film & video production has widened. The typical Hollywood styled film production is not the only real path to a profession for film graduates. You can find a multitude of opportunities in audio and visual applications throughout business, government and the entertainment industry. Which means Chance for the keenest graduates to generate their particular film & video projects, or to land by far 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’ as well as the cold heart of the banker are synonymous with the enemy of the creative. However, in this particular new era of opportunity you should be both the ‘Blue Suit’ as well as the creative.
How can you try to find out about film financing, film budgeting, etc.? First let’s look at Film Studies programs. There are so many Film Study programs around since I think it is confusing, and I’ve worked in the film industry more than 20 years. The Universities take a Liberal Arts degree approach to their curriculums, and the Colleges/Schools are primarily having a hands-on technical approach. Either way, it is actually unarguable that Film Studies is big business. The subsequent excerpt from your New York City Times Company, published
March 6, 2005©, managed to make it clear in my opinion how big variety is really:
“Some 600 universites and colleges in the United States offer programs in film studies or related subjects, a number which includes grown steadily through the years…. In the University of Southern California, whose School of Cinema-Television is the nation’s oldest film school (established in 1929), fully 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? In case a student has invested 2 to 4 numerous years of their lives in this particular degree, just how can they convert it into a worthwhile career?
Let’s see what the Universities say about their own programs, and the sort of results they expect – which is, just what the Graduate is going to be able to when entering the task force. This promotional letter, posted on one University’s web site, says everything:
“An important in Film Studies is not really an occupational or professional degree. A solid program of studies in this particular 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, either way, exercise the judgment and initiative that the rigorous search for an important in Film Studies should develop.”
The usage of ‘should’ twice in three sentences tells the history – it’s your decision, Bud!
Film Studies programs (at any level) either don’t address, or don’t address strongly enough, the major force behind all film and video production – the amount of money! When the word funds are brought up whatsoever, it’s only a handshake and a nod. Most undergraduate programs have very little 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 explanation for the void of data on such things as Film Budgets, Cost Reports, etc. within the academic sector originates from the major Hollywood production machine. The perpetual negotiations with the three big guilds (SAG, DGA and WGA), along with 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 new crop of Independent Film & Video makers want to make their very own projects, find nanuxb own financing and do their own film budgeting and reporting of production costs. It is actually even increasingly feasible for producers to distribute their very own projects online.
Believe me, the film school graduate who has a complete 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 that can help create a financing package (that is, help to create a Film Budget along with a simple Business Plan) would absolutely blow away any Independent Film & Video Production company. Can you imagine an unbiased Producer who wouldn’t Want to have help with preparing and presenting a financing package?