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.
Using the introduction of digital equipment the scope of film & video production has widened. The standard Hollywood styled film production has stopped being the only path 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. Which means OPPORTUNITY for the keenest graduates to produce their very own film & video projects, or even to land by far the most interesting positions with leading film & video production companies.
Financing has been a dirty word for a long time within the film industry. The ‘Blue Suits’ as well as the cold heart from the banker are synonymous with the enemy from the creative. However, in this particular new era of opportunity you have to be the ‘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 numerous Film Study programs available since I discover it confusing, and I’ve worked in the film industry more than 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 big business. The following excerpt from The New York Times Company, published
March 6, 2005©, managed to make it clear for me what size variety.com really is:
“Some 600 colleges and universities in the United States offer programs in film studies or related subjects, a number that has grown steadily over the years…. At the University of Southern California, whose School of Cinema-Television is the nation’s oldest film school (established in 1929), fully 50 % 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 to get a career in film & video? In case a student has invested 2 to 4 years of their lives in this degree, just how can they turn it into a worthwhile career?
Let’s see just what the Universities say regarding their own programs, and the sort of results they expect – that is certainly, exactly what the Graduate is going to be capable of when entering the task force. This promotional letter, posted using one University’s web site, says it all:
“A significant in Film Studies will not be an occupational or professional degree. A solid program of studies in this particular discipline, however, should qualify a student for a variety of vocational possibilities. Obviously someone will need to employ his or her information about film in either a creative or even a practical capacity and, in any case, exercise the judgment and initiative which a rigorous pursuit of a major in Film Studies should develop.”
The use of ‘should’ twice in three sentences tells the story – 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 amount of money! If the word cash is brought up whatsoever, it’s merely a handshake and a nod. Most undergraduate programs have almost no reference to Film Budgeting, and things like Cost Reports and Business Plans are treated as foreign topics entirely. The Masters programs are merely slightly better.
The reason behind the void of data 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), along with using 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 find out much more about film financing, film budgeting, etc. The brand new crop of Independent Film & Video makers need to make their very own projects, find nanuxb own financing and do their very own film budgeting and reporting of production costs. It is actually even increasingly easy for producers to distribute their own projects over the internet.
Trust me, the film school graduate that has a complete knowledge 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 who can help make a financing package (which is, help to prepare a Film Budget as well as a simple Strategic Business Plan) would absolutely blow away any Independent Film & Video Production company. Could you imagine an unbiased Producer who wouldn’t Want to have help with preparing and presenting a financing package?