Graduates from the Film Studies program use a new opportunity in film & video production. Obviously, 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 advent of digital equipment the scope of film & video production has widened. The standard Hollywood styled film production is no longer the sole way to a profession for film graduates. You can find a multitude of opportunities in audio and visual applications throughout business, government and also the entertainment industry. This means OPPORTUNITY for the keenest graduates to produce their own film & video projects, or even to land probably the most interesting positions with leading film & video production companies.
Financing is a dirty word for years in the film industry. The ‘Blue Suits’ as well as the cold heart in the banker are symbolic of the enemy of the creative. However, in this particular new era of opportunity you need to be both ‘Blue Suit’ as well as the creative.
How do you find a way to find out about film financing, film budgeting, etc.? First let’s examine Film Studies programs. There are so many Film Study programs available since I think it is confusing, and I’ve worked in the film industry for more than twenty years. The Universities take a Liberal Arts degree method of their curriculums, as well as the Colleges/Schools are primarily taking a hands-on technical approach. In any case, it is actually unarguable that Film Studies is big business. The following excerpt from your New York Times Company, published
March 6, 2005©, caused it to be clear for me how large variety really is:
“Some 600 colleges and universities in the usa offer programs in film studies or related subjects, a number that has grown steadily over time…. In the University of Southern California, whose School of Cinema-Television will be 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? When a student has invested 2 to 4 years of their lives within this degree, just how can they convert 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, exactly what the Graduate will be competent at when entering the task force. This promotional letter, posted on a single University’s web site, says all of it:
“An important in Film Studies is not really an occupational or professional degree. A sound program of studies in this discipline, however, should qualify a student for a variety of vocational possibilities. Obviously an individual should employ her or his understanding of film in both a creative or perhaps a practical capacity and, either way, exercise the judgment and initiative that a rigorous quest for an important in Film Studies should develop.”
The usage of ‘should’ twice in three sentences tells the history – it’s up to you, 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 MONEY! When the word cash is brought up at all, it’s merely a handshake as well as a nod. Most undergraduate programs have almost no mention of Film Budgeting, and such things as Cost Reports and Business Plans are treated as foreign topics entirely. The Masters programs are merely slightly better.
The reason for the void of information on things like Film Budgets, Cost Reports, etc. within the academic sector originates from the major Hollywood production machine. The perpetual negotiations with all the three big guilds (SAG, DGA and WGA), in addition to 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 is a huge demand to know 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 own film budgeting and reporting of production costs. It is even increasingly possible for producers to distribute their very own projects on the internet.
Believe me, the film school graduate who may have a thorough knowledge of their Film Studies program, AND understands the essential 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 make a Film Budget along with a simple Business Strategy) would absolutely blow away any Independent Film & Video Production company. Can you imagine an unbiased Producer who wouldn’t Want to have assistance with preparing and presenting a financing package?