Graduates from a Film Studies program have a new opportunity in film & video production. Obviously, with every opportunity comes a challenge – and in this case, the challenge is to find financing for your, or your employer’s, projects.
With the advent of digital equipment the scope of film & video production has widened. The typical Hollywood styled film production is not the sole path to a profession 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. That means Chance for the keenest graduates to create their particular film & video projects, or to land probably 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 from the banker are synonymous with the enemy from the creative. However, within this new era of opportunity you should be both the ‘Blue Suit’ and also the creative.
How will you try to understand film financing, film budgeting, etc.? First let’s look at Film Studies programs. There are numerous Film Study programs available given that I think it is confusing, and I’ve worked inside the film industry for over twenty years. The Universities take a Liberal Arts degree method of their curriculums, and the Colleges/Schools are primarily getting a hands-on technical approach. In either case, it is actually unarguable that Film Studies is very large business. The following excerpt through the New York Times Company, published
March 6, 2005©, managed to make it clear for me how big kjammedia really is:
“Some 600 universites and colleges in the usa offer programs in film studies or related subjects, a number which includes grown steadily through the years…. On the University of Los Angeles, 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 a minumum of one 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 two to four many years of their lives in this degree, just how can they convert it into a worthwhile career?
Let’s see what the Universities say with regards to their own programs, and the type of results they expect – which is, just what the Graduate is going to be capable of when entering the job force. This promotional letter, posted using one University’s web site, says all of it:
“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 many different vocational possibilities. Obviously someone will need to employ her or his understanding of film in both a creative or perhaps a practical capacity and, in either case, exercise the judgment and initiative that the rigorous pursuit of an important in Film Studies should develop.”
Using ‘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 amount of money! When the word funds are brought up at all, it’s only a handshake along with a nod. Most undergraduate programs have hardly any reference to Film Budgeting, and things such as Cost Reports and Business Plans are treated as foreign topics entirely. The Masters programs are just slightly better.
The reason behind the void of information on such things as Film Budgets, Cost Reports, etc. within the academic sector originates from the large Hollywood production machine. The perpetual negotiations with the three big guilds (SAG, DGA and WGA), as well as using the IATSE & Teamster crew unions has forced the producing studios to be extremely confidential.
That era of total confidentiality isn’t over, nevertheless there exists a huge demand to know a little more about film financing, film budgeting, etc. The newest crop of Independent Film & Video makers need to make their own projects, find nanuxb own financing and do their particular film budgeting and reporting of production costs. It is even increasingly feasible for producers to distribute their own projects online.
Believe me, the film school graduate that has a complete knowledge of their Film Studies program, AND understands the fundamental processes of Film Budgeting, Cost Reporting and Business Plans, is light-years ahead of the pack. A film studies graduate that can help prepare a financing package (that is certainly, assist to create a Film Budget and a simple Strategic Business Plan) would absolutely blow away any Independent Film & Video Production company. Can you imagine an Independent Producer who wouldn’t LOVE to have help with preparing and presenting a financing package?