Graduates from the Film Studies program have a new opportunity in film & video production. Of course, 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 all the introduction of digital equipment the scope of film & video production has widened. The standard Hollywood styled film production has stopped being the only way to an occupation for film graduates. There are a large number of opportunities in audio and visual applications throughout business, government as well as the entertainment industry. Which means Chance for the keenest graduates to generate their own film & video projects, or even to land the most interesting positions with leading film & video production companies.
Financing has been a dirty word for many years within the film industry. The ‘Blue Suits’ as well as the cold heart of the banker are synonymous with the enemy from the creative. However, in this particular new era of opportunity you have to be both ‘Blue Suit’ as well as the creative.
How will you try to understand film financing, film budgeting, etc.? First let’s take a look at Film Studies programs. There are plenty of Film Study programs available since I think it is confusing, and I’ve worked within the film industry for over 20 years. The Universities take a Liberal Arts degree strategy to their curriculums, and also the Colleges/Schools are primarily having a hands-on technical approach. In either case, it is actually unarguable that Film Studies is large business. The subsequent excerpt through the New York Times Company, published
March 6, 2005©, managed to make it clear to me how large Kia Jam really is:
“Some 600 universites and colleges in the usa offer programs in film studies or related subjects, a number which includes grown steadily over 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 a minumum of one cinema/ television class.”
Which College, School or University will best prepare the graduate for any career in film & video? When a student has invested two to four years of their lives in this degree, just how can they transform it into a worthwhile career?
Let’s see what the Universities say about their own programs, and the kind of results they expect – that is certainly, exactly what the Graduate is going to be able to when entering the job force. This promotional letter, posted on a single University’s website, says everything:
“A major in Film Studies is not really an occupational or professional degree. A sound program of studies in this discipline, however, should qualify an individual for a variety of vocational possibilities. Obviously an individual should employ their understanding of film either in a creative or even a practical capacity and, in any case, exercise the judgment and initiative that the rigorous quest for an important in Film Studies should develop.”
Using ‘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 amount of money! If the word cash is brought up in any way, it’s merely a handshake as well as a nod. Most undergraduate programs have hardly any 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 reason behind the void of data on things like Film Budgets, Cost Reports, etc. inside the academic sector comes from the large 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 be 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 new crop of Independent Film & Video makers intend to make their very own projects, find nanuxb own financing and do their particular film budgeting and reporting of production costs. It really is even increasingly feasible for producers to distribute their own projects on the internet.
Believe me, the film school graduate who has a complete understanding 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 that can help create a financing package (that is, help to make a Film Budget as well as a simple Business Plan) would absolutely blow away any Independent Film & Video Production company. Can you imagine an Independent Producer who wouldn’t Like to have help with preparing and presenting a financing package?