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 find financing for your, or your employer’s, projects.
Using the development of digital equipment the scope of film & video production has widened. The typical Hollywood styled film production is no longer the only real route to an occupation for film graduates. You will find a multitude of opportunities in audio and visual applications throughout business, government and the entertainment industry. That means Chance of the keenest graduates to generate their own film & video projects, or land probably the most interesting positions with leading film & video production companies.
Financing is a dirty word for a long time in the film industry. The ‘Blue Suits’ and the cold heart of the banker are synonymous with the enemy in the creative. However, in this new era of opportunity you need to be both ‘Blue Suit’ and the creative.
How can you try to understand film financing, film budgeting, etc.? First let’s take a look at Film Studies programs. There are so many Film Study programs available now that I think it is confusing, and I’ve worked inside the film industry for more than 20 years. The Universities take a Liberal Arts degree strategy to their curriculums, as well as the Colleges/Schools are primarily getting a hands-on technical approach. Either way, it is unarguable that Film Studies is large business. The following excerpt through the Ny Times Company, published
March 6, 2005©, managed to make it clear in my opinion how big variety.com is really:
“Some 600 colleges and universities in the usa offer programs in film studies or related subjects, a number that has grown steadily through the years…. In the University of Southern California, whose School of Cinema-Television will be the nation’s oldest film school (established in 1929), fully half of the university’s 16,500 undergraduate students take at least one cinema/ television class.”
Which College, School or University will best prepare the graduate for any career in film & video? In case a student has invested two to four numerous years of their lives in this particular degree, just how can they turn 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 a single University’s website, says everything:
“A significant in Film Studies will not be an occupational or professional degree. A solid program of studies within this discipline, however, should qualify an individual for a number of vocational possibilities. Obviously a person will need to employ her or his knowledge about film either in a creative or a practical capacity and, in either case, exercise the judgment and initiative that a rigorous quest for an important in Film Studies should develop.”
Using ‘should’ twice in three sentences tells the tale – 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 cash! If the word funds are brought up at all, it’s only a handshake and a nod. Most undergraduate programs have hardly any reference to Film Budgeting, and things like Cost Reports and Business Plans are treated as foreign topics entirely. The Masters programs are only slightly better.
The reason for the void of information on things such as Film Budgets, Cost Reports, etc. inside the academic sector comes from the major Hollywood production machine. The perpetual negotiations using the three big guilds (SAG, DGA and WGA), as well as 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 is a huge demand to find out much more about film financing, film budgeting, etc. The new crop of Independent Film & Video makers want to make their own projects, find nanuxb own financing and do their own film budgeting and reporting of production costs. It is even increasingly easy for producers to distribute their own projects over the internet.
Believe me, the film school graduate that has a thorough 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, help to make a Film Budget and a simple Strategic Business Plan) would absolutely blow away any Independent Film & Video Production company. Could you imagine a completely independent Producer who wouldn’t Like to have assistance with preparing and presenting a financing package?