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Guide to Studying Film Making

Film Making guide to studying - Fotolia © BillionPhotos.com
Fotolia © BillionPhotos.com
A Film Making degree could lead to you becoming the
next Quentin Tarantino or Kathryn Bigelow

What is Film Making?

  • Film Making degrees, as the name suggests, provide you with the necessary skills and experience to help launch a career in Film Making.
  • Degrees often have a strong focus on practical work, meaning that rather than learning simply learning how to make a film, you get hands-on experience and an opportunity to apply the methods and skills as you learn them.
  • Among the numerous aspects of such a degree, a typical Film Making course may involve learning skills such as editing, script-writing and production.

Specific or general skills developed

A Film Making degree, unsurprisingly, provides you with a wide range of skills involved in the field, some of which are mentioned above. On a more general scale, Film Making graduates can lay claim to the following talents:

  • Taking a film from a concept to the finished article will help to develop your general ability to develop creative ideas and see them through to the end.
  • Being in charge of many aspects of your own film, such as editing and directing, will improve your overall project management skills.
  • In the modern era, the production of a film relies heavily on the use of technology. By utilising the myriad of multimedia programmes at your disposal, you will develop a demonstrable ability to use IT – a skill that is useful far beyond the realms of Film Making.
  • As with any degree, Film Making courses will have deadlines by which projects – be they an essay, a film, or another form of assessment – must be submitted. Ensuring that you meet these deadlines will require you to develop your time-management skills, as well as your ability to motivate yourself and work independently.
  • With its intrinsically artistic nature, Film Making courses will require you to reflect on your own work. The ability to self-evaluate and highlight the areas in which you could improve is another skill that is desirable in employees from any profession, and will prove invaluable even if you decide that a career in Film Making is not for you.

Why study Film Making?

  • If you've always dreamed of working in Film Making but feel as though you lack the technical skills to start your career, then a degree in this area is the perfect solution. A Film Making degree will harness your raw passion and talent and teach you how to channel this into a piece of visual art, all the while giving you the creative freedom to produce a piece of work that matters to you.
  • Many universities that offer Film Making courses have contacts and links with professional organisations in the film industry. As such, students often get the opportunity to attend lectures, workshops and even work placements with people who have successfully built a career in the field.
  • Through studying Film Making, you will develop a greater understanding and appreciation of the ideas being conveyed by a movie, as well as the methods used to produce it. Low-budget, independent or indie films often focus on more alternative themes, and as they are not always intended for a mainstream audience, the ways in which the ideas are presented can also be groundbreaking and unique. By studying Film Making, you may find yourself fascinated in genres of film that you had never previously taken an interest in.

What degree can I get?

  • Degrees in Film Making often come under slightly different names; Film Production, Digital Film Making or Film, Media and Music, to name but a few. Given the range of different focuses of Film Making, types of degree can vary too; if you choose a degree that has an emphasis on the technical side of the process, then the degree may well be a BSc or a BDes. Contrastingly, courses that focus on the creative aspects of Film Making are more likely to award a BA, and beyond this there are a range of foundation degrees and diplomas available to study, providing a wealth of opportunities to study Film Making.

What qualifications do I need?

  • When looking at prospective courses, we recommend that you always look at the specific entry criteria, as different universities and different courses will often have different demands. Despite this, students working towards a Film Making bachelor's degree have usually taken a relevant subject (Art, Drama, Media Studies etc.) at A-Level, Scottish Highers or Advanced Highers, with experience in Film Making always an added bonus to put on your application (though not a necessity). 
  • Entry requirements for foundation degrees are usually lower, and by completing one you can vastly improve your chances of being accepted to study for a full honours degree, even if you do not meet other entry criteria such as grades.

Search through Film Making courses using our Course Chooser.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

  • There are a number of postgraduate courses available in Film Making, including the opportunity to study more specific subjects such as Animation or Cinematography. As with undergraduate degrees, the type of degree received depends on the focus of the course, with more technically-focused degrees achieving an MSc, and more creatively-oriented courses awarding an MA or MFA. Aside from this, there are a various postgraduate diplomas and certificates available.

What are the job opportunities?

  • Unsurprisingly, the vast array of job opportunities available to Film Making graduates are in the media, with specific roles including Film Editor, Camera Operator and Runner. 
  • As the industry is so competitive, networking, volunteering and internships are just a few ways to present yourself with more opportunities, as well as showing a determination and passion for Film Making. 

Below are just some of the many types of organisation that a Film Making graduate could expect to be working for:

  • National television broadcasters
  • Advertising agencies
  • Websites
  • Film production companies.

Check out our subject guide for Drama, Dance & Cinematics.