Since the early days of cinema, with the dawn of the 20th Century and simple standing only projection rooms showing single-take short films, to today’s modern film, TV & media industry, the complex nature of filmmaking has proved to be ever changing, always on the cusp of technological advancement and forever with one step in the future. Filmmaking is an industry rich in employment opportunities, with a flourishing scene for students with the potential to achieve success, reaching for their filmmaking dreams.
Opportunities within the film industry have grown dramatically over time. No longer confined to the wealthy few in Hollywood, filmmaking is now making waves across the globe, from the birth of the Nigerian film industry, ever increasing popularity and global interest in Bollywood, to the incredible growth of the film scene in Hong Kong, Malaysia and many other Asian markets. The chance for aspiring film students to study their craft is now more accessible than ever, and the options of where and what to study are unending.
If you think filmmaking is only for directors, editors and actors then you are very much mistaken. The modern film industry presents opportunities for highly skilled professionals in a huge array of specialisms, from technical or creative, to craft or marketing / commercial. Today’s industry is highly vocational by nature, a factor that can clearly be seen in the sheer range of career opportunities across the board.
Traditional and more well known roles in film, such as that of the Director, Editor, Script Writer or Producer are highly in demand and continually sought after, but employability options do not stop there. The final film would be nothing without a whole team of people playing their part in the production. Music is an integral part of film; from sound engineers, to score composers, to foley artists; as well as an increasing number of roles in crossover specialisms, such as animators, CGI experts, even game designers. Franchising, marketing and commercial roles are all integral to the film industry as well. Now, students and professionals across any number of fields can follow their dreams into film.
Not only are their innumerable options and choices for careers and study fields, but the range of film types, specialisms and genres has dramatically opened up on recent years. The thought of a career or education in film can often conjure up visions of Hollywood blockbuster, big budget, fiction films. This however is no longer representational of the opportunities available in pursuing film. Documentary making, TV production, independent films and many more genres are all seeing a surge in popularity as audience tastes and interests broaden. Nowadays, film festivals and awards for these alternative film styles are growing to a point where they potentially outnumber those for more traditional versions of the art form.
Innovations in filmmaking, not only in the range of specialisms but also in the variety of film genres, are not just stemming from shifts in audience preferences, but from a new generation of film professionals pushing the creative and technical boundaries. Education institutions and universities are acting as artistic hubs for talented individuals to hone their craft and gain the skills and knowledge they need to pursue successful careers in groundbreaking filmmaking.
To stay on the forefront of innovation universities have to continually refine and update their programs, curriculum, teaching and facilities. Cutting edge computer programmes for editing and producing film are integral for students wishing become experienced in industry standard practices. Resources such as cinema screens, green screen areas and mock tv studios or film sets all provide a level of realism for building the skills and knowledge needed for students to hit the ground running in a working environment.
Whilst state-of-the-art technology and facilities are incredibly important, forward thinking film education cannot be measured without considering the quality of the teaching and the focus of the curriculum. The nature of the film industry and of filmmaking education is now highly vocational and experience is greatly valued. Students of film can benefit hugely from knowledge exchange, not only between their peers and tutors, but increasingly from industry professionals and visiting experts.
Many universities boast excellent connections with high profile film professionals, who are able to bring the institutions education experiences in line with the working film industry. For example, Griffith Film School benefits from a close relationship with Lord David Puttnam, producer of many of the 20th century’s most iconic films – Chariots of Fire, The Killing Fields, Bugsy Malone – who leads yearly seminars for students on producing films in the digital era. Chapman University fosters a filmmaker in residence program, where experts from the world of film & television, such as TV Producer Sheldon Epps, who worked on Friends, Frasier and many other TV franchises, spend a semester on campus contributing to teaching programs. University of Wales, Newport even enjoyed a greatly beneficial relationship with the late Ken Russell, pioneering film & TV director, famous for his works such as Women in Love and Tommy.
This culture of visiting professional practitioners provides real exposure to the people who have developed important works in the film industry, helping to inspire future generations of creatives.
It is this kind of inspiration that pushes filmmaking into the future and it is thanks to the increasing opportunities for varied employment, broad specialism options, cutting edge industry technologies and quality education that students of film are enabled to become more successful than ever in pursuing their dreams as professionals within the filmmaking industry.
To get the best head start into the filmmaking industry a solid base of skills and knowledge is second to none, all the better when delivered through a quality film education. Read on for more information on the best film schools for international students, offering leading programs and the highest level of quality educational experiences:
GRIFFITH FILM SCHOOL, GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY – AUSTRALIA
Griffith University, located across five campuses in Brisbane and the Gold Coast in Australia, is one of the leading higher education providers in the Asia-Pacific region. The university is ranked within the top 5% in the world and offers progressive and revolutionary education to over 44,000 students from over 130 countries, aiming to prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of the world after graduation. The Griffith Film School (GFS) is the largest film school in Australia and is a flourishing hub of creativity, offering a range of cutting edge programs to the future generation of filmmakers, animators and designers. A range of world-standard programs is offered at an undergraduate and postgraduate level, across the fields of Film and Screen Media Production, Animation and Games Design. Read the full profile…
DODGE COLLEGE OF FILM AND MEDIA ARTS, CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY – USA
Chapman University is a mid-sized private university in California, with a diverse student body of around 7,500 students from more than 60 different countries. Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media arts is one of the premier film schools in the US and offers a broad array of undergraduate and graduate degrees for students interested in all facets of film and media arts. Dodge College boasts a student filmography of more than 300 feature films and fosters a highly successful Filmmaker-in-Residence initiative where students are able to learn from a whole host of distinguished Hollywood film and television professionals. With state-of-the-art facilities, accomplished faculty and a hands-on learning environment, students are able to benefit from endless opportunities at Dodge College.
SCHOOL OF MEDIA, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH WALES – UK
The University of South Wales was formed in 2013 by the merger of the University of Glamorgan and the University of Wales, Newport. Both the institutions that have come together to create the University of South Wales have a rich and varied history, and can each trace their roots back more than 100 years. The university’s School of Media is renowned for providing some of the leading courses in the fields of Animation, Games, Visual Effects, Journalism and Media. It’s also home to the University’s world-renowned Newport Film School. The range of programmes offered enable students to explore film from a practical or theoretical perspective. So whether students wish to be part of production or better understand film as a major art form, the university’s vast experience of teaching film is able to provide the perfect basis of essential skills and knowledge needed for graduates to succeed in their chosen path.
ACADEMY OF FILM, HONG KONG BAPTIST UNIVERSITY – HONG KONG
Founded in 1956, Hong Kong Baptist University is a publicly funded institution that has gained a reputation for the provision of whole person education delivered by an international team of scholars in a caring and supportive environment. In June 2009 the Academy of Film was established to support Hong Kong’s further development in the creative industries. Students are offered the choice of a wide-range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across the specialisms of film, television, animation, visual and game design; and the Academy also supports academic and creative research projects of faculty members and resident artists. The vision of the Academy is to educate future workers & leaders and to nourish creators & researchers in the field of moving image, a major aspect of modern culture.
REGENT’S SCHOOL OF DRAMA, FILM AND MEDIA, REGENT’S UNIVERSITY – UK
Regent’s University is an independent and not for profit institution, meaning the sole focus is in ensuring that the standard of teaching, the quality of the environment and the student experience are all outstanding. Teaching at Regent’s is in small groups with high contact hours. With students from 140 different nationalities, the community is truly international. Regent’s School of Drama, Film & Media (RSDFM) is a vibrant school led by media industry practitioners, academics and recognised specialists in creative media production. The location in central London – a world centre for the media and creative industries – means that the school is ideally situated to provide invaluable practical work placements at TV, film and theatre production companies in London’s media-land. Almost all undergraduate degrees include an industry placement at the end of the second year, as well as industry and professional skills modules.