A film degree in itself is unlikely to pay the huge premium, for the most part, that a degree in literature might. But, once it was done, as the director of the Film Department said:
To put it quite simply: Yes, it’s a big investment. It pays off!
How much is that degree?
(The university is based in London but offers courses in Berlin, Munich and Tokyo.) The cost of a film degree is £11,500-£20,000 depending on location.
The cost of a film course: £10,000-£12,000
The average cost of a film production in Australia, with the budget and film school fees given to me by the filmmaker, was roughly $15,000 in 2008—including $4,000 for travel costs.
If filming was all you did, it’d be worth it.
The answer is quite simple: a film degree is likely to open doors. The student will have knowledge and insight into the business of film making and filmmaking, will be well acquainted with studios, directors, distributors, production companies and others in it. Not to mention, they’ll be able to develop skills to use in their future careers as a business owner or director of a production company. These are skills we still tend to take for granted, especially if we work on a film for six months or even a year. But in 2015, when our careers as filmmakers were starting to take shape, we could benefit from some basic filmmaking knowledge.
Can a film degree help you get a job?
It depends. There are two types of careers to consider here: directors and film producers. If your dream is to work in a Hollywood studio or production company, a film degree will be ideal—assuming you have sufficient funds. So for those who aim to work in an industry that relies on talent, perhaps having a degree could help.
However, if you want to work in a small, independent production house or independent production agency as a production director or writer, you’d need a lot more money or resources. An associate’s degree in any discipline is unlikely to lead to a role in the creative life, as we have seen; what you’ll be looking for instead is more than just knowledge and experience.
The second way to get a foot in the door is to work alongside directors and producers in an acting or writing workshop. This will certainly help, but you’ll have
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