If you are interested in a career in filmmaking, film workshops and film schools are good places to gain formal training. Add experience, creativity, and talent and you may have what it takes to get an entry-level job in this dynamic and exciting profession. Employment in the motion picture and video industries is expected to increase over the next few years. While competition will be very strong for high-profile jobs as writers, directors, and producers, a number of other filmmaking professionals will be in greater demand.
Filmmaking is a complex process involving many different skilled jobs. Producers, actors, writers, and directors are the most visible of the filmmaking professionals, but they represent a small percentage of the number of people employed in the film industry. Filmmaking professionals include computer specialists, artists and animators, graphic designers, audio and video technicians, camera operators, writers, editors, graphic designers, and more. According to the U.S. Government, the best job prospects in filmmaking over the next decade will be for computer specialists, editors, sound engineers, computer animators, and digital filmmakers. Small and independent film companies may offer the best entry-level job opportunities in filmmaking.
According to government statistics, most producers and directors work in the motion picture, video, radio, and television industries. As you would expect, California employed the most producers and directors in 2009, and paid the highest salaries. New York ranked second.
Sound engineers operate the equipment to record music, voices, and sound effects. They learn how to set up and operate the sound equipment at film schools and colleges. California and New York have ten times the number of sound engineers than any other states.
While sound engineers produce the audio portion of films and videos, camera operators produce the images. They learn the art and craft at film schools, colleges, universities, or photographic institutes. Oregon is the top-paying state, even though California employs over ten times as many sound engineers. As with most film-related occupations, competition for top jobs is keen.
Film and video editors edit soundtracks, film, and video. Some camera operators do their own editing, while use professional editors. California has the largest number of film and video editors and is the top-paying state.
Film Programs, Directing Schools, and Film Workshops
As with most professions, both experience and training are needed to succeed in filmmaking. More and more colleges and universities are offering undergraduate and graduate film programs as well as non-degree courses. Technical institutes, art schools, and private career colleges have courses on the more technical and creative aspects of filmmaking.
Another way to learn about filmmaking is through self-study programs. Online classes, correspondence courses, and DVD courses allow aspiring filmmakers to learn about writing, directing, sound engineering, and camera work at their own pace while they fulfill their job and family responsibilities. Depending on the program, such film school starter courses may cover writing techniques, cinematography, dialog, content, and action techniques. A home study course can be the first step toward an exciting and rewarding career in the dynamic field of filmmaking.
Watch the full interview and her film “We Go Way Back” uncut and uninterrupted on the premiere of Backstory: The Filmmaker’s Vision, Saturday, March 12 at 9pm on UWTV, channel 27 in the Puget Sound region. Take a look behind the lens with Backstory: The Filmmaker’s Vision, produced by UWTV in collaboration with the Seattle International Film Festival. Each week, host Andrew Tsao, Associate Professor at the UW School of Drama and director himself, interviews filmmakers to get the real story behind their work and the filmmaking process. Then watch the film on UWTV, uncut and uninterrupted. And don’t forget to join the conversation with other film lovers on Twitter by using hashtag #backstory. Learn more and watch full episodes at uwtv.org
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visit www.semiautomaticfilmmaking.org for more info The goal of Semi-Automatic Filmmaking (SAF) is to help level the playing field between films made in huge studios and those made by small independent artists. SAF will achieve this goal by developing open-source software (and maybe hardware) tools that partially automate difficult and tedious aspects of the filmmaking process such as organization and rote structuring. As a proof-of-concept for this idea, for my Master’s Thesis at Georgia Tech, I developed the free Android app, Documatic, to help automate portions of the documentary creation process (Download here: market.android.com ) I think that really powerful tools can be developed from this simple idea and so I am releasing all the code as open for development on GitHub (github.com I am trying to drum up support to develop more opensource tools for small independent filmmakers. If you are inspired to join the team to help with the development, please go to the main website: www.semiautomaticfilmmaking.org
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