Bachelor’s in Film Program Guide

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July 1, 2021

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Although there have always been careers in the film industry, the age of social media has created many employment opportunities, some of which you may not have even considered. Several influencers on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have earned a bachelor's degree in film production.

In 2021, employers are hiring graduates with a bachelor's degree in film for jobs in industries that previously did not have a need for talent. Some of the highest paying production positions are in advertising, public relations, and entrepreneurial ventures, whereas in previous years, many roles were in broadcasting and camera operations.

A bachelor's degree in film can help you make the most of these employment trends.

Should I Get a Bachelor's in Film?

If you have been an active participant in community theatre, high school musical productions, or even visual or graphic arts, a bachelor's degree in film studies may be a solid career option for you.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 10% job growth for producers and directors between 2019 and 2029.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 10% job growth for producers and directors between 2019 and 2029. Much of this demand results from the rising popularity of on-demand movies, streaming shows, and social media, specifically for reality entertainment. During the same period, the BLS also projects 18% job growth for film and video editors and camera operators.

What Will I Learn in a Film Bachelor's Program?

During a bachelor's degree in film, students learn about film history and theory, scriptwriting, cinematography, audio production, and post-production. Some programs offer electives in areas, such as illustration, musical production, stop-motion animation, television screenwriting, and Hollywood film scores.

Many programs also partner with business leaders like Hulu, YouTube, Marvel, Disney and DreamWorks, Pixar, and independent film festival groups to create internship opportunities.

You can pursue a bachelor of arts (BA) or a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) degree in film production or in motion pictures history, theory, and criticism. If you enjoy the creative aspect of production, animation, or illustration, you can also learn specific industry software and tools.

Many companies offer independent training and certifications to master programs used in film production, such as StudioBinder, Adobe Creative Cloud, Final Cut Pro X, Celtx, DaVinci Resolve, Gaffer Systems 3-D Modeling, and pCam Film & Digital Pro.

Concentrations

This concentration covers film aesthetics, theory, social, and historical context. Students gain the skills needed to analyze motion pictures using critical thinking and analysis. Programs often offer an opportunity for students to practice new skills through internships with motion picture companies or studios.

Cinematography is a hands-on concentration that culminates in a practicum project. Students learn about screenwriting, digital and motion photography, audio and video production, and post-production.

This concentration covers screenwriting, visual storytelling, animation, audio and video production, lighting, and casting. Students can often also participate in internships producing short films, documentaries, or reality television projects.

Some programs offer a plan of study from pre-production to post-production. This includes scriptwriting, casting, producing, directing, cinematography, editing, scene design, audio production, and video editing. Students may also study art appreciation in film, television, and new media and create a final project.

This concentration provides students with a comprehensive education in the theory and history of moving images with specialized training in managing creative nonfiction or narrative productions. These programs often provide internship opportunities, as well as networking opportunities with successful professionals in the entertainment industry.

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What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Film?

Many careers for graduates with a bachelor's degree in film relate to written, visual and auditory storytelling. These degrees may also open specialized doors in animation, visual production, and illustration.

Self-employment is popular in the film industry. Although it often provides for less restrictive work schedules and more travel, it can also be more intense in terms of stability. Graduates often pursue careers as animators, cinematographers, screenwriters, and directors in Hollywood.

Popular Career Paths

Animation Cinematographer Film/TV Producer Screenwriters Director

Popular Continuing Education Paths

Master's Degree in Graphic Design Master's Degree in Creative Writing Master's Degree in Technology Master's Degree in Illustration Master's Degree in Music

How Much Money Can I Make With a Bachelor's in Film?

According to PayScale, film and television producers earn an average annual salary of $70,610. According to the BLS, producers and directors make a median annual salary of $76,400, while video editors and camera operators earn $61,900 per year.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Film Programs

Is a film degree worth it?

If you are a creative person seeking a career that rewards you for innovative ideas and skills, then a film degree may be a good fit. The foundational knowledge and skills you learn in a film program apply to several growing industries and roles.

How much does it cost to get a bachelor's in film?

Program costs vary by program type and by school. At top private schools, students should prepare to spend up to $60,000 per year for their film degree. Students can save money by pursuing online bachelor's degrees in film.

Do film majors need math?

Most film study programs require students to complete a foundational set of courses in English, humanities, social studies, math, and natural science.

What classes do film majors take?

In a film program, students learn about film history and theory, documentaries, scriptwriting, cinematography, audio production, post-production, and digital photography. Some programs offer electives in illustration, musical production, and television screenwriting.

How can I get into the film industry?

Earning a film degree provides you with the foundational knowledge and skills needed to qualify for entry-level careers in the film and entertainment industry. Completing an industry-focused internship during your program may also provide you with a competitive advantage in the job market.

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