Move over Hollywood – Indian cinema is here!
Yes, you heard that right. As of 2014, Indian cinema is a bigger enterprise than Hollywood. India is the biggest producer of films with a total of 1,969 movies produced. In 2015, India had a total box office collection of US$1.6 billion. The overall revenue generated by the Indian film industry is projected to reach US$3 billion this year. In 2013, India had 12,000 single screen theaters and 1200 multiplex screens. A whopping 52 billion people watched movies screened at these theaters in 2015.
But if you thought that our films drew only local audiences, think again. Indian films have a worldwide appeal and are screened in over 90 countries!
Phew! Who would have thought that entertainment would be such serious business? Given the scale and potential of the Indian film industry, it’s rather unfortunate that some people still feel pensive about a career in movie making which is why they avoid getting a formal education in the field.
They (or rather, their parents) have all kinds of apprehensions and misconceptions about a career in film making ranging from bizarre to plain illogical. This post is meant to address some of these concerns.
- Film making is not a real career
This is one of the most deep-rooted prejudices against film making. People tend to think of film making more as an expensive hobby than a real, serious career. Let it be known that there is a whole lot of hard work involved in film making. What you see on screen is not even a fraction of what goes into making a movie. If you don’t believe it, just try watching a film shoot. As stressful as it looks, it is a highly satisfying experience for those involved in the making of a film – right from the actors and director to the spot boys and sound designers. It is as real a career as it can get and offers the same cocktail that any job would – money, excitement, challenge, creative fulfilment, growth, and STABILITY.
- There aren’t enough employment opportunities in films
Ha! If that were true then the only people working on the sets of a movie would be the film’s director and cast. Believe it or not, the film industry is among the biggest employers in the country. It employed 1.8 million people in 2008-2009. Job opportunities exist in different areas of film making including direction, production, sound, makeup, costume, script writing, camera, editing, lighting, graphics, music, set, location, budgeting, etc.
- It is difficult for outsiders to break it into the film industry
It’s not entirely difficult to see where this belief is coming from. Kids of movie stars often venture into film making as a natural career choice. It’s like Sunil Gavaskar, Roger Binny or Sachin Tendulkar’s sons venturing into the world of cricket. This feeds the idea that outsiders don’t get a break in movies that easily.
But, if that indeed is the case, then how come a random search for film making jobs on popular job portal naukri.com yielded more than 8,000 results?
Yes, on the outside it might seem like the film industry is like a close-knit family, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t welcome new talent with open arms. Like any other profession, you need to impress your employer with your credentials, sweep them off their feet with your passion and enthusiasm, impress them with your talent and creativity, and astound them with your hard work. If you have the right skills, you will not find it hard to get your foot in the door.
- Film industry is replete with substance abuse and promiscuity
Yes, there are temptations galore when you work in an industry that’s as glamorous as film making. However, it all boils down to the character, values, and belief system of an individual. Those who have strength of character and perseverance conduct themselves as ethical professionals throughout their careers. And who says people who have other careers are not vulnerable to such temptations?
- Film making cannot be taught in school
That’s wrong at so many levels. Film making encompasses a number of skills all of which can be, should be and are taught at schools. Can you imagine learning sound engineering on the job? Or coming to the set as an assistant camera person with “photography enthusiast” as your only credential? These are the kinds of misconceptions that prevent people from getting hired. Yes, there are certain skills that are inherent in people and going to a film school ensures that these skills are polished and shine through when you put them to use. Formal training gives you a direction and that’s what you need to get started.
- Film schools are expensive
Rather than an expense, look at it as an investment into your (or your kid’s) future. Clichés aside, the cost of your education would depend on the type of program you choose and the film making school you attend. If you are facing financial obstacles, explore the option of applying for a scholarship or taking out a student loan. Every penny you spend will be worth it in the long run. Ask our alumni and they will vouch for this.
On that note, we offer six different filmmaking courses in India, through two campuses. These mass media courses include:
- Degree in filmmaking
- Short filmmaking
- Diploma in filmmaking
- Cinematography courses
- Digital film editing
- Film direction courses
- Film making is all about networking
Networking in film making is about as important as in any other career. Who you know in the industry may prove to be useful, but only up until a point and no further. Your contacts will not make you successful. Your talent, hard work, and determination will.
So, if you have your heart set on a career in film making, don’t let some preconceived notions stop you. Chase your dream and train well to step into the film world all guns blazing.
See you at the movies (or in them)!