The global box office revenue is expected to grow from $38 million to approximately $50 million in 2020, and channels like Netflix now have 139 million subscribers worldwide. With such roaring statistics, don’t ever doubt your career path as a filmmaker!
It is an art of expression and visual creation – If you’re looking for a career away from the cliché of 9 to 5 in office, then film making is for you! There’s no set work routine; you just have to go where the set takes you.
After completing your course in filmmaking diverse career opportunities open their gates for you – what does that even mean? Well, you can work as a scriptwriter, editor, cinematographer, director, producer, production designer, set designer, and much more.
As a filmmaker, you might be in France shooting at 3 a.m. or working on your script during the weekend. If you’re in for a creative adventure – let’s get you reading this career guide, that covers everything you need to know about a successful career in the media and entertainment industry.
What Is Filmmaking?
Filmmaking is a blend of – the art of storytelling, direction, screenplay, cinematography, finalizing the cast, estimating budget, deciding the shooting locations as well as aesthetics and much more. And who are filmmakers? No, they aren’t just directors, they are the creative minds that bring ideas to life, while developing an emotional connection with their audience – filmmakers are responsible for each and every element that goes into filmmaking.
What’s the Role of a Filmmaker?
From the production phase to release – Filmmakers are responsible for every process involved in creating a movie. In short, their role includes –
- Scripting – Filmmaking involves effective communication – seamless delivery of the idea or story to the audience. Filmmakers can get their story from a number of places – they either write it themselves; based on a real idea, hire a writer to develop the script, buy one from a screenwriter, or adapt the idea from a book or play.
- Financing – Idea and the script are the foundation on which filmmakers estimate the budget of the film. It’s rather a financial roadmap of converting the script into an actual movie, for example, paying the crew, renting equipment and studios, finalizing the location, and much more. On the basis of the budget, filmmakers can decide financial sources for the additional cost – whether it’ll be from their own pockets, a third-party funding, etc.
- Casting – Who will convey the story effectively to the audience? Obviously, the cast – it’s the filmmakers’ responsibility to find the suitable cast and decide their roles. Guiding the actors and supporting them throughout the movie is also the filmmakers’ responsibility.
- Getting the people – The movie just doesn’t end with hiring the actors, it also involves hiring makeup artists, choreographers, musicians, editors, directors, marketers, stunt performers, and everyone required in the production and creation of the film.
- Pre-Production – Selecting film locations, getting props, establishing the shooting schedule, coordinating with the cast and crew are some of the phases involved in pre-production (before the actual shoot commences). The filmmaker must ensure that all aspects required for producing the film are in order.
- Production – This is the actual implementation of the script – the phase of actual filming. Here, the filmmaker is responsible for managing the cast, ensuring that everything is within the budget, scheduling scenes, and most importantly creating a movie in the intended style and format.
- Post-Production – The technical phase where managing the editors, special effects, lights, music, and much more commences. Here the filmmakers bring out the real essence of the movie to make it ready for release.
- Release – Taking care of the release and managing its phases are also the filmmakers’ responsibility. Some of which includes, deciding the release date, coordinating with the advertising and public relation team, scheduling the screening, etc.You see, a filmmaker is the medium who weaves together all the loops needed for a good movie.
What Are the Skills Required by a Filmmaker?
Have you seen the details in a movie? The sound of the river, the details of the curve in a drop of water, its dripping sound, the background music – the precision of every shot?
That's exactly what a filmmaker requires – an eye for detail.
Apart from this, there are other aspects like –
- A clear vision – It's the filmmaker who knows exactly what the audience will see, once the movie is out. So, the clarity of what the story is, where it will be heading, how it will be performed by various artists, etc. are all a part of the filmmaker's responsibilities.
- Creativity – What's a story? A product of creative imagination and the urge to express it by getting all the characters alive – that's what filmmakers' do, they breathe life into stories through their creativity.
- Storytelling skills – Often movies don't make it big because they lack proper delivery. And, that's what a professional filmmaker requires – adept storytelling skills to ensure that all the thoughts, dialogues, characters, actions, scenes, go in one direction and deliver one story.
What are the skills you will develop as you go down the path of filmmaking?
- Effective communication – You will have a fine command on your expressive skills and develop your communication abilities. This is required to make writers, actors, designers, understand your idea, as a filmmaker, effectively.
- A taste for aesthetics – The detail-oriented filmmaking career demands visually appealing scenarios, backgrounds, and sets. This is where the factor of aesthetics comes to play – and as you complete your course in filmmaking, you will automatically develop it.
- Leadership – Filmmaker is synonymous with leadership when it comes to developing a film. Filmmakers are responsible to guide the cast and crew members, including editors, photographers, cinematographers, etc.
- Problem-solving skills – It's no doubt that in the movie-making business several scenarios will come up, that will have to be tackled by the filmmakers. Here's where adept problem-solving skills will ensure that the production goes on no matter what.
What Is the Scope of Filmmaking
With the increasing popularity of media channels, the industry definitely needs new talent, perspectives, and stories. And, maybe your dream of working with renowned industry names like Walt Disney, Yash Raj Studios, Zee Cinema will all come true.
- Which cities across the world provide filmmaking opportunities?
The best film schools are often found near industry hubs. This enables students to gain practical as well as real technical knowledge. Some of the major cities include – Los Angeles, New York, and Vancouver.
- Filmmaking career scope in India –
India is the largest producer of films with Bollywood's value being $2.28 billion (138 billion rupees). The demand for films in both national and international markets has risen – this calls for professional filmmakers.
Not just Bollywood, but Marathi, Bengali, Tamilian, Telegu, Kannada, Malayalam, and Punjabi filmmaking come under the huge umbrella of regional movies. Other popular filming platforms include the local television channels, advertisement industries, short films, and media channels, like Amazon Prime and Hotstar, employ a humongous number of directors, cinematographers, screenwriters, and much more.
- Which cities in India help with filmmaking careers?
Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, New Delhi, Bangalore, and Hyderabad provide opportunities to the talented workforce in the area of films, television, and even theatre.
Now that we have understood the areas and scope of filmmaking let's understand the most important part – The Degree!
How to Identify the Best Filmmaking Degree for You?
Maybe you won't get into the best college or university, but should that stop you from achieving your dream? The simple answer here is – No. If you really want something you get it, this question bank might help you better with the introspection
What are the career opportunities after the Filmmaking course?
The film making career offers both commercial as well as creative and artistic opportunities. You need to find the undergraduate program that suits you and aligns with your passion. Here are some of the major job roles you can pursue –
- Production Designers – They are responsible for taking care of the overall visual appeal of the movie. The role of a production designer is to coordinate with the director and producers for designing and creating props, costumes, graphics, lighting, makeup and much more.
- Screenwriters – The film world's novelists, storytellers, playwrights – their responsibility is to transform ideas into stories. Compelling narratives often reach the directors and producers, who make the decision of turning it into a movie. In certain cases, screenwriters are hired to re-work on an already existing idea, story, or script for additional dialogues or entertainment material.
- Cinematographers – They work closely with the directors and share their artistic and creative vision – often behind the camera taking the actual shots. They are also known as camera specialists, photography directors, or DP. In case of huge sets of big movies, the cinematographers coordinate with a large group of camera technicians, light operators, and others involved in the shoot.
- Actors – Lead actors, supporting actors, comedians, extras – on-screen talent in the film world, whose job is to bring ideas, dialogues, scripts, and the anticipated movie actions to live.
- Film Directors – With a blend of effective communication skills, technical knowledge, aesthetic sense, and organizational abilities, a director's vision creates the movie! They coordinate with the designers, producers, actors, sound engineers, special effect technicians, editors, and everyone involved in the project – their responsibility also exceeds toward budgeting and financial tracking of the movies. All the daily activities that take place on a set are carried forth under the director's supervision.
- Producers – In literal terms, they produce the movie – budgeting, identifying the actors and making them sign contracts, hiring a director, raising finance, coordinating with off-set activities, motivating and helping the directors, and being a part of the creative process are some of the responsibilities of a producer.
- Film Editing – They belong to the post-production team and their job is coordinating closely with the director to eliminate scenes and retain the required footage for the final movie. Currently, editors even work on-set to produce real-time footage to get the final shots ready and get the movie running.Apart from the aforementioned roles, there are the other roles directly associated with filmmaking that you can pursue –
- Historian and Journalist
- Makeup Artist and Costume Designer
- Digital Videographer
- Film Archivist
- Film Critic
- Film Business
- Lighting Designer
- Sound Engineer
- VFX Artist and Animator
What Is the Curriculum?
To understand what you will learn after enrolling in a particular college or institute, you need to check the course curriculum or the syllabus.
And, in case of filmmaking, you will stumble across a lot of similar subjects, some of which include –
- Film Theory
- Film History
- Film Business
- Digital Editing
- Soundtrack and Music
- Digital Filmmaking
What Are the Eligibility Criteria for Filmmaking Degrees?
You can pursue a graduate degree in filmmaking as soon as you complete your 12th grade in any stream, irrespective of whether science, commerce, or arts.
Let's walk through some filmmaking courses –
- Associate Degree in Film Studies
- Degree in Film Making – BA
- Degree in Digital Filmmaking – BSc
- Digital Filmmaking – Diploma
- Short Filmmaking
- Bachelor's Degree in Cinema Studies
- Master's Degree in Film Studies
What Skills Will You Develop in Terms of Tools and Technology at a Filmmaking School?
|Graphics and Photo Editing
||Audio and Lighting
||Audio and Visual
|Desktop Design and Publishing
How Much Do Filmmakers Earn/ What's the Salary of a Filmmaker?
Several elements come into play while deciding the money a filmmaker makes, like –
- The production budgets
- Downtime between projects
- Your network and recognition
The salaries also vary depending on the person's experience, talent, and other intangibles. Furthermore, the pay scale varies from project to project. Initially, you might have to take up work to earn credits rather than money. The film industry offers one of the most challenging and exciting work environments – You cannot take up this or any career solely for money.
Here's the median income for some filmmaking roles –
||Annual Salary (Avg. to High)
||₹1M – ₹2M
||₹1,000,00 onwards (depends on the skillset)
||₹696K – ₹1,874K
|Video and Film Editor
||₹407K – ₹4M
||₹617K – ₹1,713K
|Multimedia Artist and Animator
||₹433K – ₹1,185K
|Scriptwriter and Author
||₹40,000 onwards (depends on the skillset)
|Sound and Broadcast Engineer & Technician
||₹396K – ₹1M
*Note: Salary estimates are based on salaries submitted anonymously to Payscale by individuals belonging to the respective job titles.
With the appropriate proportion of hard work, determination, and zeal for creativity you can earn the money you've always wanted.
What Are the Other Related Occupations in Filmmaking?
The film industry is a part of the big entertainment and media world, that entails television, music, video games, and other humanity and cultural sectors. It is also spread across other areas of cable television, internet streaming, mobile applications, digital platforms, along with telecom and communication industries.
The requirement of filmmakers in other industrial areas has escalated as a major part of the audience prefers visual mediums.
- Reaching out to the masses – Creative ideas, artistic approach, and effective communication – put together in an enticing visual medium attracts the masses. Whether education or fashion, short films; nowadays, help businesses reach their target audience.
- Researchers, Professors, and Academicians – All require skilled filmmakers to document and record their research and findings.
- Vlogging and Blogging – Who isn't familiar with the demands of the new era that's likely to impact the future? Yes, filmmaking has already spread its wings in social media in the form of vlogs, blogs, etc.
Some Tips to Sharpen Your Filmmaking Abilities –
The journey doesn't end with getting admission in the film school, it's rather the beginning that will define your style of walking down the academy awards aisle! Look out for these abilities to stay ahead of the game –
- Identify your style – Where do you see yourself working in the long run? Do you prefer making documentaries, blockbuster movies, short films, commercials, music and artistic videos, or feature films? Once you identify your style, the journey of filmmaking gets easier.
- Look at the bigger picture – The next tip is to develop multiple angles – while working as a filmmaker, you will have to develop several perspectives. For example, imagining yourself as a scriptwriter, actor, crew member, set developer, and most importantly the audience; while maintaining your personal creative touch.
- Watch all movies – Want to be involved in all the class discussions? Watch all the movies, analyze it from each and every angle, understand the effort put into cinematography, sound, special effects, acting, directing, and scripting. What's next? Get that bucket full of popcorn and commence the marathon of classics, blockbusters, action, and all others.
- Develop your flair for aesthetics – Observation is the key to getting inspiration for filmmakers. Don't rest your eyes, let them wander and analyze simple tasks and note them down in your journal. Even a simple walk can give you ample food for thought – keep a record of your ideas, the kind of arrangement that pleased you, the colors that delivered vibrancy. Your filmmaking school will give you opportunities to turn these ideas into films.
- Learn from the success stories – Read about the directors, producers, and artists who have accomplished their dreams in the world of filmmaking and learn from their experiences. This will prove to be advantageous in the long run when you are strategizing and laying the groundwork for your movie.
What Are the Factors to Consider While Choosing a Film School?
- The course duration – What's your aim like? Do you want to develop your artistic and creative abilities or enter the industry as soon as possible? According to your preference you can even opt for liberal arts along with your filmmaking course.
- Institute's reputation – If you wish to pursue a degree with high industry standards, look for the institute's accreditation status and certifications. Check the student review, ask the graduates from that particular institute about their learning experience. Ensure that the school provides hands-on training rather than just theory – remember filmmaking is an art of sharpening the storyteller in you.
- The teaching staff – Often on the institute's website you can find a section called faculty – check their experience, their contribution in the filmmaking industry, and read about their work. This will help you gain an in-depth insight into what the school has to offer.
- Location and facilities – Check for colleges that provide state-of-the-art facilities and if you're planning to move to another city, don't forget to get in touch with the student council or the institute itself. This will ensure that you get the best accommodation in the institute's vicinity.
If you're looking for a media school to kickstart your journey as a filmmaker, you can opt for Seamedu. The institute was founded with the goal of bridging the gap between the industry and academia. Our experienced faculty, state-of-the-art technology, and meticulously programmed courses will help you pursue a promising filmmaking career!
Keep working on your portfolio and build networks, you never know, Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes might be waiting for you!
While the information listed here is research-based with the best attempts to keep it accurate and reliable, the actuals may vary according to the course curriculum, facility-location, and an individual’s specialization, experience, current industry scenario, economic conditions, and several other factors. We do not recommend or endorse any views expressed within the third-party information contained here. Employment opportunities or any included salary figures are not guaranteed.