Film Career Requirements
Whether it's a big-budget summer blockbuster or a small indie, a film is always a team effort. From set design and construction to cinematography, producing, directing, and acting, there are literally hundreds of ways to make film into a career. Of the hundreds of film careers, however, actors, producers, and directors may be the most sought-after.
If you're interested in pursing a film career in acting, a high school diploma may be sufficient if you have an innate talent for portraying convincing roles, as well as extensive experience in the drama department. You may have a better chance, though, if you prepare for a film career with formal dramatic training through an acting conservatory or a university drama program. A bachelor's degree in drama or theatre typically includes classes in radio and television broadcasting, communications, film, theatre, drama, or dramatic literature. If you decide you want a film career behind the camera, as a director, you might build on a bachelor's degree with a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in drama. A typical MFA program in theatre or dramatic arts would include coursework covering stage speech and movement, directing, playwriting, and design, as well as intensive acting workshops.
Alternately, you can build a film career as a director by earning an associate or bachelor's degree and applying to the Assistant Directors Training Program--administered by the Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. It's a highly competitive program, so practical film career experience is a requirement.
Film producers make film careers on the business side of film--from selecting scripts and developing ideas, to securing financing, and determining project budgets. Film producers, unlike directors and actors, don't have any specific career requirements. However, a background in talent management can be helpful. Many producers start their film careers as actors, or behind the camera. They may also have business backgrounds. To work as a producer, you benefit from college courses or a college degree in arts management or non-profit management.
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