10 Careers for Film Majors
From Hitchcock to Spielberg, you're fascinated by film of all kinds. You love to imagine new worlds and alternative endings. You drive friends crazy because you overanalyze all of their favourite TV shows.
Sound like you? Chances are, you're a film major. (Or, at least, you're thinking about becoming one.)
Film studies is a wide-ranging degree that combines technical skills with theoretical knowledge. Over the course of the program, students learn to produce film, edit footage, operate a camera and a boom, and more. They also dive into the analytical side of film. Topics like film history, genre studies, and critique all come into the mix.
Some students specialize in a single area, like screenwriting or production. Others graduate with a broad range of interests and knowledge. Whatever the specifics, all film studies majors gain valuable transferrable skills. They learn to manage their time, collaborate, think critically, and manage budgets. They understand the power of visual language, the art of persuasion, and the secret to crafting a compelling story.
Together, these qualities prepare them for success—both within the film industry and beyond.
This article will be covering the following careers:
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Editor, producer, director, screenwriter, set designer—these are just a few film careers to consider. Depending on their skills, interests, and experience, film students can end up in any of these roles. Many start in an entry-level position, working as production assistants or editing interns. With time, they build connections and a portfolio, climbing their way up the ranks.
A filmmaker, or film director, is someone who is in charge of making, leading, and developing movie productions.
2. Social Fundraiser
Social fundraisers raise money for organizations through crowdfunding techniques. They use social media and other digital promotion strategies to connect to audiences. Film students understand the power of storytelling. They know how to craft campaigns that persuade and inspire, which helps them thrive in this role.
A social fundraiser is a public relations professional who works on behalf of businesses or non-profit organizations to raise funds via private donations or grants.
Journalism is changing. As more publications go digital, news is taking new forms. By 2021, 82% of internet traffic is expected to be video. Film studies graduates can take advantage of the growing demand for visual content. Using their technical skills, they'll produce high quality videos for news outlets of all kinds.
A journalist is someone who investigates, collects and presents information as a news story.
4. Project Manager
Film school can be an extremely hectic experience. Students juggle multiple projects at once, taking on many different roles. They learn to collaborate with teams, set and meet deadlines, craft schedules, delegate tasks, and more. All of these skills make them excellent project managers. In this role, they'll work with organizations and businesses to set goals, then achieve them as efficiently as possible.
A project manager is a motivated and effective leader who is accountable for the success or failure of a project.
Publicists build relationships between media and individuals or organizations. They craft press releases, pitch story ideas, and—hopefully—get media coverage for their employers. Like the film industry, this career is all about communication and connection. Extraverted film studies majors are perfect candidates for the job.
A publicist, also known as a public relations specialist, is someone who generates media coverage for their client in order to promote them to the public.
6. Advertising Manager
Advertising and film share some key qualities. Like film, advertising uses digital media to make audiences think and feel a certain way. It also relies heavily on storytelling—visually, textually, musically. With their screenwriting and video production skills, film studies majors are cut out for the role.
An advertising manager is someone who plans and directs the promotional and advertising campaigns of companies in order to generate interest in a product or service.
7. Event Planner
Pulling off a film production successfully requires a lot of planning. It takes people skills, organization, and a knack for creative problem solving. The same is true in the event world. As event planners, film studies graduates can use their skills to coordinate film festivals, conferences, and more.
An event planner (also known as a meeting and/or convention planner) is someone who coordinates all aspects of professional meetings and events.
Audiovisual archivists are highly specialized professionals. They have deep knowledge about the history, preservation, and curation of audiovisual media—including film. Film studies majors understand the nuances of different genres, directors, time periods, and more. With the right training, they can make talented (and passionate) archivists.
An archivist is someone who assesses whether a given piece of information is of value, then maintains and stores the information in the appropriate manner.
Entertainment or media law combines a love of media with thorough legal knowledge. Entertainment lawyers provide legal services to people in the entertainment industry. They work with copyright, trademark, intellectual property, and other issues. For film studies majors who are curious about the legal side of the craft, this can be an ideal match.
A lawyer is someone who is licensed to practice law, and whose obligation it is to uphold the law while also protecting their client's rights.
Finally, some film students decide to go back to school post-graduation—not to study, but to teach. As film instructors or professors, they'll help others fall in love with film. Some teach technical courses, like video editing or screenwriting. Others lead theoretical seminars, diving into the style, technique, and cultural influence of their favourite directors. Either way, it can be a rewarding and intellectually engaging career.