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The Future Film Student's Resource Guide

Film Resource GuideWorking in the film and movie industry can be a dream come true for aspiring industry professionals. There are many different positions available in the world of film. Some of these include the more obvious, such as actors and actresses, but there are also a lot of behind the scenes jobs available. Film crews, video and sound editing, costuming, makeup, and casting are a few examples of the career options that are related to the film industry. All of these jobs play an important role in any film's success, and require a real passion and dedication to the arts. Work can be very time consuming and require a lot of patience, creativity, and knowledge, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

Careers in Film

There is much more to making a movie than simply acting. People looking for a career in the film industry have a lot of interesting options to choose from. If you enjoy animation, there are several animation-related positions that can allow you to express your creativity. Other creative roles include film director, hair and makeup, wardrobe/costuming, and storyboard creation. For those who like to write, screenplays, script writing, and other writing job are available. On the technical side, you can work in film or sound editing, or lighting. A grip, key grip, dolly, best boy, and staging director are also jobs that can be found in the world of film.

  • The Motion Picture Industry – This page explains the nature of the business, average salaries, and what types of job there are to choose from.
  • Careers in Entertainment – A professional panel of experts explain how to find a career in the entertainment business.
  • Film & Video Editors – This position requires a good eye, technical skills, and an understanding of the editing process.
  • Lighting & Key Grip – A very important film position that requires strength, patience, and the ability to understand how the filming process works.
  • Makeup Artists – The makeup artist must be able to make the actors and actresses look good on film. This takes a lot of creative skill.
  • Film Animator – If you have a true passion for animation and want to put your skills to the test, a job in film animation is a great option.
  • Film Director – One of the most lucrative careers in the film industry, the film director is the key to a good movie.
  • Screenwriter – Designed for people who enjoy both writing and research, this is an essential role in film making.
  • Casting Director – This video explains the hard work involved in casting, and how it helps to shape the film's outcome.
  • Film Career Directory – This site lists almost every film-related career imaginable, and explains each.

Film Schools

For those who want to be involved in the film business, attending film school is an essential part of working towards a successful career. Students must take several courses in basic film background, as well as specialized classes in their own chosen field. Much like a traditional college, film schools have a set amount of prerequisites that must be met, however these types of schools focus more on creativity, sharing, working as a team, and on the business side of film. While there are many different film schools across the world, only a select few have the highest reputation, and have produced some of the world's most well-known directors, producers, actors, and more. These schools should offer the latest technology classes in film production and editing, and should be accredited. The best schools have been known to produce famous actors and other film-related stars, and have excellent faculty who know, understand, and love the film business.

  • Tisch at NYU – Perhaps one of the most famous film schools, the NYU school of film offers courses in movies and television related facets.
  • USC School of Cinematic Arts – The University of Southern California is a prestigious film school offering modern and traditional style classes in relation to film making.
  • UCLA School of Theater and Television – This famous school has star alumni like Jack Black, James Dean, Heather Graham, and more.
  • Columbia School of the Arts – Countless famous films like Milk and Point Break have had Columbia alumni working on them.
  • London Film Academy – This highly renowned film school in London, England, has in-depth courses on all aspects of film making.
  • Emory University – Located in Georgia near Atlanta, this highly respected university has an excellent film studies program.
  • Flashpoint Academy – This film school, located in Chicago, has a focus on modern day film making, new technologies, special effects, and more.
  • Vancouver Film School – This is the premiere film school in Canada, and has a good reputation in the film school world.
  • The Art Institutes – This nationally recognized school has locations across America, and focuses on the arts, dance, theater, and film.
  • Boston University – A highly respected school, Boston University's film school offers studies in narration, direction, production, editing, and more.
  • VCU Cinema Program – Virginia Commonwealth University, located in Richmond, Virginia, is best known for its liberal arts programs including film and cinematography.

Financial Aid for Film Students

Just like any other college student, film students may most likely be in need of some kind of financial aid. Federal loan programs and grants are available, and scholarships can often be found as well. Scholarships can be awarded based on film samples, writing submissions, or other forms of media. Many corporations often sponsor a scholarship program for film students based on their work. In addition, the school itself may have various financial assistance programs specifically designed for film students. The cost of cameras and other equipment can make film school more expensive than many other chosen majors.

  • FAFSA – The free application for federal student aid is available to all students, regardless of major. Film school students are also encouraged to apply.
  • NYFA Financial Aid – Financial aid page for the New York Film Academy; offers links to other resources plus more information on getting financial assistance.
  • Scholarships for Film Majors – This site lists a few available scholarships geared towards those majoring in film.
  • Film Festival Grants – The Academy of Motion Pictures offers millions of dollars in grants each year.
  • The Fred Rogers Scholarship – The Emmys Foundation now has scholarships available to students, in honor of the legendary Fred (Mr.) Rogers.
  • Duke University – The school's Center for Documentary Studies offers prizes and grants for film making, photography, and much more.
  • NY Grants – This organization offers special grants for TV production students and film students; for residents of New York State only.
  • Philanthropy Project – This scholarship competition offers up a $10,000 and several $500 scholarships to winners who create a film focusing on good works and deeds.
  • SAG Foundation – The Screen Actors Guild Foundation has many different grant and scholarship programs for students and aspiring actors.
  • Student Loan Access – The national database for student loans; available to film school students and others.

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