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How many career paths are there within film or television production major?

I have a passion for television and film and am planning to focus mostly on cinematography but realistically speaking, which branch within this major is more likely so ensure a job? Writing, producing, editing, networking? #film #television #cinematography #film-editing #tv-production #film-producer

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Kendall’s Answer

Hi Jocelyn,


Mark is correct that there many, many paths within TV and film production. And certainly, more TV shows are being made than movies. Overall, either branch is very competitive, and the way most people succeed is by being passionate about whatever they're doing. If you're passionate about cinematography or directing, that is a great path. But many people work for years for little pay on independent projects before they start making a real career or income for themselves (this is where the passion becomes important). Writers will often spend years as assistants, or working in an unrelated field and writing at night and on the weekends, before they sell a script.


Producers tend to love the business aspects of film-making - problem solving with budgets, schedules, locations, marketing, etc. Editors are a lot like writers - their focus is on storytelling. There are also studio executives, who often have backgrounds in business and enjoy the creative process, and agents, who make all the deals. I haven't even gotten to all the departments that make up a film/TV crew: set design, art department, wardrobe, makeup, special effects, etc. And all of the people in these fields started out like you, with passion. Many of them started in one type of job, and learned that they'd actually prefer another job. It is possible to move around within the industry.


The good news is that there are so many different ways to work in film and TV, so you should be able to find your best fit. And, speaking from experience as a TV writer - making TV is really fast-paced, challenging and fun! Stick with it.


Kendall

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Lauren’s Answer

In my experience - your major is not as important as your experience you get from interning, production assassinating etc. I agree with everything said above. Half of the people on my team have college degrees completely unrelated to production but landed internships or part time gigs in TV/Film roles and got their experience.


In this industry, you will start out as a freelancer (which has it's pros and cons) and then once you gain enough experience can look for a full time/more stable opportunity or use your networking from your freelance gigs to have consistent work.

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Mark’s Answer

Okay Jocelyn, there are a million and one different paths. Everybody has their own unique steps. TV would be a better choice because of its golden age. The film industry succeeds at the mainstream theaters because the Chinese are buying tickets to see action in China. Networking through Twitter, Studio 32 and Deadline and I've heard of others will allow you to communicate with the pros. Many people have gotten employed that way. Editing would probably be a good choice because you could start working on a short film, then design a website.

Producing... if you could get $20,000 for a short film by kickstarting, try that way. Writing? Every year an average of 40,000 scripts are registered at the WGA, and everybody in Hollywood has written one. According to Jacob Krueger, only 11 scripts were sold from January to March this year. An all-time low.

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