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Do film studies majors cover the production side of film?

Several colleges i have looked at don't have film production as a major which i would prefer, however they have film studies. Would a film studies major still cover the technical and production side of film? #film #film-production


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Jacquie’s Answer

I'd suggest looking at the course catalog and asking the administration that question. When I went to Vanderbilt University, our Film Studies program was just that...the study of film. They didn't offer classes that covered the technical and production side of film. I was able to learn the technical side by taking part in our student media groups - Vanderbilt Television, InsideVandy.com (now Vanderbilthustler.com). I also freelanced for ESPN when they were televising Vanderbilt sporting matches and one man banded for Palestra.net. Classes are a part of it, but take a look at the student groups and organization the colleges you're looking at are associated with. Learning the technical side is all about practice.


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Bob’s Answer

As mentioned earlier, definitely review the courses offered by various film schools. Some institutions are more theoretical in their approach to filmmaking while others offer a more hands-on and/or technical approach. In addition, once you have made your choice, it's important to participate by volunteering in as many of the school's student film projects as possible. There's nothing like real on-set experience, regardless of what function you're filling. Also investigate the possibility of any legitimate and appropriate internships to which the school may have access. All the best of success.


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David’s Answer

Well, it sure looks like Tyler C. wants to become a filmmaker; but he has indicated that he may want to learn it through the academic path of film studies - that is, the question he poses is this one "Do film study majors get to learn the production side of filmmaking, while they earning their degrees at the university?" Man! That a great question Tyler! You've come to the right place for the answer. Remember what I said in a previous post, if you imitate me, so to speak, you can reach your highest aspirations; because I have beyond my wildest dreams - but that doesn't mean that this grand achievement is a bed of roses up here in dreamland. Shoot no! Excuse the pun!! Here in Los Angeles, the movie Meka of the world, I found that many of the folks in this film business try to get on top of you and squish you down, if not scam you out right! You got to be careful who you talk to, especially about your film work, like script writing strategies, new potential viable narrative structures, and the strong humane characterization you will put into all of them - some unscrupulous gents, ladies too, will steal them from you if you not legally protected by the writers' guild. It takes time and earned credits to enter that said abive guild, and it is not the only one; there's also those guilds for producers and directors, not to mention either the American association or federation of cinematographers, if you want to be a DOP (director of photography). But I'm getting ahead of myself here, you haven't entered film school yet! However, keep in mind what I just told you!!
Now, I'll answer your question by showing you what I did to enter film school, one of the largest Canadian ones to boot, and possibly one of the top film schools in the world, according to some but not to others - it depends on your point of view, and the experience one has had if you got a chance to attend mine, the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec. Your experience at film school depends a lot with whom you hook up to make film!!! Some of the students do not hook up with the right folks, and by the end of their film production degree, well, they are not happy - and they write about it on the Internet. Okay, let's say you get in with the right crowd, and do what I did, that is, go into fictional narrative filmmaking - what then!?!
Let's back up a little, for I'm still rushing forward in too fast a manner; for much of what you will be learning at the university will be in other departments other than film production, like the humanities department at Concordia University where film studies resides. Let's not forget English literature, like poetry and prose, just to name a few major endings, for the sake of argument let's have them in the English language department; and also back in the faculty of fine arts, there are the subjects of drawing and painting, sculpting, design, ... , well, you get the drift. Don't forget music, theatre, and dance, important categories with numerous classes about sound, voice, and body movement. All of these different departments offer classes that you may have a chance to take, with appropriate permissions of course, for they will be outside your own department of film priduction.
Now what path did I take? I entered the department of photography at Concordia, circa 2000, right after two years of graduate school level "Material Sciences" at the University if Vermont in Burlington. Why did I change course in my advanced studies of sciences, especially physics, mathematics, and engineering? Because I had the natural gifts to do so, and do so at 'will.' I am a "natural," esoecially a natural writer, as I write from the 'gut.' I'm also an expert with cameras, esoecially after having used them, all sorts of cameras, optical and infrared ones, just to name a few, at Martin Marketta Aerosoace & Missile Systems, Orlando, Florida. Now you know what I am - I'm a polymath physicist-filmmaker, and I make my career route through life by force of will, backed up with the diverse natural talents that I've nurtured though the many years of being alive on this Earth!
Once I got into the photo department, I proceeded to learn black & white art photography, and then color. I spent two years there doing that, but not just that; for in the between of things, for you can only take so many classes per semester, I started to hone my writing skills via film studies - Man! Did I! I must have watched a thousand films, or more, during my sojourn at Concordia; and the while, doing photography and other things, like taking English literature courses, I wrote my 'heart' out over various film studies subjects, like the famous American movie directors, William Wellman, Orson Wells, and Geirge Stevens; not only Americans ones, English, Italian, French, and Russian too, like Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Powell, Michael Angelo Antonioni, Pier Paulo Pasolini, Fedrico Fellini, Jean-luc Goddard, Francois Truffaut, and the great Andrei Tarkovsky, art film poetry par excellence! I worked at film studies almost my entire ten years at the film school; but in 2002-2003, I entered the department of film production; after having created an incredibke short film & video project with a fictional narrative script, which I transduced to photographs that I had taken all over Canada and the United States. This film school entrance project, titled "The Agony of the Ecstssy," earned me the Oliveri prize in writing and movie making, for I produced what is called a "Photo-Roman! What an insane project that was, it almost killed me- I was forty five years of age, before I entered film school; I beat out thounsand of other younger applicants from all over the world, most half my age, and that year they took fifty candidate applicants for the next year's film production cycle. This part of my film school experience was for the next few years crucial to become a film production guy! And to a certain degree and for practical reasons, the answer is No! But then, in film studies you learn how to design art films; yet, when you start to learn how to shoot film & video, you find out that all that film studies business is not of practical value, relatively speaking - because it becomes a logistic nightmare, at times, to produce just a simple 10-15 minutes short sound & image film, that is, it takes extraordinary managerial skills sometimes to organize and schedule the whole shooting match, excuse the pun again! Got to go, I have a forest fire in Big Sur to go and shoot!! Bye, bye, Tyler; and good luck my friend!!!!


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