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Do you need a certain degree to become an actor or film producer?

Do you need a certain degree to become an actor or film producer?

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Douglas’s Answer

It's all about being organized, proficient, and utilizing software like Excel, no degree necessary... The more you know about filming and production the sooner you can become a professional. Good luck!
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Daryl’s Answer

You do not need a degree, BUT like any other profession you need training. There are many film and acting schools in the Chicago area like Columbia, Tribecca, DePaul, Art Institute and acting schools like Actors Studio, Vagabond, The Green Room. They are all very reputable and will give value for money.
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Ben’s Answer

The short answer is NO: you don't need a specific degree to become a film producer or an actor. It's worth noting that they are very different jobs and so have different routes to get there.

As per some of the advice above, it's all about knowledge. So folks who study acting or film at university will have a bit of a leg-up in terms of "knowledge" (in general terms) before they go out into the big bad world, but that doesn't mean you both won't get the same starter jobs in the mail room of a film production company, or acting in a community/college show when it comes to it....

If you know you love film, and don't know if you want to act or produce yet- that's ok! Spend your time soaking up movies, listening to podcasts with actors/producers/writers/directors. Read books about the industry. Biographies about notable figures, past and present. Get a feeling for the world.

Maybe you decide to go to college to get a "safe" / "backup" degree... but you do a deal with yourself: whilst you're at college, you'll involve yourself in as much extra-curricular drama and film activities as possible (in my experience, lots of these folks go on to work in the industry)

OR maybe you just go for it and study film- or acting. Of all the options, studying acting is probably the most limited in terms of scope....in that it will be very practical training and learning. There are many different types of film courses out there, ranging from more practical filmmaking to more generalised film studies which can feel more like a subject next to others, if that makes sense. You could study film studies, and then go onto a different career. In contrast, something like practical filmmaking- the scope of learning is more focused, obviously. But none of this would prevent you from changing things up and doing something else later in life, should you choose to.

(NB if you opt for acting be 100% sure that you REALLY want to act, as it's not an easy career route to take and you have to be COMMITTED!!)

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angie’s Answer

Your question: Do you need a certain degree to become an actor or film producer?
__________
My thoughts:

Hi, Joseph!

Nope - you don't need a certain degree for either, but you do need knowledge. So, it's easier if you go to school to gain it.

You can take acting classes one by one without needing to get a degree in it - but there are schools out there with kids taking those classes and will have learned a lot about the business. They will have a leg up because of their knowledge. This does not mean they are better actors, but they will seem to understand the business better to those hiring them, and so they will probably get the gig. I know when I went on open calls without having any acting classes, I did not get called back. But after a few classes, I got a few commercials and some small parts in TV shows. And if I wanted to stay in that industry, I would've had to go to school to learn more. It's competitive, and education is key.

Film production is about money. Do you have the funds to produce a film? You can start small....but it's expensive. If you are a good negotiator, you can get actors to act for free or camera crews to agree for little for their names being on the credits - but schooling and understanding the business would be an easier route in the end. If you go to school, they will teach you all about the business side, what snakes to watch out for, what to do, and what not to do....if you don't, you can learn this all on your own, but you'll encounter setbacks along the way, ones you could've avoided if you knew.

You are still young, and school would be a great way for you to grow, mature, and learn what you will need in order to dive into this competitive and sometimes snaky industry.

Good luck!
Angie
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