Updated on Tuesday 5 March 2013
The study of film is a broad area. From camera equipment to directing, from writing scripts and screenplays to lighting the stage, there are many different jobs available to international students who want to pursue a degree in film. There are several differences in degrees for film majors that that will prepare students for various positions in the film industry. Some film majors are more technical, others are more theoretical, and some deal with the world of news rather than fictional Hollywood movies.
Many colleges and universities that specialize in film understand this. Full Sail University, for example, offers a Film Bachelor’s Degree that is designed to give students the opportunity to explore the many different positions in film. International students will find themselves working on 16mm, 35mm and HD cameras. Then, they just might find themselves preparing budgets, holding cast calls, or creating a storyboard. How should that sound? Students will even gain experience perfecting sound effects, music, and dialogues. Students who have decided to study film have a wide variety of options to explore.
So what exactly are the differences in degrees for film majors?
One type of major is film production. In film production, an international student can learn about the technical equipment such as how to operate cameras, the basics of sound and lighting and editing software. They might also learn graphics and photo editing software, writing for film and production planning. Students in this major may also study films and learn the theoretical components that make a classic film great. Most likely students will be making their own short films as part of class, in order to have a portfolio when they graduate.
Typical courses in this major include animation, cinematography, directing, digital editing, screen writing, sound production and studio television production. If you are interested in continuing on this path, you may want to consider enrolling in general education classes in high school which include art, computer and graphic arts, photography, and theatre arts.
Film studies is another type of major international students might want to consider. Film studies can also be known as cinema and media studies. Instead of working with the technical equipment or shooting your own video, cinema and media studies is more an exploration and understanding of classic and iconic films. Students will watch and discuss many famous films and write research papers on their significance including how they resemble and affect society as well as their political or social significance.
Typical courses in cinema and media studies include acting and directing, film and social issues, film technology, film theory, national cinemas and video art. If you are a high school student interested in pursuing a higher degree in film studies, classes such as art, history, creative writing and theatre arts will help prepare students for their continued education.
Different from common film majors, mass communication is geared toward news instead of creative storytelling. Mass communication majors will explore how to gather news, the history of news and how it affects society. Students will learn how to write for newspapers, magazines, the web and TV. They can also learn the basics of a camera and studio television production.
Typical classes in mass communication are mass media and society, media law, media ethics, and global perspectives in media. Because of this, high school students can prepare themselves by taking classes in journalism, speech, theatre, and U.S. history. Students can also prepare by working for the school newspaper or yearbook.
If you like to draw both the old fashion way or digitally, then animation might be a film major you’d be interested in. Like film production majors, many animation programs teach you the basics of film with classes teaching you skills such as planning, learning technical equipment, editing software, animation computer software, and script writing.
Typical classes in animation include 3-D modeling and animation, digital character animation, drawing, history of animation, interactive media, introduction to film and video, sound design, and storyboarding. High school classes that can prepare students in this field include art history, commercial art, computer graphics, creative writing, geometry, and theatre arts.
There are many film degrees that an international student can pursue, but the differences in programs are important. Each major offers something different and prepares a student for a specific job or job field.