Film Production Majors: Salary and Career Facts
Learn about film production majors, including course topics, training and projects. Find information related to career options, earnings and union memberships here. Schools offering Digital Cinematography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Can I Expect in a Film Production Major?
Opportunities are available for you to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Film with a specialization in film production or a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production after completion of major-specific courses, like script analysis, study of narrative and documentary filmmaking, film history, cinematography and directing. Film degrees in the Bachelor of Science designation do exist, but they aren't as common as the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts.
As a film major, you may be required to complete a minor program of study in another subject. These academic programs provide some training in each part of the filmmaking process, from pre-production planning to arranging and shaping the film for distribution. Some programs may require you to complete a short film or other type of final product.
What Jobs Can I Apply For?
A bachelor's degree in film production can prepare you for a range of careers, including a film editor, producer or cinematographer. Many individuals in these careers start out as assistants, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov).
America's Career InfoNet writes that a film producer is responsible for many facets of movie making, including finding financing for movie projects, hiring actors and script selection (www.careerinfonet.org). Monster.com reports that cinematographers or director of photographers coordinate the filming and operate the camera.
A film editor is responsible for assembling footage, ensuring proper length of segments and organizing the raw footage under the direction of producers and directors, according to the Occupational Information Network (http://online.onetcenter.org).
How Much Do Film Professionals Earn?
Film producers earned an average of $41.77 per hour in 2009, according to the BLS. The highest paying industry for film producers in 2009 was the motion picture industry, with an hourly mean wage of $52.20, followed by cable and subscription programming, with an average hourly wage of $41.67, also according to the BLS.
Indeed.com reports that cinematographers earned an average of $54,000 in 2010. The BLS reports that the average hourly wage for directors of photography was $23.84 in 2009. Payscale.com states that individuals reporting employment as a film editor claimed a salary range of $30,432 - $59,331 in 2010. The average hourly wage for a film editor was $30.62 in 2009, according to the BLS.
What Professional Unions Exist?
According to the BLS, union membership is not strictly required, but non-union workers may not get the jobs they prefer. The site further states that editors often belong to the United Scenic Artists Association or the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts (IATSE). The International Cinematographers Guild represents cinematographers and directors of photography, while film producers can choose to be apart of the Producers Guild of America.
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