If you're a film buff or movie enthusiast, there are a number of jobs you'll be able to do that will allow you to work with your greatest passion. Most will require no small amount of study and many are incredibly tough to get into. You'll need to be prepared for plenty of hard work and be possessed of a steely determination to make it in many movie industry professions, unless your passion for film can be quenched by working as an usher at your local picture house.
Most confirmed cinephiles would kill for the chance to make their living watching and reviewing movies. There are no formal education requirements to become a film critic, but a background in writing, broadcasting or journalism will help as much as a film-studies degree. A passion for cinema, a journalism or communications degree and a few years experience of working in print or broadcast media might be enough to land you a job in film criticism. Speaking in "The New York Review of Magazines" in 2010, Lisa Schwarzbaum, one of Entertainment Weekly's movie critics, told aspiring film reviewers to write as much as possible. Set up your own blog, write reviews for free, and seek out apprenticeships at film magazines to build your portfolio.
If you're academically minded and have the patience and financial resources to study for a higher degree in film studies or cinematography, a career as an academic could be right up your street. Cinephiles who like the sound of getting paid for passing on their knowledge of film will typically need at least a master's degree to teach post-secondary students at community colleges, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those interested in teaching at universities and carrying out their own research will usually require a Ph.D.
Cinephiles looking for a more active role in their preferred art form should consider directing their own films. Although the BLS advises there are no formal training programs for film directors, you can boost your chances of making it in movie-making by going to film school. The University of Southern California, the American Film Institute, the Bejing Film Academy, UCLA and NYU were the top film schools in 2012, according to "The Hollywood Reporter." Once you've graduated, you still may have to start as a production assistant or an assistant-assistant with a small production company. If you can afford the equipment and can secure some funding, put your own low-budget films together, even if you're just going to post them online.
A career as a camera operator or editor could be a good choice for cinephiles who want to work in movies but don't want to become directors. To break into either profession, you'll typically need a degree relating to film or broadcasting, according to the BLS. If you have designs on becoming an editor, you'll need to gain experience using a range of different editing programs, although most in the profession eventually specialize in just one type of software. After graduating, look for junior roles on film sets. Don't be afraid of cutting your teeth as a runner or production assistant. Many people in film production work their way up.
- The Guardian: What Every Film Critic Must Know
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts
- The New York Review of Magazines: Q&A: EW’s Movie Critic Lisa Schwarzbaum
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Postsecondary Teachers
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Producers and Directors
- The Hollywood Reporter: Top 25 Film Schools List Revealed
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Film and Video Editors and Camera Operators
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