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Film Editing Schools & Degrees

Best Film Schools

It is a little known fact that public relations can be traced back to Sigmund Freud. Well, actually, it traces back to his nephew, Edward Bernays, also known as the “Father of Spin. Who convinced Americans that Bacon and Eggs was the traditional American Breakfast? Edward Bernays. Neat trick, huh? Well that is the power of Public Relations. Regardless of your view of “Spin” and Public Relations, it is one of the more challenging and scientific fields associated with Sales, Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing. This esoteric and complex field combines all of the previously mentioned areas together to employ as tools creating ideas and opinions. The father of public relations, Edward Bernays termed the phrase "...the science of Manufactured Consent.” This is a powerful field.

The first thing to consider is that there are serious educational requirements for entry into this field. In general terms, a bachelor’s degree in public relations is the minimum requirement to gain entry to the profession. You are well advised to pursue an education in the specific field you are tracking toward. For example if you are hoping for a career in the political arena then you should plan for at least one to two years of college in political science. Ideally, you would pursue an general degree in the field your interested in dual to your public relations degree. Yes, two degrees. You cannot expect to be successful in managing the public affairs of a political candidate with little formal education in the field of politics. Moreover, you will have a hard time "breaking in." Get started with a public relations training course today from any of the below schools. Your career will begin with employment in a public relations firm, corporation or a governmental agency. The natural career course will take you either to the public relations firm or to your own consultancy.

According to online research regarding salary for this occupation, you would have the potential to earn approximately $71,506 per year for your work. However, research also shows that it is more common for individuals to earn a median salary of about $54,852 for the work of music producers. It is important to note that a large portion of what your salary is will depend upon the success of your clients with their musical endeavors. Demand in employment is expected to grow 24% over the next ten years, much faster then all other occupations. As globalization adds new dimensions to competition, the demand for skilled professionals in this field increases. The effect of the internet on this profession is dramatic. Until the emergence of the internet, most PR work involved media, television, radio and public appearances. The recent rise of "social media" and "social network” alone is transforming the industry and the future is an open book. A completely new science of opinion gathering, advertising and communications is being built and the professionals that will dominate this new landscape are being educated now. Having a firm grasp of the internet and its potential is not an advantage it’s a demand. There is a new subset of the field called SEO, or "Search Engine Optimization," that is fast becoming one of the most in-demand services in business today. This is just one example of the impact that the internet is having on this historical profession. In the new century, who will it be creating the campaign that changes the mind of the human race on (what?)? Will it be you?

Careers in Film Editing & Production

Are you looking to get into film production and editing? You would be entering a field that is projected to grow at faster than the average rate between 2014 and 2024 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, thanks in large part to an ever increasing demand for video content. The growing popularity of streaming services and the shift of advertising from stationary images to video content will contribute to this healthy growth, as well as the ability for audiences to stay connected to this material on the go through devices such as smartphones and tablets. The popularity of video content will only continue to grow as international markets get more access to films and television shows that have been produced in America.

Film production and editing is a particularly fitting field for anyone who is motivated to create and has a flair for originality. While there are many different roles that come together to produce a film, everyone involved has to have this same motivation as films are commonly regarded as complex works of art. Individuals also have to be extremely detail oriented and must possess excellent communication skills. Since a lot of people work on these projects, getting information to everyone involved can prove to be difficult and requires someone to possess superb interpersonal skills in order to communicate negative feedback in a constructive way that takes the other person's feeling into account. You'll also need a working knowledge of various kinds of software, like Final Cut Pro, as well as computers, as more and more films use these to create settings and even to generate characters in film. If this sounds like you, then you may have the passion necessary to succeed in film production and editing! In this article, we'll explore how to break into the field and what education and experience you'll need to learn the trade. There is never just one way to get there, but through a combination of good experience and formal education, you can definitely increase your odds of landing the job.

Paths in Traditional Education

Getting a degree isn't necessary to get into film. If you have access to the tools, a great idea, and an advanced skill set or the time to develop an advanced skill set, you can certainly get into film production and editing through lots and lots of practice. However, teaching yourself isn't for everybody, as it's easy to become distracted, get discouraged, or simply not know where to start. For some, a formal education is undoubtedly the way to go. It will offer you a controlled setting in which you will be free to experiment with your craft while instructors and fellow students provide you feedback and guidance in your work. This can be invaluable to a budding artist, and it's a great idea to have a bachelor's degree to fall back on in case your aspirations in the field don't quite pan out. A bachelor's degree at an accredited institution is an indication that you are an individual that is willing to work hard, follow instruction, and put in the time to achieve an accomplishment.

A Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film will give you a decent base knowledge to go out and become a real asset in the field. Sometimes these degree programs are offered as Bachelor of Arts degrees or even, in rare cases, as Bachelor of Science degrees. These degree programs are available at most major universities and institutions, and there are even degree programs available online. Over 150 colleges and universities across the country offer a film program of some sort. These programs typically take 3-4 years to complete, and on average they can cost anywhere from $6,000 - $35,000 per year, but the cost will depend on a large number of factors, such as if you are attending a school in the state in which you live or the prestige of the program. Online schools could be much cheaper, but may not taken to be as valuable as a degree from a four-year accredited institution.

A sample of some of the courses offered in a Bachelor of Fine Arts for Film include:

• Directing
• Screenwriting
• Marketing and Professional Development
• Film history
• Acting for Directors
• Film editing
• Digital editing
• Visual storytelling
• Storyboarding
• Foundations of story
• Cinematography

In addition to attending classes, most programs will also expect you to complete at least one internship and attend great networking functions, such as film festivals or question and answer panel discussions. Landing an internship with a well-established film production company is extremely competitive, and is quite frankly out of reach for many hopeful film producers and editors, but building connections at a prestigious program can help you get a leg up on the competition and excellent performance in your classes, as well as a rousing display of originality, can put you in the conversation. Once you start to make connections like this, getting additional work becomes much easier. For this reason alone, these programs may be preferable over just trying to get into the industry on your own. Film festivals and other networking events are important for the very same reason: you'll have the opportunity to meet and mingle with accomplished professionals in film production and editing. Being able to make a connection with an established professional may get your career started!

While the coursework in a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film can be extremely intense and time consuming, it's important to pursue your own opportunities in your free time while you are in film school. Simply obtaining a degree is not enough, most potential employers will want to see a portfolio of completed work or credits on a successful project before they consider using you to help produce their films. While working for free isn't ideal for everyone, especially a cash-strapped college student, it may be necessary to get your foot in the door of a quality film production company or venture. A good rule of thumb to make sure you are not being taken advantage of is to ask yourself if you are learning anything new. If the answer is yes, you are probably gaining more value in the experience during your early years than they are getting from you for your free labor. However, if you're not learning anything new, it's probably time to move on. You might want to ask the company if they have any paid positions you could apply for first, and if they don't then let them know you'd like to pursue other opportunities and thank them for the experience. The film making industry is close-knit and relies heavily on networking and referrals, so you don't want to leave someone an excuse to say you were unprofessional! Upon earning your bachelor's degree in film production or editing, you may want to consider earning a Master of Arts in Film Studies. There are many specialized programs out there, such as a Master of Arts in Film & Television, Master of Arts in Film and Media Production, and Master of Fine Arts in Film Production. These programs can take anywhere from a year to two years, usually, and they are offered at many major colleges and universities. The average yearly cost for a graduate degree program in film was about $18,000 but it varies widely depending on the program and the location of the school in which you attend the program. Courses are typically taught in a seminar format, while your main goal will be to produce a body of work while you attend the school.

Here are some example titles of courses you could take while earning your master's degree in film production:

• Producing and New Media
• Emerging Formats
• Psychology in Film
• Cinema Studies
• Media Audiences and Cultures of Production
• Visual Analysis
• Advanced Interactive Animation
• Advanced Computer Animation
• Business of Film
• Entertainment and Communication Law
• Directing Talent

A master's degree program will usually require you to produce a final project. This is absolutely the case for film, which often requires you to produce a film or a series of short films as a final project. Instructors and fellow classmates will be hands-on in helping you with this project as it unfolds. These experiences are extremely useful as they often give you the first chance to try out all the equipment that you will use in film production and editing. It's also a great opportunity to put everything you've learned in classrooms and seminars to test. All those theories and definitions you had to memorize are now suddenly a part of your daily grind. Typically, these student films are screened at the end an academic year as part of a student showcase. Particularly good films may be submitted to local film festivals for new and emerging talent. In addition to a student film, you may also be required to write a thesis. In a thesis paper, you will put forth an argument about a theory in film making and support or refute that theory through researching and citing many different sources. The final product of all this research and writing will result in a thoroughly supported new insight into the field of film, and will be eligible to be published in a peer-reviewed journal. Depending on the type of program and your area of interest, a screenplay may take the place of a finished thesis in film studies. Earning a bachelor's degree or a master's degree will qualify you for a large number of positions within the film production and editing industry. Here's just a few examples of the different roles that come together to produce a finished film:

• Director
• Screenwriter
• Set Designer
• Costume Designer
• Stage Manager
• Sound Designer
• Aerial Camera Pilot
• Lighting Technician
• Armorer (procure and safely store weapons and firearms on set)
• Art Director
• Lead Editor

Non-Traditional Paths

While going the traditional education path won't hurt your chances of breaking into the field of film production and editing at all, it will cost you quite a bit of money as outlined above. There are a ton of programs out there that offer financial assistance that are funded by the government or private lenders, but not everyone qualifies and if you take out student loans you'll have to worry about how to pay them back. Sometimes, putting yourself in debt like that doesn't quite make sense, so it may make sense for certain individuals to try to get into the film industry at a low level position and work to gain experience, knowledge, and promotions. It's true that people that know someone in the field have a better chance of getting in, as they'll have someone to reach out to and ask about employment or internships. Similarly, if you're a senior businessman who has made a sizable amount of wealth and have an interest in film, go ahead and make the career change. The best way to learn a subject for many is to simply do it and improve over time. However, most of us aren't these people and we have to find other ways to prove our worth and get the job.

A great way to break into the industry is to take on an extremely low level position with a company in which you hope to work. It takes very little experience to become a mail clerk, production assistant, or runner in a movie studio or at a TV station. Just be aware that these programs are just about as competitive as any other position in the film industry, even more competitive sometimes because the barrier of entry is so low and you are not the only one who has heard about these types of success stories. Also be aware that if you take this position, you still need to arm yourself with knowledge and experience, so you'll have to continue to work on passion projects and look for other creative projects as you work. Always make sure you are growing your applicable skills and churning out new ideas. Simply performing well as a mail clerk won't get you to the next level, you have to display passion and a real knowledge in order to move up.

Consider becoming an actor, or a director on smaller productions. If you live in a town with a college or a high school that does film projects, consider volunteering your time to the projects of others. Oftentimes you can learn something by simply being involved and talking to others that are studying the subject. Many actors have gone on to become movie producers, and their background in acting has lead to a lot of success when they eventually moved behind the camera, because they were observant as they worked and learned from other movie producers and directors. Consider, also, the opportunity to join an auxiliary field that supports the film industry, such as a talent agency or studying entertainment law. If you don't have a knack for creative thinking or are having trouble understanding key concepts in film production, it's a great idea to be around people who can list these as their strengths. Being in a field that directly supports the film industry will ensure you are always around these kinds of people and will give you a better chance to learn. There are absolutely no guarantees that all your hard work will eventually lead to a film production and editing position. All you can do is prepare yourself for the day someone approaches you to interview you for your first job in the field. Once you have that first credit, it becomes a bit easier to find other opportunities. In the meantime, all you can do is keep preparing yourself by becoming more knowledgeable and working on personal projects or giving your time to the work of others.

What Does the Job of Film Editor Look Like?

Film editors are typically technologically savvy people who have a lot of experience with the different software and equipment that is required in film editing. Though film editing can be more technical than the overall field of film production, these skills still require a lot of creativity. Oftentimes, those that edit film are film makers and producers themselves, working on their own passion projects on the side while they edit the films of others.

Film editors have to sit in front of computers for a long period of time, so being patient and a self-motivated person are benefits here. You'll most likely find film editors in offices or studios, rather than on the set. Out of 33,000 jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that nearly half of film editors worked in the motion picture industry, and about 30% were self-employed. Work can come in spurts, just like film producers, as editors could spend months at a time editing a project, then have months off where they are looking for work or taking a break. The work of the editor doesn't start until all the footage is captured, so they do their work after the producers. The good news is that most work full-time, because while you may not always be editing a work of fiction, you can find work editing other video content. Many freelance editors will take on work editing the video of special occasions for people, such as weddings, or edit corporate content such as training videos for employees. It's estimated that the median salary for film editors is about $63,000, but there is a ton of variance in that number as some don't make more than $25,000 a year and some high-level editors can make hundreds of thousands or even millions per film.

What Does the Job of Film Producer Look Like?

Once you make it to the very top and become a full-time film producer, you'll have a very important and demanding job. You'll be tasked with picking and choosing which scripts to produce and which to toss, develop new ideas, oversee contract negotiations with actors, and procure or provide financial backing for creative projects. You will have the unpleasant task of keeping the production of your film within budget and on a strict timeline. The position of film producer has shifted rather dramatically in recent years as fewer people in younger generations spend the money to go see a movie at the movie theater. Instead, more and more quality films and TV shows are being released for streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. Therefore, there are less “big budget” films to produce, but more films produced every year in a wide range of genres, though in general these endeavors have smaller budgets.

The median salary for film producers is estimated to be about $70,000 per year, though this number varies a great deal depending on where that individual in employed. Film producers at major studios can make millions of dollars with incentives if the movie performs well, but these positions are few and far between, reserved only for the most successful of film producers. Some producers on local radio and television networks can make around $30,000, and that position is more well represented in the field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 26% of producers and directors worked in the motion picture and video industries. The other thing for people to consider if they are thinking of getting into the film production and editing industry is the irregular work schedule. Many film producers are self-employed, working from contract to contract on different creative endeavors, so there could be a period of intense work that requires most, if not all, of your time and lasts for months, followed by months of free time as you look for the next opportunity. It's almost guaranteed that you will have to travel as well, at least locally, in order to procure all the talent you'll need to complete the project, capture footage of specific locations, and discuss your work with your employers or potential buyers.