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Want a Career in Filmmaking? How to Get into Film School

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filming in my kitchen

filming in my kitchen

Did you know there’s a huge skill gap in the UK for professionals in the film industry? Over the next few years, it’s estimated the number will reach around 40,000. Trained film crews are more in demand than ever before, so if you’ve been dithering about studying for a professional career in the film industry, there’s never been a better time.

But where to start? The London Film School, one of the world’s longest-established filmmaking schools, share some excellent tips for getting into film school.

Build Your Portfolio

Once you’ve made the decision to pursue a professional role in the film industry, start actively building a body of work that demonstrates your passion and areas of interest, your personality, and abilities.

Saying you have an interest in film isn’t enough – but you probably already know that. When you have a passion for something, the natural progression is to start learning, practising and ‘doing it yourself’. So, if you really are interested in film as a career, you’re almost certainly already making your own movies, writing scripts, learning about directing, acting, editing, cinematography, sound… all the exciting things that come together in any film production.

Creating a portfolio of work is no different when pursuing a career in film than in other creative professions. Your portfolio forms an important part of the application process, offering tangible evidence of your skills and talents.

Take Short Courses and Workshops

The London Film School runs short courses and workshops, and these are an ideal way to dip a toe in the water without making any full time or heavy commitments. Often run online as well as in person, there are evening and weekend courses as well as some of longer duration.

Taking part in courses like these gives you a taste of what more immersive film study might be like, and helps you develop your personal skill set – or identify weaknesses to work on.

Many of the sessions, workshops or masterclasses run by LFS are low cost, making them even more accessible while you make up your mind about full-time study options.

It’s all valuable experience wherever your filmmaking goals lie.

Undertake Post-Grad Study

When you know you’re ready to take a deep dive into serious film study, it’s time to look at post-graduate courses such as an MA in Filmmaking or Screenwriting.

A two-year MA course in filmmaking will take you to a professional level, immersing you in making films and dealing with all the issues faced by professional film units. At the same time, it’s non-specialist so you won’t be channelled into genres you’re not best suited to, but you’ll gain a deep, all-round grasp of the vital elements that go into making a film.

You will work with the best in professional equipment, producing a film every term with your crew. You’re effectively learning to make films by making films. You’ll then have the opportunity to screen them at prestigious international film festivals.

Applicants to an MA Filmmaking course come from all kinds of academic or creative backgrounds, not necessarily film related.

Research Course and Funding Options

As with any professional level study, many film students need some help with funding their course. Before you start your application process, make sure you fully understand the costs involved and the options available for funding. You could even look for a scholarship.

Begin by browsing courses on offer to find ones that best fit your ambition and future plans. Different courses have different tuition fees, may be longer or shorter than others, be totally in person or delivered via a mixture of online and face to face classes.

If you need more help than you can find online, don’t be scared to reach out to admissions or recruitment teams. Their job is to help, and they’ll have answers to the questions burning hottest in your mind.

And finally, find out what previous students have been up to by seeking out their films. The London Film School website presents graduate trailers to showcase the films students have made. Seeing what others have done on various courses can help clarify your own thoughts on which course you should take.

The take-away is to get cracking. Given the predicted future demand for film crews across the board, whatever sector of the film industry appeals to you (including roles behind the scenes), it is going to need the talent you can bring to the table.

This is a commissioned post.

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