“We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.” – Walt Disney
The above quote sums up the passion great film makers possess for their art. A film-maker has vision, intuition, and clarity of how characters should convey their emotions, and how it should impact their audience.
Film-making is a process that includes multiple aspects such as storytelling, direction, screenplay, cinematography, the casting of actors, deciding budget and locations to shoot, etc. Many a times, film-making is synonymous to direction, but all directors may not be film-makers as they may not be involved in other aspects of creating the film.
The whole process of creating a film from scratch entails a lot of passion and creative clarity on the filmmaker’s part. If you have a similar passion to connect with audiences through your creative expression of storytelling, then a career in film-making is what you should be looking at.
Scope of Film-Making in India
India is the largest producer of Films. Bollywood alone is valued at more than $2.28 billion, with an expected 11% annual growth in the year 2017 (according to the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India). With such growth and the increasing demand for films, in both national and international markets, the demand for professionally trained film-makers has also sky-rocketed.
Other than Bollywood, the South Indian Film Industry as well as the Punjab Film Industry, not to forget Television channels and Ad Films, employ a great number of directors, cinematographers, screenwriters, etc. Major cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Punjab, New Delhi, Bangalore have opportunities for the talented workforce in the area of films, television, and even theatre.
Other than the already established film-industries, film-makers are now being desired in other areas as well, since a visual medium always attracts a large audience.
- Businesses have come with a requirement for film-makers to create artistic representations of their products, and communicating them to their customers. From the education sector to the fashion retail sector, shorts films are a reliable medium to reach out to the masses.
- Many researchers and academicians hire professional film-makers to document their findings or researches on film. These films serve as a record of their work.
- With the new age of vlogging and blogging, film-makers are now more in demand than ever. This trend is likely to rise in the future, which means that film-making as a career option is also likely to grow.
Opportunities as a Film-Maker
For a film-maker, there are certain dream production houses they wish to work with. Dharma Productions, Balaji Motion Pictures, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, Annapurna Films, Fox Star Studios are a few top-notch companies one can aim for with the right training and skills.
Other than production houses, there are a few other sectors film-makers can find work with:
- Social Services
- Entrepreneurial Role
- Content Platforms
- Vlogging Platforms
- Advertising Agencies
- Marketing Firms
Hence, opportunities are plenty for young film-makers to display their talent and take up this career option full-time.
Top Institutes to Study Film-Making in India
For students wishing to enter the field of film-making, it is important to note that the field requires a flair to understand storytelling in motion, and transitioning ideas onto the reel. A student from any of the three streams – Science, Commerce and Humanities can apply for a program in film-making. Graduate programs in the country make admissions based on aptitude tests and personal interviews.
For Post-graduate courses in filmmaking, graduate students from any subject can apply. Mass Communication, Photography, Animation and VFX, etc. are a few courses that students like to study before they start with a program in film-making.
Here are the top institutes in India to learn the art of film-making:
1. Whistling Woods International
An institute of repute, it boasts of Subhash Ghai as its founder, and world class infrastructure to impart education.
Courses Offered – It offers a 3-year B.Sc./B.A. in Film-making with specialization. The institute also offers a 2-year Advanced PG Diploma in Film-Making.
Admission Process – Admissions are based on an aptitude test, creative-ability test and a personal interview.
What’s Special – Apart from being started by one of the leading directors in the country, it has an advanced infrastructure and amenities for students to learn the skills of film-making. The institute has international ties with Bradford College, Syracuse University, New York University Tisch School of the Arts, etc. It also boasts of film-makers such as Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Imtiaz Ali, Shyam Benegal, to name a few, as their guest faculty.
2. Asian Academy of Film and Television
An institute located in Noida, it is one of the top choices for students who wish to pursue a career in film-making, and journalism.
Courses Offered – It offers a B.Sc. in Cinema with diploma in various branches such as Direction, Cinematography, Post Production, etc. It also offers an M.Sc. in Cinema with the same branches.
Admission Process – The institute conducts an entrance exam, and a personal interview for the selection of students into their programs.
What’s Special – AAFT has a prestigious alumni base including Arjun Kapoor, Rajat Arora, Mohit Marwah, and many more. It also includes a long list of actors and directors as their visiting guest faculty. The institute runs their own radio station 107.4 FM to train students!
3. Annapurna International School of Film and Media
A recent addition to the leading film schools in India, it is India’s first private, non-profit film school.
Courses Offered – The institute offers a 4-year Bachelor’s as well as a 2-year Master’s in film-making, other than a few allied courses.
Admission Process – Admissions are based on overall profile, and interview of candidates. The profile can include academic performance, as well as extra-curricular activities.
What’s Special – It has been started by one of most famous families in the South Indian Film fraternity, the Akkineni Family. It has several eminent personalities such as Hema Malini, Karan Johar, Kamal Hassan, Shabana Azmi, to name a few, on their Academic Advisory Board. They offer a government recognized degree in collaboration with Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University.
4. Film and Television Institute of India
One of the top institutes for media and television studies, this institute offers world class faculty and facility to its students.
Courses Offered – It offers a 3-year post-graduate diploma in Direction & Screenplay, Cinematography, as well as Art Direction and Production Design.
Admission Process – The institute conducts a written entrance test, and a personal interview for admissions into various courses.
What’s Special – FTII is an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. A few notable alumni include Jaya Bachchan, John Abraham, Mithun Chakraborty, etc. It collaborates with many renowned film, media, and TV schools to conduct student exchange programs for its students.
5. Satyajit Ray Films and Television Institute
Another top film school, it is one of the premier institutes imparting education in film making and cinematography.
Courses Offered – It offers a 3-year postgraduate Programme in cinema (Direction and Screenplay Writing).
Admission Process – An entrance exam consisting of aptitude, creative aptitude, and specific aptitude is conducted. A personal interview, and an interactive orientation is also conducted as a part of the admission process.
What’s Special – It is also an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. The institute boasts of an open-air theatre as well as 35mm and 16mm projection facility. It is one of the best schools to learn the art of film-making.
International Colleges for Film-Making
Many students who wish to study film-making look at a foreign education, since it offers a wide range of subjects to study and an opportunity to study with the latest equipment, world-class faculty, etc.
Here are a few top universities any aspiring film-maker should eye:
1. American Film Institute, Los Angeles – The Institute offers a 2-year graduate program in film-making, providing specializations in branches such as Directing, Editing, Screenwriting, Cinematography, etc.
2. New York University Tisch School of the Arts, New York – The University offers undergraduate as well as graduate programs in film-making. It includes subjects in screenwriting, sound image, dramatic and visual writing, etc.
3. California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), California – The Institute offers both undergraduate and graduate courses in Film/Video, Film Direction, as well as Animation.
4. London Film School, London – The Institute offers a master’s courses in film-making as well as screenwriting. It also offers a graduate course in International Film Business.
5. La Femis, Paris – The Film School offers undergraduate programs in screenwriting, directing, production, cinematography, sound production, editing, and production design. It also offers courses in TV Series Development and Cinema Management.
Critical Skills Required to be a Film-Maker
The field undoubtedly is one of the most creative career options. There are certain skills and traits that a film-maker should possess. A few of them are:
- A Film-maker should have a good eye for detail and precision.
- A Film-maker should have excellent communication skills to convey his/her creative ideas to all those involved in the process.
- A Film-maker should be intuitive and should have a vision for how all elements in a film should play out.
- A Film-maker needs to be a decisive leader, as well as a quick problem solver.
- A Film-maker should be comfortable with the use of new technologies and advanced equipment.
- A Film-maker should be susceptible to new ideas and evolve with time and situation. He should have clarity of thought too.
Watch Video: Ashish Tripathi Talks about Film-Making as a Career
Apart from getting a degree in film-making, and possessing all the requisite skills, practical exposure is what makes a student into an actual film-maker. This can be achieved with the help of internships, certifications – both online and offline, volunteering work with production teams and directors, and similar activities that boost your profile. So, we suggest that you get to work!
If you too feel that you have the talent and skill to get into one of these top institutes, feel free to send out an application. If you are one of the best, you will definitely make it through!
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