Study Film Making: A Comprehensive Subject Guide

This guide is your passport to exploring the enchanting realm of cinema, from the art of storytelling through the lens to the technical wizardry behind the scenes. Dive into the rich tapestry of film history, theory, and practical filmmaking techniques. Whether you’re an aspiring filmmaker, a passionate film enthusiast, or simply curious about the magic of the silver screen, this guide will be your trusted companion on a cinematic journey of discovery and creativity.

film making

Table of Contents

What is Film Making?

Filmmaking is the process of creating films or movies. It involves a wide range of activities and artistic endeavours to produce a visual and auditory storytelling medium. Filmmaking includes tasks such as scriptwriting, directing, cinematography, editing, sound design, and production management.

The filmmaking process typically includes the following key stages:

  1. Pre-Production: This phase involves planning and preparation, including scriptwriting, storyboarding, casting, location scouting, securing financing, and organising the logistics of the production.

  2. Production: During this phase, the actual filming takes place. It includes activities like shooting scenes, capturing audio, directing actors, and ensuring that the creative vision is realised on camera.

  3. Post-Production: Post-production encompasses editing, sound design, visual effects, colour correction, and the overall assembly of the final film. This stage also involves adding music, sound effects, and credits.

  4. Distribution: Once the film is complete, it needs to be distributed to audiences. This can involve film festivals, theatrical releases, television broadcasting, streaming platforms, or physical media.

Filmmaking is a collaborative art form that requires the coordination of a diverse team of professionals, including directors, producers, screenwriters, actors, cinematographers, editors, and many others. It is a creative and technical process that combines storytelling with visual and auditory elements to convey a narrative or message to an audience.

Why Study Film Making?

Studying filmmaking can be a rewarding and valuable pursuit for several reasons:

  1. Artistic Expression: Filmmaking is a powerful form of artistic expression. It allows you to tell stories, explore emotions, and convey ideas through visuals, sound, and narrative. It provides a creative outlet for your imagination and vision.

  2. Storytelling Skills: Filmmaking teaches you the art of storytelling, which is a valuable skill applicable in various fields, including entertainment, marketing, advertising, and journalism. Learning how to craft compelling narratives is a fundamental aspect of filmmaking.

  3. Cultural Impact: Films have a significant cultural impact. They shape public opinion, reflect societal values, and address important issues. As a filmmaker, you have the opportunity to contribute to the cultural conversation and influence how people perceive the world.

  4. Technical Proficiency: Filmmaking involves the use of advanced technology and equipment. Studying filmmaking equips you with technical skills in camera operation, editing software, sound design, and visual effects, which are valuable in the digital age.

  5. Collaboration: Filmmaking is a collaborative endeavour that requires teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. It teaches you how to work effectively with a diverse group of professionals, fostering valuable interpersonal skills.

  6. Entrepreneurship: Many filmmakers work independently or in small teams, allowing for creative freedom and entrepreneurial opportunities. You can create and distribute films outside of traditional studio systems, pursuing your own projects and visions.

  7. Cinematic Language: Studying filmmaking helps you understand the language of cinema, including cinematography, editing techniques, and visual storytelling. This knowledge enhances your ability to appreciate and critically analyse films.

Best Universities for Film Making in the UK

Here is a list of the top UK universities in this field according to the latest QS World University Rankings:

1University of Exeter
3Lancaster University
4University of Manchester
5University of Warwick
6University of Aberdeen
7University of Glasgow
8University of East Anglia UEA
9University of Bristol
10The University of Edinburgh
12University of Birmingham
13University of Leeds
14Queen Mary University of London
15Edinburgh Napier University
17Royal Holloway, University of London
20University of Reading
21Northumbria University, Newcastle
22Nottingham Trent University
23Queen's University Belfast
24Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
25University of Wales Trinity Saint David
26Manchester Metropolitan University
27University of the West of England, Bristol
28University of Kent
29Arts University Bournemouth
30Liverpool Hope University
31University of Essex
32University of Sussex
33University of Winchester
35University of Portsmouth
37London Metropolitan University
39University of the Arts London
40University of Hull
41Anglia Ruskin University
42University of Westminster, London
43University of Salford
49University of Lincoln
50Oxford Brookes University
51Falmouth University
53University of Central Lancashire
54University of Sunderland

Entry Requirements for a Film Making Degree

Entry requirements for a Film Making degree in the UK can vary depending on the university and the specific programme. Here is a general overview of the typical entry requirements you might encounter:

Academic Qualifications:

    • A-Levels: Many universities require A-level qualifications or their equivalent. The specific grade and subject requirements can vary, but subjects such as Film Studies, Media Studies, English, or Art are often preferred or required.
    • International Baccalaureate (IB): If you’re an international student, the IB diploma or certificates are generally accepted.
    • BTEC: Some universities accept BTEC qualifications in related subjects, such as Creative Media Production.
    • Access to HE Diploma: Mature students may be eligible for entry with an Access to Higher Education Diploma in a relevant subject.

Portfolio: For creative courses like Film Making, you may be required to submit a portfolio of your work. This could include short films, scripts, storyboards, or other relevant creative projects.

Jobs for Film Making Graduates

Film Making graduates have a wide range of career opportunities in the film and entertainment industry, as well as in related fields. Here are some common jobs and career paths for Film Making graduates:

  1. Film Director: Film directors are responsible for overseeing the creative aspects of a film, including working with actors, setting the visual style, and guiding the storytelling process.

  2. Cinematographer (Director of Photography): Cinematographers are in charge of capturing the visual elements of a film. They work closely with the director to create the desired look and feel of the movie.

  3. Film Editor: Film editors are responsible for assembling the footage, adding special effects, and ensuring that the final edit flows smoothly. They play a crucial role in shaping the narrative.

  4. Screenwriter: Screenwriters create scripts for films and television shows. They develop characters, dialogue, and plotlines that serve as the foundation for the production.

  5. Producer: Producers oversee all aspects of a film’s production, including budgeting, hiring the crew, and securing financing. 

  6. Production Designer: Production designers are responsible for the visual look of a film. They design sets, choose locations, and work with art directors to create the film’s aesthetic.

  7. Sound Designer/Editor: Sound designers and editors create and manipulate sound effects, music, and dialogue to enhance the auditory experience of a film.

  8. Costume Designer: Costume designers are responsible for creating the wardrobe and costumes for characters in a film, ensuring they match the time period and style of the story.

  9. Location Manager: Location managers find suitable filming locations, obtain permits, and coordinate logistics for shooting on location.

  10. Visual Effects Artist: Visual effects artists use computer software to create digital effects and animations that enhance or transform scenes in a film.

What do Film Making Graduates do?

29% of film production graduates have found employment in artistic, literary, and media occupations. Additionally, sales, marketing, and related associate professionals (5%), media professionals (2%), and design occupations (1%) are among the top ten jobs held by these graduates. Overall, 79.8% of film production graduates are employed, while 3% pursue further study and 5.2% engage in both work and study.

Salary for Film Making Graduates

Check out the average salary for graduates in this field: 

Low skilled: £18,000

Medium-skilled: £20,000 

High-skilled: £22,000

Topics for Film Making Dissertation

Below, we present a diverse array of research areas, each offering an opportunity to delve into the complexities of Film Making and make a significant contribution to its advancement:

  1. Film History and Theory: Delve into the historical evolution of cinema and the various film theories that have shaped the medium. Analyse how cultural, social, and technological factors have influenced filmmaking over time.

  2. Cinematic Genres: Explore specific film genres such as horror, science fiction, film noir, or comedy. Investigate the conventions, themes, and evolution of these genres and how they reflect societal values.

  3. Film Aesthetics: Study the visual and auditory elements of film, including cinematography, lighting, sound design, and color theory. Examine how these elements contribute to the emotional impact of a film.

  4. Screenwriting and Narrative Structure: Investigate the art of screenwriting, focusing on narrative structures, character development, and storytelling techniques. Explore how screenplays evolve into cinematic experiences.

  5. Cinematic Representation: Analyse how race, gender, sexuality, and other aspects of identity are portrayed in film. Examine the impact of representation and diversity in cinema.

  6. Film Production and Technology: Research the latest advancements in film production technology, including digital filmmaking, special effects, and virtual reality. Explore how technology shapes the creative process.

  7. Film and Politics: Investigate the intersection of film and politics, including the role of propaganda films, political documentaries, and the portrayal of political themes in narrative cinema.

  8. Film Festivals and Distribution: Explore the role of film festivals in promoting independent and international cinema. Examine distribution strategies and the impact of streaming platforms on the industry.

  9. Film Marketing and Audience Reception: Study film marketing strategies, including advertising, social media, and audience engagement. Analyse how audiences perceive and interact with films.

  10. Cinematic Soundscapes: Investigate the role of sound in film, including soundtracks, sound design, and the use of silence. Explore how sound contributes to storytelling and emotional resonance.

How Much Does it Cost to Study in the UK

One of the most important things to consider is how much the degree is going to cost. Here is a general guide for 2023/2024:

  • For home students in England, universities can charge up to a maximum of £9,250 per year for an undergraduate degree.
  • In Wales, institutions can charge up to £9,000 for home students. However, Welsh students can apply for a fee grant to cover some of the cost of their tuition fees. This grant is currently not repayable or income-assessed.
  • Northern Irish universities will charge up to £4,275 for home students and may charge up to £9,250 for students from elsewhere in the UK.
  • Scotland does not charge home students fees at the undergraduate level; however, students from England, Wales, or Northern Ireland are expected to pay up to £9,250 per year. International students from outside of the UK will pay significantly more to study in Scotland.
  • International students can expect to pay between £10,000 and £26,000 annually for lecture-based undergraduate degrees at universities across the UK. An undergraduate medical degree can cost overseas students up to £58,600 per year. As for postgraduate degrees, the average cost is estimated to be around £17,109 per year.
Besides the tuition fees, there are also several other cost considerations such as food, accommodation, phone bills, books, social life, memberships, and others. Remember to check out our free student budget calculator

Other Subjects to Consider

Given that you are interested in this subject area, you might also want to consider the following options: 

  • Film Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Cinematography
  • Screenwriting
  • Acting and Theater
  • Visual Effects
  • Animation
  • Directing
  • Film Production
  • Film Editing

Frequently Asked Questions

Consider your interests, passions, and career goals. Research various degree programmes and their content to see which aligns best with your aspirations.

While earning potential is important, it’s also crucial to select a degree that you’re passionate about and suits your skills. A balance between your interests and potential career prospects is ideal.

Location can impact your overall university experience. Consider factors like cost of living, proximity to industry hubs, and personal preferences.

Evaluate tuition fees, available scholarships, and potential for part-time work. Create a budget to ensure you can manage your finances during your studies.

Consider combining your passions with practical skills. For example, if you love art but want job security, explore fields like graphic design or digital marketing.

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