Find out what’s going on behind the camera and how to get into the movie industry
Cinema is an ever-changing industry that people with a predilection for creativity can choose as a career. The growing digital disruption only enhances the various career paths available. While specific roles in the limelight like directing, acting, production, and cinematography often spark ambitious spotlight, making successful films remains a collaborative effort. This requires specialists in multiple modalities including scriptwriting, editing, casting, sound design / mixing, lighting, music, costume design, makeup, etc., each requiring vision, skills and talent. These roles can be a learning experience in themselves or a career in themselves. However, the first few years of working in these lead roles were also stepping stones to success for many veteran filmmakers and actors.
The basics of cinema
Formal cinema education provides the foundation for building a meaningful career. A degree in Film Studies, tailored to one’s specific interests, can provide the skills and technical foundation needed to work on set. Popular courses include directing, acting, production, editing, cinematography, music production, screenwriting, sound design, production design, 3D animation, and graphic design.
In India, students can apply for programs of varying length and expertise. The Film and Television Institute of India (Pune), Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (Kolkata) and Whistling Woods International (Mumbai) offer some of the best programming in the country. Abroad, especially in the United States, the best schools offering film programs include University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Southern California (USC), Tisch School of the Arts from New York University (NYU), American Film Institute (AFI), Columbia University and Columbia College.
Regardless of the school attended and the specific department chosen, surviving and thriving in the film industry requires internal thought and preparation. For example, a beginner’s checklist for a director / filmmaker would include: (a) having something to say; (b) Have a vision of how you are going to say it; (c) The ability to execute your vision. Other requirements include intrinsic motivation, decision making, relationship skills, consistency, persistence, and the ability to face what lies ahead and move forward without emotionally attaching yourself to successes or achievements. failures encountered.
Hands-on experience is everything. After graduation, one can start as a production assistant, work in multiple departments and experience as many facets of cinema as possible before choosing a specific film specialty. A helpful tip would be to introduce yourself and do your best, even if you are not satisfied with the job you have been given. It’s a sure-fire way to get rehired, as filmmakers and key team members always need reliable and consistent team players who show up regardless of the job and its difficulty.
The making of films – its medium and its method – is transformed by digital catalysts, in particular the popularization of over-the-top (OTT) or streaming platforms. In an age of abundance of content and new audiences getting used to the internet every day, world-class content is what will keep production houses and studios relevant and active. This, in turn, will open up a world of opportunity.
For example, streaming platforms monitor and analyze audience behavior to understand what works, trying to reverse engineer storytelling based on what is being watched and how audiences engage with it. Increasingly, analysis and data science could complement the operations of these electronic platforms. Currently there are AI bots that analyze scripts and determine their commercial and creative viability. While controversial and questionable in some sense, studying audience behavior to create content could be an evolving area, which will prescribe how to keep subscribers coming back for more.
Another upcoming trend that could affect job creation is the proliferation of interactive content with multiple storylines where viewers can participate in the creation of the story, meaning creators need to go beyond storytelling to only one thread. As the elements of the game are merged into cinema and, as digital technology emerges, computer-generated imagery, virtual reality and augmented reality could increasingly merge into so-called traditional cinema.
The technology is also moving in a direction whereby one can create libraries of existing iconic stars – say, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rajnikanth or Amitabh Bachchan – by capturing and modeling their voices, likeness, expressions, manners and styles. Who knows, it would be possible to create a movie “starring” these stars 50 or 75 years later.
The author is a Chicago-based filmmaker and the director of “The Last Victim”