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Business administration instead of a Film BA degree?

associate degree bachelors administration communication cinematography filmmaking major minor english

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#1 Nahomi Pardo

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Posted 23 October 2016 - 02:06 PM

Hi guys!

 

Let me introduce myself, I am an international student in Arizona and currently I am in college majoring in Media Communications. When I transfer to a university I was thinking about getting a bachelor's degree in General Business or Management (still have to decide which one's better for me), also I thought about getting a minor in Digital Film making, and a minor in English focused in Creative Writing or Rhetoric and Professional Communication (still have to decide which one's better for me). I thought about this because the film making industry isn't all about just knowing how to create a movie, but also how to manage the business of the film industry. That's why I thought it would be better to have a BA in Business. Also, I thought of the minor in English because a lot of filmmakers need to know how to write well, have a critical thinking, and be creative. My main questions here are:

Is this plan a good idea? Or do you guys think I should get a BA in Digital Film making and get the minors in Business and English?

 

Hope you can help me and thank you very much for reading! :)


Edited by Nahomi Pardo, 23 October 2016 - 02:07 PM.

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#2 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 23 October 2016 - 02:18 PM

Get the major in business. If a talent/connections based industry doesn't work out for you as a talent, a business degree goes a lot farther than a film degree.


Edited by Macks Fiiod, 23 October 2016 - 02:19 PM.

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#3 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 23 October 2016 - 03:03 PM

Agreed.  A business degree will be far more flexible and allow you to move into many more circles than just the film world.


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#4 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 09:58 AM

Hi guys!

 

I thought about this because the film making industry isn't all about just knowing how to create a movie, but also how to manage the business of the film industry. That's why I thought it would be better to have a BA in Business. 

 

This book was recommended to me by someone else on here and it's really great.  I've read it a few times and it's got everything in there for the traditional old school (panel of VP's ) approach to development but having a degree in business and law especially will be very valuable when it comes to preparing and executing a plan for a production company.

 

Many creative producing partnerships are a team of 2 people and usually one is creative while the other is very business savvy.  Determining where you fall on that scale should really dictate what you want to study because it's a lot harder to take on the hurculean task of producing when your head is not there and you'd much rather be writing and directing. If you are one of those types who really hates the business legal end of it you will want to partner up with someone who is more business minded and great at dealmaking etc.    Not everyone is cut out to wrestle both sides of it but being able to do so allows you to in effect greenlight your own work and makes you much more independent.   

 

And I agree with the above that a business degree translates to other fields way better than just studying film which is easy to do on your own by simply watching films and reading good critical analysis of them.


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#5 Nahomi Pardo

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 08:07 PM

 

This book was recommended to me by someone else on here and it's really great.  I've read it a few times and it's got everything in there for the traditional old school (panel of VP's ) approach to development but having a degree in business and law especially will be very valuable when it comes to preparing and executing a plan for a production company.

 

Many creative producing partnerships are a team of 2 people and usually one is creative while the other is very business savvy.  Determining where you fall on that scale should really dictate what you want to study because it's a lot harder to take on the hurculean task of producing when your head is not there and you'd much rather be writing and directing. If you are one of those types who really hates the business legal end of it you will want to partner up with someone who is more business minded and great at dealmaking etc.    Not everyone is cut out to wrestle both sides of it but being able to do so allows you to in effect greenlight your own work and makes you much more independent.   

 

And I agree with the above that a business degree translates to other fields way better than just studying film which is easy to do on your own by simply watching films and reading good critical analysis of them.

 

 

Agreed.  A business degree will be far more flexible and allow you to move into many more circles than just the film world.

 

 

Get the major in business. If a talent/connections based industry doesn't work out for you as a talent, a business degree goes a lot farther than a film degree

Thank you very much for your replies! One more question: Do you guys actually think that I can still work in the film industry with a Business BA + my media communications associate and digital film making minor? Thank you!


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#6 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 08:15 PM

Here's a quote from acclaimed photographer Richard Misrach.

 

"If a young artist asks me (and this I have been asked), should they go to law school or pursue a graduate program in photography, I know the answer is law school, no matter the quality of the portfolio. Simply by asking the question, simply by implying that both careers would be satisfactory options, it is answered.”

 

Having a back-up plan is always a good idea, but making a career in this industry is so immensely challenging, that if you are thinking, even now, about alternative careers, you should ask yourself if you truly have the dedication, and the straight-up bull-headedness to get where you want to be.


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#7 Nahomi Pardo

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 11:49 PM

Here's a quote from acclaimed photographer Richard Misrach.

 

"If a young artist asks me (and this I have been asked), should they go to law school or pursue a graduate program in photography, I know the answer is law school, no matter the quality of the portfolio. Simply by asking the question, simply by implying that both careers would be satisfactory options, it is answered.”

 

Having a back-up plan is always a good idea, but making a career in this industry is so immensely challenging, that if you are thinking, even now, about alternative careers, you should ask yourself if you truly have the dedication, and the straight-up bull-headedness to get where you want to be.

Yeah, I understand that. I just feel twice as worried/scared about getting a job since I'm an international student. Thanks for the advice!


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#8 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 08:02 AM

Having a back-up plan is always a good idea, but making a career in this industry is so immensely challenging, that if you are thinking, even now, about alternative careers, you should ask yourself if you truly have the dedication, and the straight-up bull-headedness to get where you want to be.

Going after a career in film isn't any more difficult or crazy than anything else right now.    The model of success today? Leave nothing lasting behind.  Build or help to build something up and sell it to the highest bidder and make your first exit at the age of 30.  Then you move to Costa Rica and teach surfing to tourists.

 

Consider the median age of employees at Google is 29.  Now try to imagine jumpstarting your "backup" plan at that age and diving into your first (non-entertainment based ) job when the film thing doesn't work out.  An age when most people your generation are leaving. Best advice is to create your career.  Don't rely on anyone to give you a "job".  Especially a generation behind you.


Edited by Michael LaVoie, 25 October 2016 - 08:05 AM.

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#9 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 08:13 AM

Simple solution.. marry someone rich.. or with a trust fund.. go forth and conquer ..


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#10 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 10:35 AM

Simple solution.. marry someone rich.. or with a trust fund.. go forth and conquer ..

Yeah that one is depressingly effective for too many...


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#11 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 04:29 PM

Yeah that one is depressingly effective for too many...

 

 

haha !  can be a double edged sword ..true 


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#12 Nahomi Pardo

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 11:07 PM

Simple solution.. marry someone rich.. or with a trust fund.. go forth and conquer ..

 

Luckily I'm not that kind of woman, I do have professional goals.


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#13 Nahomi Pardo

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 11:10 PM

Going after a career in film isn't any more difficult or crazy than anything else right now.    The model of success today? Leave nothing lasting behind.  Build or help to build something up and sell it to the highest bidder and make your first exit at the age of 30.  Then you move to Costa Rica and teach surfing to tourists.

 

Consider the median age of employees at Google is 29.  Now try to imagine jumpstarting your "backup" plan at that age and diving into your first (non-entertainment based ) job when the film thing doesn't work out.  An age when most people your generation are leaving. Best advice is to create your career.  Don't rely on anyone to give you a "job".  Especially a generation behind you.

 

Totally agree, I just can't see why "the film thing" won't work. Thank you though!


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#14 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 11:47 PM

Going after a career in film isn't any more difficult or crazy than anything else right now.   

 

I have to disagree. While everyone can have problems building a career in these unusual times, I would have to say that that the film industry remains one of the most difficult industries to break into, if only because of the huge amounts of people striving for the exact same positions. It's traditionally been hugely oversubscribed, and whilst access to cameras and post-production technology has increased, the number of actual paid positions within the industry hasn't changed.


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#15 Freya Black

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Posted 27 October 2016 - 03:23 AM

Having a back-up plan is always a good idea, but making a career in this industry is so immensely challenging, that if you are thinking, even now, about alternative careers, you should ask yourself if you truly have the dedication, and the straight-up bull-headedness to get where you want to be.

 

Having a back up plan is a great idea actually no matter what kind of dedication and "bull-headedness" you have.

You don't know what will come out of the blue in your life and try and destroy you.

 

Nobody is going to say you can't be in the film industry if you have a business degree, (quite the opposite I would have thought in fact) but when you are in trouble, like for instance if a gang of people beat you up and drug you and try and force you to star in a really low budget version of "eyes wide shut" and you stumble out of the country fast with a suitcase, a backpack, and a carry bag, you will be be really glad you had that business degree as you wander around foreign lands all alone feeling a bit frightened and vulnerable and looking over your back. Just as an example off the top of my head... asking for a friend and all that.

 

Anyway... yeah business degree all the way.

Maybe you can even make enough money in business to make some films or you could work in the film business perhaps.

 

The thing is that having a major in film will mean nothing in the real world as it's more about how dedicated you are to the goal as Stuart suggests. Having a business degree might be useful in all kinds of situations....

 

...especially in these difficult times.

 

Stay strong Nahomi...

 

love

 

Freya


Edited by Freya Black, 27 October 2016 - 03:26 AM.

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#16 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 27 October 2016 - 09:17 AM

 

I have to disagree. While everyone can have problems building a career in these unusual times, I would have to say that that the film industry remains one of the most difficult industries to break into, if only because of the huge amounts of people striving for the exact same positions. It's traditionally been hugely oversubscribed, and whilst access to cameras and post-production technology has increased, the number of actual paid positions within the industry hasn't changed.

My point was just that everything is hugely oversubscribed.  While it's true that the entertainment industry does not post job ads. IAC, Viacom, etc.  They don't allow the average person even the illusion of some method to apply to work on anything.  Tech is beginning to follow suit however.    I'm not referring to other fields like health & wellness services / education / government / food and retail etc   Those may indeed be great backups. 

 

Totally agree, I just can't see why "the film thing" won't work. Thank you though!

A successful career in film is not always longterm.  Look at Whit Stillman,  Or even Richard Kelly (both of whom I hope can turn it around)      Todd Haynes was almost done and out of the game entirely after Velvet Goldmine tanked.  It was only his longstanding solid relationship with Christine Vachon that got him in development on Far From Heaven.

 

My point is you're hot till your not.  Ed Burns is a great example of this.   This is where studying some of films instant success stories helps.  You gain some perspective of what not to do and how things can go south in a big hurry.  Lots of factors in film are out of your control.


Edited by Michael LaVoie, 27 October 2016 - 09:20 AM.

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