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Thread: Hello, i could use some advise from film students (or ex film students)

  1. #1

    Default Hello, i could use some advise from film students (or ex film students)

    Hello everyone, nice forum, sorry to start off in a new place with silly questions, but i thought you guys were likely to be able to help a chap out.

    I recently applied for a masters course in Film production, and im expecting an interview any day now, the thing is i havent got the slightest clue what to expect, and i truly hate going to these things unprepared. i was hoping that perhaps some of you fine people may have been through the applications processes yourselves at other educational establishments and may have some insight into the kinds of questions im likely to be asked.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2


    Currently finishing off my final year of my film & video degree, and thinking of doing a masters next year. not had an interview as i will be automatically accepted if i can pay the tuition fees and get a 2.1 or higher rate degree.

    i'd imagine in the interview they would ask why you would like to do the course, why you chose that course, what you intend to do with the masters degree/ do in the future, what your aspirations are, what experience do you have, what are your particular interests in film production, do you have any experience and examples of your own work(films made/student films etc) and finally do you have any questions!

    hope that helped!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
    Blog Entries


    I got on a masters in documentary film because of my passion and body of work to date. My academic knowledge of the subject was really not that good as I dont have a degree in film.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Western Europe


    I haven't done a Masters in Film Production but you may be asked about some aspects of pre production, production and post production. The three key areas of the actual making of a film, from ideas scribbled on the back of an envelope to script development, shooting and editing. Distribution, finance, publicity, equipment hire, crew hire, obtaining permissions to shoot on private property etc might be asked about in the interview.

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark W View Post
    My academic knowledge of the subject was really not that good as I dont have a degree in film.
    I guess they appreciated your honesty and determination to improve.

    Some good info here thanks guys. It wont be a face to face interview, since i live in Japan right now and applied for a course in the UK, im just going over any questions i can think of in my head, and i dont hear myself replying very elloquantly :(

  6. #6


    I would ask why you want to do a Masters in film production. If the answer is 'cos you want to make films' I would say, very strongly, don't do it. No-one repeat NO-ONE will give a sh!t if you've got a degree. Go and work in a facilities house for a year - you will eanr money, make contacts and learn loads. Or do what I guy I know did recentl and spend the money you would have spent at Uni on kit hire and wages and make a short film.

    Seriously, as someone with an M.A. in film and television studies, who went on to spend 9 months on the dole after graduating, and who has now been freelancing in the industry for 4 years, think very carefully about going down this route as it will categorically not help you get a job in the industry.

  7. #7


    Whats a facilities house?
    I do indeed want to work in the industry, but im not in a position right now to really do that for lack of experience. I assumed that an MA in film making would give me that.
    Im intreagued to learn of alternatives.

  8. #8


    A facilities house is somewhere that hires kit and/or edit facilities, and they regularly take people on who have little to no experience but lots of enthusiasm. I was responsible for hiring out the cameras etc and had to check them when they came back in, and I also looked after the edit suites. The guy who I was replacing showed me all about how to check the cameras etc before he left.

    The main benefit is that you can use your free time there to really learn the ins and outs of various equipment etc; you can chat to people who are hiring stuff and find out about thier own films; you can make contacts with poeple who also work in the industry; you can usually get free use of kit to practise making your own films; you can get a better feel for which areas interest you most - camera? sound? editing? and then begin to specialise in whatever area you choose.

    Here's a test to show how worthless a degree is - imagine you have just finished your masters, and go now and look for jobs in the film/tv industry. See how many of them say 'we want someone with a Masters' and how many say 'we want someone with some experience'. Even if you get your Masters, you're still going to have to go out and get the experience afterwards anyway so why not just skip the masters and get in there and start learning the ropes.

  9. #9


    Ok, I just decided to do a quick search myself and here is the first job I came across, and one which is entirely typical of where you'd be looking to go:

    Job Title Post-Production Runner Location London Salary/Rate 13,500 Duration Permanent (Depending On Successful Completion of 3 Job Description Enthusiastic runner required.

    Looking for your first job in TV? Know your BNCs from your XLRs? Know how to make a fine cuppa? Then read on.

    Are you very enthusiastic, incredibly hard working and always eager to learn? Joining our team of runners, you'll undertake all sorts of tasks, from getting lunches to running tapes, from moving DigiBeta decks to the aforementioned tea making, always on the front line of providing service to our clients.

    Candidates should possess excellent communication skills, be highly self-motivated and able to work as part of a team. They should also have a passion for post production and / or graphic design - this isn't a job that'll get you involved with a lot of cameras and lights!


    Note that there is no mention of formal qualifications. All they're looking for is someone who knows a bit about what they're doing and shows enthusiasm. Frustratingly, uni courses always fail to mention this...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
    Blog Entries


    I agree with cdf above - I started my amsters cos of interst only. My friend who qualified got a job as an assistant editor on minum wage....

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