Cinema studies, also referred to as film studies, is a popular educational field for aspiring actors, directors, producers and other professionals in the motion picture industry. If you have a passion for movies, read on to learn more about job duties, salaries and education for cinema enthusiasts.
Cinema studies can provide you with the education and training you need to work in the movie industry. As a qualified graduate of a cinema studies program, you may attend film auditions or start acquiring the behind-the-scenes experience you need to pursue a career as a director or producer. Cinema studies programs are interdisciplinary courses of study that can also include topics in music and writing.
As a film director, you may be responsible for the creative decisions that go into making a movie, television show or other film production. Your day-to-day duties can include interpreting scripts, designing sets, cueing actors and technicians or approving costume selections and musical scores. Film producers are in charge of the business side of making films, including budgeting, hiring directors and casting members.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about 79,800 people were employed as actors, while another 103,500 worked as producers and directors in 2012. Employment opportunities for actors, as well as producers and directors, were expected to increase by a slower-than-average rate nationwide from 2012 to 2022. As of May 2012, the mean hourly wage for an actor was $35.97; film producers and directors earned $44.42 an hour, or $92,320 per year (www.bls.gov).
As a cinema studies student, you can tailor your educational decisions to reflect your career goals, which may include a position in media, movies and television. It can take as little as two years to complete an Associate of Arts in Film to over eight years for a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Cinema Studies. Some schools may allow you to pursue a concentration in screenwriting, producing or acting.
A cinema studies program may include courses in film criticism and history, contemporary cinema, digital video and documentary filmmaking. You may also take classes in camera and lighting, editing, music and screenwriting, or pursue specialized topics in animation and film noir. As an aspiring professional, you'll also receive training in acting, video production and photography.