Great tips and advice for a kid who dreams of making movies.

 

Q: ” My son desparately wants to study towards a BA in Film and Television. I have done EXTENSIVE research and I know which universities offer it but I would like to hear from anyone who is either in the industry or knows about the industry to shed some light on where they believe the best place to study would be and why.”

A: ” SAE Institute South Africa, they have over 50 campuses worldwide and they do music,film and animation so kids can collaborate and see all aspects of the industry.”

I have a small post production company and I have to say he just needs to get into the environment and learn. Maybe work for free. I have seen students after they have completed courses and am shocked how little they know. He would learn way more in a real studio. But it’s just my opinion. I would rather take someone on that had real experience.”

” My niece is doing a BA Film at AFDA in Cape Town, focusing on production. Loving it. Very practical, project based.

” Get him to learn After effects in his spare time. He will always have work”

” My son studied a BJourn specialized in film. But he says he wasted 4 years of his life and a lot of money. He learned more in the first 6 months in the industry than in the 4 years of study. But it’s not like that for all the institutions. I’m sure.”

” I also work in the film industry and you definitely don’t need a degree to excel! He simply needs to get on set as a PA and decide where he wants to go from there. He would be paid (but not qualify for overtime) and have the opportunity to see all aspects hands on… if at a later stage he feels it would help him specialize then he can look into studying further. It sure is an interesting and challenging space with many many aspects! The youngsters coming out of colleges and uni thinking they know what they’re up to get knocked down to size pretty swiftly but coming in with a humble attitude and building from there goes a long way.”

Wits are one of the top 15 film schools in the world … and they cost exactly 50% of what AFDA do but their entrance requirements are much more stringent. HI- my daughter did it at UCT and it was excellent. Please be aware that in the second year there is a stringent selection process to go into the Film and Media stream and there are limited spaces for this stream so his grades and portfolio need to be high. “

” Before you commit to paying, maybe get them industry experience in the field they would like to work in. Production, cinematography, accounts, directing, editing, sound, post production. The hours are extremely long and it is hard team work. I had many trainees who spent thousands on four year courses only to realize its not their specialization on a film or movie or tv production. In Gauteng, apply to Gauteng Film Commission for information, in Cape Town, South African Film Academy, in KZN it is the film commission. Please don’t pay any fees to an institution that is not recognized stick to reputable institutions like Afda, City Varsity, CPUT in Cape Town. There are also student learnerships that one can apply for. Commercial companies and production companies can assist in this regard.”

” As someone who has been in the industry for 25 years, the last thing I would look at when hiring someone is whether or not they have a degree. Most of us started as runners and worked our way into our particular department as we learned from job to job. The biggest expansion in film making has been VFX (visual effects) and one of the best recommendations is to hone a post production skill. After getting a licence and a PDP! The most I ever learned about film was when I was a runner / PA.”

” I’ve been a Film and TV editor for more than twenty years (with a degree) and my opinion is to find yourself a mentor…why would you spend the time studying the theory when you can be doing this very hands on job and making contacts, which is what the industry runs on. If he wants to go into teaching be a critique/writer absolutely – go get your masters.”

” I work in the TV industry as a writer. No one asks you for your degree however if you want to write or direct I think a degree in film where you have studied the history of film, genre and other elements of the medium is more helpful than one imagines. WITS and UCT are both good. Some of the young talented cinematographers I know who are working studied at AFDA. I think there are jobs on set that are best learnt in the field.”

 

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