How to Make the Most of Your Film Studies Degree

"[I]f I had to stand up in front of students and justify the real-world utility of a Film Studies major, I'd say, "OK, maybe if you want to be in the industry you can bust your ass and end up as an assistant in the marketing department for Pixar. Maybe you'll even get health insurance. But we're moving into a service economy, and most of you will end up working at Wal-Mart, and the way that Film Studies will be useful to you will be when you try to pick up someone in a bar, you'll have something to talk about, because everybody likes to talk about movies." Your move, Gary Ross. [Vetoxa via Looker]


  • joe says:

    I think the next eveloution is the red letter media approach. Obviously not a review as long as the movie, but a story within the review.

  • j'accuse! says:

    Thanks for adding another line to my "reasons to kill myself" list Stu.


  • grindhouse141 says:

    Right, cause nothing gets a girl wet like a good chat about New German cinema...

  • Jake says:

    I think the key word here is "studies." A film studies degree does mean you have little to no potential to actually work in the industry. I have a number of friends that followed a film studies degree rather than a more practical fine arts degree with an emphasis in film where you come out having made a couple of films... and most of them ended up going to law school, although two of them are now professors or high school teachers. It's one thing to go to film school and learn how to make a film. It's another thing to go to film school and just watch films and learn about impractical things like "the male gaze" and althusserian marxism and impractical stuff like that. So yeah, that quote is absolutely true about film "studies." (Film studies is quite interesting, but it's just sort of impractical.)

    However, that quote is not true about a simple film degree and I disagree with the guy's pessimism about actually getting work. We live in a time like never before where a person with talent can reach an audience. The ability to self publish and self distribute is now fully available to all. And while directing a major Hollywood blockbuster is less likely, there are so few good Hollywood blockbusters nowadays anyway, why would you want to aspire to do that? But everywhere, people are hungry for good content and nothing is stopping those with film degrees from grabbing a camera and making it happen, and then sharing it via vimeo or youtube with thousands or even millions of people.

    So this is a pretty awesome time. Ideas are still most important. Content is king. So make it happen.