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TV/Film Production (tech side) - most useful degrees Watch

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    Hello! Hope you've all enjoyed your Christmas break

    Here's my question:

    I'm in my last year of university and I'm taking A-Levels that give me the opportunity to pursue degrees like Physics or any engineering course (save Chemical Engineering). I initially applied for Physics to top unis and have four offers, but I've always had an interest in film and TV production, mostly looking at the tech side of it (i.e. camera operations, audio, lights, tech assistance).

    At this particular moment, I have no idea what I want to do with my life; all I know is that a Physics/Engineering degree is the best way to start off for me.

    I'm wondering.. if I were to try developing a career in media production, what kind of degree would be more useful for me, or would any of them be useful to me at all? I know that people say a degree in Physics opens up a lot of doors to you, but I was thinking that considering I'm looking at technology, maybe electric or electronic engineering would be a better idea, or maybe even mechanical engineering..?

    Any advice will be appreaciated. This has been on my mind for so long and I've still got no idea what I'm doing :P


    Also, out of curiosity, in media production, how does one become a project manager? Do you have to actually have a degree in project management, or is there a way of working up from, say, a runner, to a PA and end up managing whole projects or accounts? That's possible, right?

    Thank you all in advance for the advice
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    Choose a course that includes practical work placements with employers.
    See : http://www.york.ac.uk/tftv/

    Be aware that entry to these courses is VERY competitive, and grades are not enough. You will also need to show that you ALREADY have experience of film, TV or radio work even if this is just student films, volunteer work or 'work shadowing' to be taken seriously.
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    Hi audacious ant, what do you mean by "project manager" exactly? Do you mean Production Manager? And what part of the media do you mean (TV is very different from advertising or publishing or radio)?
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    (Original post by TV man)
    Hi audacious ant, what do you mean by "project manager" exactly? Do you mean Production Manager? And what part of the media do you mean (TV is very different from advertising or publishing or radio)?
    Yeah - sorry, I don't know all the terms in the industry. But yes, I meant a production manager and I was mainly talking about Film and TV.
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    A few useful links with sensible careers advice about 'Working in Television' and job descriptions :

    http://www.prospects.ac.uk/types_of_jobs_media.htm

    http://www.careers.ox.ac.uk/options-...ions/tv-radio/

    http://guides.careers.sussex.ac.uk/filmtvmusic
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    I would also check out Media Production - as there are quite a few unis that cover this area. I am doing it because they cover more areas than just film and tv- like digital media, websites, sound, journalism, radio (so hopefully I will end up with a more diverse set of skills).

    Our tutors say it is more about the work we do than the grades, so its important to do a degree where you can do work experience as part of your studies. we've already been offered a few placements and i'm only in my first year, so hopefully that will help in the long run. lots of the people in higher years get paid before they leave uni

    I think the new unistats website is good, as it gives the data about how many of the students get jobs after graduating etc. It also shows you how satisfied the students are - http://unistats.direct.gov.uk/Subjec...eturnTo/Search
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    Thanks! You're all giving fantastic advice, but I've heard many times that a degree in Media/Film/TV Production won't necessarily make your career for you. I was thinking of getting my degree in Physics/Engineering and maybe completing a Media Production course (e.g. a 1-year course) and then just starting off somewhere at the bottom and working my way up, slowly but fairly. I'm just unsure whether an Engineering degree can help me out in that stuff or if it'll come off pretty much useless to me in this industry.
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    how about doing something in computer science/multimedia? its heavily related to maths (coding, problem solving etc). there are loads of trainee schemes out at the moment, at places like the BBC, where they are looking for more technically orientated people. digital media is a massively growing area

    you can always do a postgrad degree in media, or just pursue making work on the side as you do your engineering/maths degree.

    also most universities might have a film/tv society where you can make stuff for fun. many people in media dont have a media degree, so its really not mandatory- although it can be a really interesting area to study
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    Hi audacious-ant,

    You are right to suggest that no particular degree is needed to get a job in TV, nor even a degree at all. It is much more about building an interesting CV, with experience and a fair degree of luck. Andy199 has a very wise tutor if he/she says that it is more about the work you do than the grade - TV employers look for experience and proven interest much more than they look at qualifications. in truth you can learn most of the creative and technical side of TV by just doing it for a bit, you don't need a course; you would learn more after a month in the industry than you will ever learn in three years at Uni.

    In terms of Production management, the same applies - no particular degree is better than any other, though I will mention this one:

    http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/study/cour...ion-management

    I believe it is the only Uni offering a course like this and sounds well worth investigating.
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    (Original post by TV man)
    Hi audacious-ant,

    You are right to suggest that no particular degree is needed to get a job in TV, nor even a degree at all. It is much more about building an interesting CV, with experience and a fair degree of luck. Andy199 has a very wise tutor if he/she says that it is more about the work you do than the grade - TV employers look for experience and proven interest much more than they look at qualifications. in truth you can learn most of the creative and technical side of TV by just doing it for a bit, you don't need a course; you would learn more after a month in the industry than you will ever learn in three years at Uni.

    In terms of Production management, the same applies - no particular degree is better than any other, though I will mention this one:

    http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/study/cour...ion-management

    I believe it is the only Uni offering a course like this and sounds well worth investigating.
    Thanks very much for the advice and support. I'll look into all of that and now I know vaguely what path to follow.
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    It's competitive. Especially as a woman, harsh but true. These sorts of media degrees are great for making contacts but you'll need to work a few years to be a PM. No one will employ you as a PM even if you have a management degree if you have no experience. The industry is all about experience and it is extremely closed off. If you do consider this career the BECTU is a great union full of support and advice.
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    Yes, I hope it goes without saying that even if you do a course such as the Edge Hill one above, you will still have to start by doing work experience (ie work illegally unpaid) and find work as a runner before you can start thinking of applying for Production Co-ordinator jobs.

    Then it's only after a few years as a co-ordinator and with a healthy measure of ability and luck that you may then move on to being a Production Manager.
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    Please explain what you mean by 'work illegally'?
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    "work illegally unpaid".

    TV employers will take you on on "unpaid work experience". You will be expected to do real work for these companies, within specified hours. the law says that if you do work in this way, you should be paid at least the legal minimum (the adult minimum wage is £6.19 an hour). Most graduates who are looking for work in TV will work unpaid in this way for an average of three months before they get paid work (if they ever get it).

    You will end up subsidising these companies by approximately £3,200 each as a result of these companies ignoring the law in this way. Might be worth making sure you have this kind of money lying around when you graduate as you will need it to live on.
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    (Original post by TV man)
    Yes, I hope it goes without saying that even if you do a course such as the Edge Hill one above, you will still have to start by doing work experience (ie work illegally unpaid) and find work as a runner before you can start thinking of applying for Production Co-ordinator jobs.

    Then it's only after a few years as a co-ordinator and with a healthy measure of ability and luck that you may then move on to being a Production Manager.
    I perfectly understand that it's all about experience in that field, and in fact that's what I'm counting on most. I'm prepared to go for unpaid experience jobs and runner jobs to start off on a low, so my main concern in this thread was whether my degree as an engineer will be useful in any way in the industry or not.
 
 
 
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