Why am I being advised not to study film/media at uni?

Watch
Cherry82
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#1
Countless of people have told me that I would waste my money but I don't see the point of studying courses like law (though I have an interest in law) if I am not planning to become a lawyer any time soon.
I know that being an actress/ screen writer doesn't require a degree but I need experience and I want to work on my craft. I want to work in the film industry and music business so why wouldn't I study drama/film studies or media at university? Someone said I should do things around my interests during my free time and if I do not I should expect to be in debt while not having a job etc. They say it as if all media/film/drama graduates are unemployed which isn't true.
0
reply
sophiamarni
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#2
Report 6 years ago
#2
ugh i hate people, do not let others dictate your life for you do what you enjoy
0
reply
Imperion
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#3
Report 6 years ago
#3
(Original post by sophiamarni)
ugh i hate people, do not let others dictate your life for you do what you enjoy
Hope she doesn't hold this against you IF she ends up jobless 3 years down the line

To OP, perhaps looks for something with more 'security' ...Probably journalism?
0
reply
Xin Xang
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#4
Report 6 years ago
#4
It is a HUGE risk to try going for success in the film industry. It probably has the same odds as winning the lottery. So I can totally understand why people are advising against it. Think of it as though they are advising you not to make a HUGE bet worth £27K. At the end of the day, it may be what you want to do, but there is still a huge risk involved. That is a plain fact.
0
reply
PQ
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#5
Report 6 years ago
#5
(Original post by Cherry82)
Countless of people have told me that I would waste my money but I don't see the point of studying courses like law (though I have an interest in law) if I am not planning to become a lawyer any time soon.
I know that being an actress/ screen writer doesn't require a degree but I need experience and I want to work on my craft. I want to work in the film industry and music business so why wouldn't I study drama/film studies or media at university? Someone said I should do things around my interests during my free time and if I do not I should expect to be in debt while not having a job etc. They say it as if all media/film/drama graduates are unemployed which isn't true.
Just do your research.
Most media degrees are very general and wont equip you for work in media (more likely for marketing/pr type jobs)
Film degrees can be either academic (like english lit but looking at films not written material), others are film production and will include practical skills as part of the actual course. Often these will prepare you for a job but generally back room/support jobs (camera work, production, editing etc).

Drama is difficult. Look at the content closely and the learning environment. It is even more specialist than the other two and so it is even more important that you are confident the course you choose will give you the experience and contacts you need.

None of these are a bad idea but the more clarity you have about where you want to end up working in (and backup plans) then the more likely you are to pick the right course to get you where you want to be.
0
reply
TheWaffle
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#6
Report 6 years ago
#6
(Original post by Cherry82)
Countless of people have told me that I would waste my money but I don't see the point of studying courses like law (though I have an interest in law) if I am not planning to become a lawyer any time soon.
I know that being an actress/ screen writer doesn't require a degree but I need experience and I want to work on my craft. I want to work in the film industry and music business so why wouldn't I study drama/film studies or media at university? Someone said I should do things around my interests during my free time and if I do not I should expect to be in debt while not having a job etc. They say it as if all media/film/drama graduates are unemployed which isn't true.
hiya

For film/ media the problem is countless people who want to work in the media graduate with these degrees each year. The most successful people I know in the Media (and I am being mentored by a professional screenwriter and producer and have networked with several others) did something other than film/ media (even if it was drama at Manchester). The thing people want in the industry is real life experience and you can get that my work shadowing/ completing placements during another degree. Doing a decent degree from a Russell Group AND having experience AND having used your time at uni to build up contacts stands you in much better stead than someone graduating with a film degree from Bolton for example. Btw I am also trying to be an actress/ screenwriter but am a bit further down the line than you so I can give you more specific advice on these. But if you want to go into the Media... THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER HAS AMAZING NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES! Btw... I don't know enough about screenwriting degrees to necessarily put them in the same category as film degrees but there are many other ways to learn these skills. Maybe something like English and creative writing at Manchester would be a good idea? Or drama (and English if you want) at Manchester?
0
reply
jimmy_looks_2ice
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#7
Report 6 years ago
#7
I'd research courses you think might interest you and find the one(s) that most interest you. The academically-oriented ones may also give you a bit more scope should you choose not to pursue the most highly competitive disciplines with the film and media industries. As you said yourself, you're not interested in pursuing careers that mandate a specific vocational degree, so there's no point studying any such degree. So, at this point, for you, the issues around the odds of succeeding in various disciplines aren't the key factors. The factors that are most relevant to you now are studying the subjects you think will interest you most, among people you think you're most likely to bond with, and which are most likely to bring out the best in you.

Oh, and it's a pointless exercise trying to predict what degree or uni will offer the greatest chance of success in media, particularly in as capricious a discipline as acting. A quick look at the academic background of a few Brit actors who are big in Hollywood right now will confirm that: Eddie Redmayne studied Art History at Cambridge; Simon Pegg studied Theatre, Film and Television at Bristol; and Christian Bale left school at 16 and didn't even go to university. There's no pattern, hence my comments in the above paragraph.
0
reply
KBradders
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#8
Report 6 years ago
#8
I am doing a TV Production course at a university that is said to be one of the best in the country, and Skillset accredited. It is a waste of time and I do highly advise against it.

I learnt more at college, as a matter of fact my college had far higher standards of work than my university. I have literally gone backwards in development. It is not a challenging course, you're still learning how to format an SD card at Christmas time and you sit in lecture theatres with a PowerPoint listing sub-genres after Christmas. It is a pathetic excuse of a degree.

I worked in TV before going to university, and no one cared that I was going to university. I learnt everything I needed at college to be honest.
0
reply
Derwent Students
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#9
Report 6 years ago
#9
Hey,

If you think the course will help you improve your skills and get you closer to your goal then go for it, don't just do it for the diploma. Also, don't listen to the naysayers, they disguise fear and inability to take risks as 'safety' and 'practicability'. Do whatever makes you happy, take a chance regardless of how 'impossible' it may seem!
0
reply
Cherry82
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#10
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#10
(Original post by Xin Xang)
It is a HUGE risk to try going for success in the film industry. It probably has the same odds as winning the lottery. So I can totally understand why people are advising against it. Think of it as though they are advising you not to make a HUGE bet worth £27K. At the end of the day, it may be what you want to do, but there is still a huge risk involved. That is a plain fact.
Really? Is it that bad or hard? I don't know what to do...
I'm in the middle of writing my personal statement and I am trying to decide which path to take. This is so hard- I can't imagine not doing this as a career. I'm getting older and I know age is just a number but I want to entertain also while being in the film industry, diving also to the music industry. My body won't be as flexible as this in 10 years lol
0
reply
Cherry82
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#11
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#11
(Original post by TheWaffle)
hiya

For film/ media the problem is countless people who want to work in the media graduate with these degrees each year. The most successful people I know in the Media (and I am being mentored by a professional screenwriter and producer and have networked with several others) did something other than film/ media (even if it was drama at Manchester). The thing people want in the industry is real life experience and you can get that my work shadowing/ completing placements during another degree. Doing a decent degree from a Russell Group AND having experience AND having used your time at uni to build up contacts stands you in much better stead than someone graduating with a film degree from Bolton for example. Btw I am also trying to be an actress/ screenwriter but am a bit further down the line than you so I can give you more specific advice on these. But if you want to go into the Media... THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER HAS AMAZING NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES! Btw... I don't know enough about screenwriting degrees to necessarily put them in the same category as film degrees but there are many other ways to learn these skills. Maybe something like English and creative writing at Manchester would be a good idea? Or drama (and English if you want) at Manchester?
Wow, all? Not one studied media or film at university? Out of curiosity, what did they study? I wouldn't mind doing literature at university but I'm not exactly passionate about it yet due to the ridiculous amount of essay writing. I enjoy the subject at A level but I can't imagine how hard it must be a uni. Someone help please, I just don't want to study a course I'll hate and waste money.
I need to practice and get experience as a singer, actress, screen writer etc which is why I'm scared to do something else at university. I don't want it occupying all of my time, leaving no room for me to practice or do what I love.
0
reply
gutenberg
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#12
Report 6 years ago
#12
(Original post by Cherry82)
I need to practice and get experience as a singer, actress, screen writer etc which is why I'm scared to do something else at university. I don't want it occupying all of my time, leaving no room for me to practice or do what I love.
If you really want to do acting, why don't you look at somewhere like the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, which offers a BA in Acting? From what I understand it may not train you in something like screenwriting, but it definitely includes elements of both acting & singing training.
0
reply
jimmy_looks_2ice
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#13
Report 6 years ago
#13
As previous post...or find unis that have excellent extra-curricular drama groups/comedy troupes that you can get involved in.

Acting is a risky proposition, no doubt, but the lottery analogy is flawed, since there's virtually nothing you can do to improve your chances of winning the lottery, it is purely luck. Luck is undoubtedly a significant factor in acting, but there are things you can do to increase the chances of luck working in your favour. Let's say in five years' time, you and a random person off the street audition for a part. Who's got more chance of getting it: you, the dedicated, RADA-trained, and determined actor (or actress, if you prefer) or the completely unprepared acting newbie? Admittedly, in reality, it's never that straightforward, and there will often be other RADA-trained actors who get the part instead of you, but my point is, unlike lottery results, you can do things to influence your destiny in auditions.

I don't think you should look at it at this stage as "will I succeed or not?" I think you need to be looking at it now as "am I prepared to tough it out and work really hard at this, often for far less reward than students of other subjects will get for less work?" If the answer to that is yes, crack on and do it. If the answer is no, you're better off listening to the naysayers and following an easier path in life.
0
reply
Cherry82
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#14
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#14
(Original post by jimmy_looks_2ice)
As previous post...or find unis that have excellent extra-curricular drama groupsImage/comedy troupes that you can get involved in.

Acting is a risky proposition, no doubt, but the lottery analogy is flawed, since there's virtually nothing you can do to improve your chances of winning the lotteryImage, it is purely luck. Luck is undoubtedly a significant factor in acting, but there are things you can do to increase the chances of luck working in your favour. Let's say in five years' time, you and a random person off the street audition for a part. Who's got more chance of getting it: you, the dedicated, RADA-trained, and determined actor (or actress, if you prefer) or the completely unprepared acting newbie? Admittedly, in reality, it's never that straightforward, and there will often be other RADA-trained actors who get the part instead of you, but my point is, unlike lottery resultsImage, you can do things to influence your destiny in auditions.

I don't think you should look at it at this stage as "will I succeed or not?" I think you need to be looking at it now as "am I prepared to tough it out and work really hard at this, often for far less reward than students of other subjects will get for less work?" If the answer to that is yes, crack on and do it. If the answer is no, you're betterImage off listening to the naysayers and following an easier path in life.
Thank you. I was thinking the same thing also with the lottery analogy. But I could understand what they were saying as actresses such as Jennifer Lawrence apparently never did have professional training with acting but she did do movies in her spare time. Not sure if this is true but I read this up from one of her interviews. So maybe the lottery analogy isn't as flawed. As the same with the music industry- these days you don't have to sing and you can become a singer very easily. It seems to be more about sexiness and sex appeal which worries me a lot.
0
reply
cBay
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#15
Report 6 years ago
#15
(Original post by Cherry82)
Countless of people have told me that I would waste my money but I don't see the point of studying courses like law (though I have an interest in law) if I am not planning to become a lawyer any time soon.
I know that being an actress/ screen writer doesn't require a degree but I need experience and I want to work on my craft. I want to work in the film industry and music business so why wouldn't I study drama/film studies or media at university? Someone said I should do things around my interests during my free time and if I do not I should expect to be in debt while not having a job etc. They say it as if all media/film/drama graduates are unemployed which isn't true.
study it in another country where there's no tuition fees. Then people can't say you're wasting your money.
0
reply
gutenberg
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#16
Report 6 years ago
#16
(Original post by Cherry82)
Thank you. I was thinking the same thing also with the lottery analogy. But I could understand what they were saying as actresses such as Jennifer Lawrence apparently never did have professional training with acting but she did do movies in her spare time. Not sure if this is true but I read this up from one of her interviews. So maybe the lottery analogy isn't as flawed. As the same with the music industry- these days you don't have to sing and you can become a singer very easily. It seems to be more about sexiness and sex appeal which worries me a lot.
Jennifer Lawrence did not attend somewhere like RADA, but she was spotted as potential talent because she was already involved in the modelling industry and making advertisements. So it's not like she was plucked off the street, absolutely from nowhere. Personally, I still think trying to go somewhere like RADA is your best shot, or else being prepared to spend all your extracurricular time at another university being involved in drama groups etc. However, you are likely to have more opportunities fall into your lap at somewhere like RADA, versus just being involved in a local or uni drama group: RADA will know about casting calls, and will have links with the industry, meaning you might get bit-parts in things over the summer for instance, to boost your CV.
0
reply
parentlurker
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#17
Report 6 years ago
#17
your likely debt is more than 27k - it's 27k fees plus money for living expenses and could easily reach 50k. Then you dont get a job and eventually decide to retrain for something else or get the sort of job you could have got with A levels.

Most people who do media degrees find them a waste of money, hence the advice.
0
reply
jimmy_looks_2ice
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#18
Report 6 years ago
#18
Before I say anything else, I'll just point out that my understanding of the acting profession is all secondary knowledge. Specific acting career advice is probably going to be beyond the scope of TSR, so you'd really need to look elsewhere for that. My comments are primarily "big picture" observations - I don't really know specifically what degree would work best for an aspiring actor, other than to echo what I said earlier regarding actors entering and succeeding in the profession coming from all different types of academic backgrounds.

Post 16 seems pretty sound advice, imo. One thing I'd add, however, is that while it's fine to look at someone like Jennifer Lawrence for inspiration, you shouldn't focus too much on her. She's a movie star, not just an actress. They're not the same thing. All you can do is work on becoming the best actress you can be; stardom is dependent on a whole host of factors that you simply cannot control - foremost among them is how the public reacts to your work, which no-one can control, except the public collectively themselves! As William Goldman once wrote: "stars usually happen by accident". I'm not going back on my earlier comments about hard work and influencing your destiny - that all applies, I believe, to becoming an actress. It's just that if nothing less than becoming a big name like Jennifer Lawrence will satisfy you, then, yes, your chances of succeeding are comparable to those of winning the lottery.

I'm just adding a qualifier to that last paragraph: it's natural to focus on the big names, because they're the ones that are most recognisable to us and get the most press coverage, so we learn more about their background. I don't mean to imply that you shouldn't be ambitious. Nothing wrong with hoping for the best, as long as you accept that you may have to settle for a much more modest level of success, as per the principles outlined in my previous paragraph.
0
reply
LenaSim
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#19
Report 6 years ago
#19
Look at the main two actors in The theory of everything. They didn't study media at uni(they went to Oxbridge btw). Neither did Brooke Shields and she went to Princeton. The list is long. Media studies in uni is a waste of time and you don't need it in order to become an actress/director/whatever. The only places worth studying such degrees are Julliard or Carnegie Mellon because they have strong connections to the film industry.
0
reply
Cherry82
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#20
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#20
(Original post by FunkItsMechanics)
Do you want to be unemployed with 50k of student debt? do you?
But are all students who are doing these courses in this state? I've read the previous comments and I understand but it's not as if I would become jobless as most of these students do find job. It's true that compared to other courses, the unemployment rate is high but it;s surprisingly the same with studying courses like geography, psychology and history. So for those who in these subjects, is it still a waste of money? Because arts subjects are not the bottom of the list which is a shock as I found more traditional subjects to enter the bottom.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Feeling behind at school/college? What is the best thing your teachers could to help you catch up?

Extra compulsory independent learning activities (eg, homework tasks) (5)
4.9%
Run extra compulsory lessons or workshops (16)
15.69%
Focus on making the normal lesson time with them as high quality as possible (19)
18.63%
Focus on making the normal learning resources as high quality/accessible as possible (11)
10.78%
Provide extra optional activities, lessons and/or workshops (33)
32.35%
Assess students, decide who needs extra support and focus on these students (18)
17.65%

Watched Threads

View All