So you want to study Film and TV?

When most people think of ‘film’, they think of Hollywood. But studying film can take you down many more roads than just Hollywood Boulevard. If you haven’t noticed already, video is everywhere. Videos communicate messages powerfully, and tell stories like no other medium. You’ll rarely see a company, a project, an event or any sort of online campaign without a video to accompany it. And this is where you and I come in.

When I told my parents I was going to study film, as expected, they asked if I could actually make a career out of it. And when I tell my friends I study film, I get the reply “oh that’s cool”, but I’m sure they’re thinking “ha! Good luck with that”. Little do they realise that the videos they see everywhere – from the YouTube ads delaying you from watching cat videos, to the short Facebook videos promoting the latest music festival – are all made by us creative professionals (I love that title). And as creative professionals in the digital revolution, our work is booming! Never have the skills to produce quality videos been more valued. And when people value something, they’re willing to pay good money for it. You think wedding photography is lucrative? Think about wedding videography!

If you’re wondering what I did – I told people I was studying film. Nek minnit a boss of mine at QUT asked me to make a simple video for him. Then a week later I’m making a video for another guy who saw the first video. And now I make short videos for a whole bunch of people at QUT, promoting a whole range of things. My latest one, below, is about recent QUT graduate Tyra, who works for Black Milk Clothing:

So if you have an interest in film, you can definitely make a career out of it. My main tip – apply yourself. University is swarming with opportunities. Don’t wait until the end of your degree to get some work under your belt. Tell everyone and everything you study film/make videos and I guarantee you that friend of yours has a friend who knows a guy who wants a video made about that thing.

3 responses

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  1. avatar
    Joe

    Thanks Xaviaer, that helped a ton. I’m in year 11 and love film and Tv but was worried about future employment, especially in the Brisbane area. However what would you like to do in the future? Will you advance your career in the film industry and become a director, producer, cinematographer etc? Will you freelance? And do you know the rough average salary of an individual working in the Brisbane film industry? Also, is it hard to find a well paying job as part of a production crew, say as a director or scriptwriter?

    Sorry for the mass of questions but I am unsure wether to persue a career in the Australian film industry. Thank you very much.

    • avatar
      Xavier

      Hi there Joe,

      You’re welcome. Personally in the future I think I’d like to use my film skills in a social justice context, so either getting involved in documentary making or perhaps journalism. At this stage I could see myself in any role; cinematographer, editor, director, but I think at the beginning I’ll have to start wherever I can to get the experience I need to eventually work on the projects I desire. And yes I think I will still freelance on the side to fund my endeavours.

      For your last two questions unfortunately I don’t have solid answers. I’m yet to branch out from my filming work at QUT and therefore I’m not entirely sure on the salary of someone working in the Brisbane film industry. I’m also unable to tell you how hard it is to find a well paying job as part of a production crew. What I can tell you is that in this industry many people start working for free for university productions and other projects to gain experience before they start getting paid – similar to an internship. The film industry is all about experience, so the more you are able to build a portfolio before you graduate, the more likely you’ll be offered a paid position after university. Many people finish film courses without having worked on any projects on the side, so if you’re able to stand out from the crowd with a decent portfolio of work, this will kick start your path to working on bigger and better film productions.

      I hope these answers helped!

      All the best.
      Xavier

  2. avatar
    Ally

    Hi Xavier,
    I’m potentially looking to study at QUT for film and was wondering if seeing almost a year has gone pass, if you have any more idea about how well QUT helps students find paying employment during and after University in the film industry, and the other range of questions the person above asked? For example, were you paid for the videos you mentioned?

    Thanks a bunch,
    Ally

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