Turn Your Digital Filmmaking Hobby into a Career|Turn Your Digital Filmmaking Hobby into a Career

Turn Your Digital Filmmaking Hobby into a Career

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Are you a YouTube power user? Do you get extra wedding invitations-to be the videographer? If so, you may be ready for a career in digital filmmaking. Whether you want to make small independent films or catch the eye of Hollywood heavyweights, the right career training could help you break into an exciting industry.

Digital Filmmaking: Easier than Ever
Digital filmmaking isn't as expensive as traditional filmmaking. It allows all kinds of people to use their video cameras and home computers to shoot, edit, and share films on the Internet. Showing films through sites like YouTube doesn't require a large budget, making it an excellent way for small filmmakers to get noticed. Advances in technology also enable people to watch digital films on cell phones and iPods. Lower costs to make and distribute digital films means that more independent films are being released nationally.

Advance Your Career with Film Training
Turning your passion for digital filmmaking into a career may require a college degree. A degree program can help you learn about various equipment, software, and techniques used for filmmaking. Art schools offer degrees in computer animation, digital movie production, set and exhibit design, and more.

Depending upon the school, you could earn a certificate or an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree. Courses may focus on topics such as animation, lighting, digital sound, and digital editing. Some online courses may focus on multimedia, digital 3D animation, digital media communications, or visual communications. Digital filmmaking is still relatively new, so there are constantly new developments in the industry. A job in this field will require you to stay abreast of changes in technology and techniques.

Finding Film Jobs
Digital filmmaking can be competitive. Getting an internship or freelancing can help you gain experience and put together a body of work. Jobs exist for preproduction, production, and postproduction work. With the right career training, you might land a job as a producer, director, film lab technician, or cinematographer. Jobs are also available in television, advertising, and corporate communications departments. You also may decide to specialize in making:
  1. Documentaries
  2. Narratives and dramas
  3. Corporate, educational, or industrial films
  4. Experimental films.
Salaries can vary widely for people who work in digital filmmaking. It's likely that you'll take some jobs for the experience and credit rather than the pay in the early stages of your career. The base salary range for film directors is $17,965 to $41,229, according to Salary.com.

Digital filmmaking can be fun and allow you to use your creativity. However, depending upon the types of projects you work on, you may have long hours, spend a lot of time traveling, and need to find sources of funding for projects.

Sources
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Salary.com
Shoreline Community College

About the Author
Francine L. Huff is a freelance journalist and the author of The 25-Day Financial Makeover: A Practical Guide for Women. She has appeared on a variety of TV and radio shows.

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