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Career in filmmaking: A short course or a degree?

Image courtesy of Met Film School

Have you always harboured that burning desire to enter the professional world of film? Maybe you’ve thought about it, but currently, lack the practical know-how to get your ambitions off the ground?

Dedicating the time and commitment to attend film school can prove to be an invaluable investment in your filmmaking future. A quality film school will offer the guidance you need to get started, as well as the opportunity to create your first portfolio under the supervision of experienced tutors.

An alternative to traditional academic routes

Does the word ‘school’ make you think of hours of essay-writing and exams? If it does, you’re not alone. Traditional academic courses such as Bachelor and Master’s degrees are not one-size-fits-all.  Many schools and universities today are urged to think about driving towards the provision of intensive short courses that are perfect for beginners, as well as those wanting to gain a pure skill without formal academic assessment.


Studies, such as Teaching Compressed-Format Courses by William Kops, Professor, University of Manitoba, suggest that by taking a short course, you can gain similar learning outcomes as you would from a longer degree-style module. Even though you cannot become a filmmaker overnight (as much as you might want to), there are still plenty of options available to you. For example, over the period of six months of intensive study you can develop a well-rounded skillset, which will give you a head start in your career.

Condensed short courses might be a perfect solution for you if you’re unable to commit to several years in a university or simply don’t like the idea of taking a degree course. These intensive courses put you right in the action-packed world of modern screen crafts, allowing you to perfect the skills you’ll need in the workplace through rigorous practical experience. The benefits of this dynamic and practical approach are wide-ranging and can prove invaluable in the film school environment, letting you simultaneously learn and practice the skills needed for the job.

A school that is world-known for this practical, hands-on approach to intensive learning is the Met Film School. Based in the heart of the screen industry at the world-famous Ealing Studios, Met Film School affords you the opportunity to learn and experiment on a campus which is the home of legendary productions such as Notting Hill, Dorian Gray, The Imitation Game, Doctor Who and Downton Abbey.

Met Film School offers a variety of full-time six-month courses that are a proven launch pad for many impressive careers within the screen arts sector. The courses cover screen crafts such as Filmmaking, Postproduction, Digital Animation and VFX, Producing and Acting.  Let’s have a look at how these courses have already helped hundreds of students find their dream jobs.

Faster route to the screen industries

“Before the course, I was trying to find work in the industry but had no luck because I had no experience and didn’t know how everything worked. The course gave me a much better understanding of the industry and different aspects of filmmaking.”- Holly Upton, Six-Month Full-Time Filmmaking, Met Film School, runner on Amazons Prime’s The Grand Tour.

“Before I did a practical filmmaking course I was a tour guide in Europe and before that I was a project manager in telecommunications. I then decided that I wanted to get into filmmaking and started doing digital content for the tourism industry. Soon I realised that in order to take the next step into feature films and TV shows, I would need to upskill and really learn what goes into making a film. And that is why I decided to do the Six-Month Practical Filmmaking course at Met Film School.”- Glenn Kelly, Six-Month Full-Time Filmmaking, Met Film School, now working in The Imaginarium, Europe’s leading Performance Capture studio and production company.


“I was an accountant and it was a dream of mine to work in the film industry, so I was looking for a course that would enable me to change my career. The Six-Month Practical Filmmaking course taught me everything I needed to dive straight into the working world within a short space of time. As a result of a contact gained from a fellow student, I secured a role as a runner on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies directed by Stephen Frears.” – Guy Phillips, Six-Month Full-Time Filmmaking, Met Film School, runner on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Industry connections

If you want to learn how to break into today’s screen industries, you need to learn it from someone who has already succeeded. That is why, all Met Film School tutors are working industry professionals who combine teaching with their industry jobs. Everything they teach is from first-hand creative experience.

“You get to work with lots of different tutors from different sectors of the film industry,” says Glenn Kelly. “A lot of my jobs that I got straight after Met Film came from the networking with these tutors and with the people that I met during doing the course.”

“After the course, I was still in contact with a lot of teachers who gave me job references and really helped me get where I am now”, adds Holly Upton.

Practical

The highly practical nature of the teaching means students gain a better understanding of the subject, continually applying newfound knowledge to real-life activities in the workplace.

“After we learned a new skill we immediately put it into practice. This is the approach of constantly testing and making films.”- Alice Haswell, Six-Month Practical Filmmaking, now working as a freelance production assistant.

“Not only did Met Film School give me knowledge of postproduction workflows but it also gave me the skills I needed to become employable, and the confidence to use those skills to make my career ambition a reality.”- Leah Jones, Six-Month Postproduction at Met Film School, now working at MPC, the global leaders in VFX.

How long is enough?

If you’re looking for a course which will make your work ready, a six-month full-time course is the preferred option. You will have just enough time to build confidence in your chosen field and create an industry-standard portfolio. The shorter options such as eight-week full-time or six-month part-time courses also provide a comprehensive coverage of various screen crafts such as filmmaking, acting, documentary filmmaking, screenwriting and postproduction. They might work well for you if you cannot commit to a longer course or require a part-time schedule.


At Met Film School, you won’t be stuck with your head in a book, you’ll be out walking the walk and learning how the pros do it from the pros themselves. As a place to kickstart your future in the screen industries, you really can’t get much better.

To find out more about Met Film School courses, download the Prospectus.

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