December 20, 2014

Top 5 Reasons Video Production Colleges Can Help Launch Your Film Career

In an age where smartphones and affordable cameras have democratized filmmaking, it’s easy to wonder if formal education in the field still holds weight. A quick glance at the horizon reveals an industry saturated with YouTube stars, indie filmmakers, and DIY creators. 

Somewhere in the mix of this incredible digital renaissance, where does one place video production colleges? The answer: Right at the forefront! These places of higher learning are the launchpads, propelling aspiring filmmakers like you into an ocean of boundless opportunities.

Want to know why? Check out the top five reasons a video production college can help jumpstart your film career.

Film student in studio


Networking and Industry Connections

The power of networking is often touted in many industries, but in filmmaking, it’s practically a lifeline. When embarking on a film project, it’s not just about what you know but who you know to secure funding, get a team together, and build a lucrative production schedule.

When enrolled in video production colleges like F.I.R.S.T. Institute, you will have the unique advantage of being surrounded by like-minded peers, professors deeply entrenched in the industry, and guest lecturers often hailing from the upper echelons of cinema. Whether you’re attending music production courses or exploring cinematography, these are places buzzing with creative energy and potential collaborations.

Film students working on set

Do yourself a favor, and be sure to remember your classmates. It isn’t a far leap that they could be a renowned cinematographer tomorrow or your future film project partner. Alumni networks also play a pivotal role, linking current students with those who’ve made their mark in the industry. Beyond academic years, these networks can lead to job referrals, partnerships, or even collaborative ventures. Think about it – the seeds of the next great filmmaking duo could be sown in a college classroom!


Comprehensive Skill Development

Sure, you can learn how to set up a shot or edit a scene through an online tutorial. But actual filmmaking requires a deep understanding of the medium’s history, culture, and technical nuances.

Video production colleges offer a comprehensive curriculum spanning from the origins of cinema to the latest in digital filmmaking techniques. It’s an opportunity to be fully immersed in the world of films. From cinematography classes that delve deep into framing and lighting to lessons in recording that unravel the intricacies of audio in cinema, you’ll get a more complete picture that if you go it alone.

film student recording a live show

Moreover, this structured environment ensures that you learn not just the basic techniques and but also the underlying theories behind them so you can develop your own authentic voice and creative style. When you eventually step onto a set or into a studio, you are armed not just with skills but also with an understanding that sets you apart.


Access to Cutting-Edge Equipment

Filmmaking is as much about storytelling as it is about technology. As technology evolves, so do the tools filmmakers use to tell their stories. Every day, there is news about incredible, groundbreaking tech that revolutionizes the industry.

At video production colleges, you will gain access to industry-standard equipment. We’re talking about high-end cameras, editing software, professional-grade lighting setups, and soundstages that may rival commercial production facilities.

This access isn’t just about familiarity. By the time you grace the stage during graduation, you’ll not only have learned about the theory behind these tools but also have gotten your hands dirty using them in practical application. You’ll know what to do because you will have made mistakes, learned from them, and honed your craft. That is the best way to ensure you’re not intimidated when faced with a future tool, professional setting, or unique shoot scenario. 


Safe Environment to Make Mistakes

Perfection, they say, is the culmination of a series of mistakes. For budding filmmakers, college is the space you need to make mistakes safely.

Here, a missed shot isn’t a financial disaster with stakeholders breathing down your neck for results. A botched audio recording isn’t a fire-able offense. Video production colleges provide you with a unique environment where risks are encouraged, and errors are embraced. It’s an ecosystem designed for experimentation, pushing boundaries, and occasionally failing spectacularly.

Film student filming on set

By the time you step into the professional world, you’ll have made your fair share of blunders but also learned to sidestep them. In essence, college becomes an essential training ground, preparing you for the high-stakes world of film production.


Internship Opportunities

Classroom learning, while foundational, gains true value when complemented with real-world experience. Recognizing this, most video production colleges have cultivated relationships with studios, production houses, indie filmmakers, and marketing agencies.

Through internships, you get to step out of the theoretical realm and dive into the practical. Here is where you will witness the hustle of a live set, the chaos of post-production, and the magic of a film coming together. Beyond the hands-on experience, these internships often serve as networking goldmines. Get the chance to rub shoulders with industry professionals, gather references, and if you showcase your portfolio and talent, maybe just land your first job. 

In essence, these internships aren’t just about learning. They’re about assimilating into the world of filmmaking.


Bonus Tip – Demo Reel Development

In the creative world, your work speaks for you. And for filmmakers, a robust  demo reel is the best way to showcase your authentic and unique voice. 

Video production colleges recognize the importance of a solid demo reel. Hence, students like you are often encouraged, sometimes even required to work on projects throughout the academic journey that can be used to build an effective demo reel. Be it short films, documentaries, music videos, or experimental cinema, each project adds a feather to your cap.

Through your demo reel, prospective employers or collaborators can gauge your style, versatility, and growth. In a realm where everyone’s vying for attention, a compelling demo reel ensures you stand out from the rest. 


In a world bursting with digital narratives, setting oneself apart is both a challenge and a necessity. Video production act as crucibles, molding raw passion into refined skill. For those poised on the precipice of a filmmaking career, these colleges beckon, promising not just education but transformation.

If you are finally ready to break out of the mold and explore an incredible career in film, check out F.I.R.S.T. Institute. F.I.R.S.T.’s Digital Filmmaking and Video Production program is a great starting point for a creative career. Class sizes are small, there’s no gen-ed classes, the instructors are all industry pros, and best of all, you can graduate in less than a year.