5 Business Skills Every Film Student Should Have

August 6, 2013

Business Skills For Film StudentsLearning the business of film is pretty important.

As a film student, you are probably focusing your energy on learning writing, directing or producing techniques. You’ve spent time working with cameras and editing programs. But have you thought about the skills you’ll need off-set?

No matter which avenue you intend to pursue in the film industry, these five business skills can improve your business relations and increase your productivity. Learn how you can benefit from business today:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes management as an important quality for producers in the film industry. Producers are responsible for finding and hiring directors and crew members for production. They must make sure that everyone involved in the film completes their work efficiently and effectively.

Without any management, a film might not be completed in time. This can lead to contract problems with writers and actors – or, even worse, budgeting problems.

Accounting skills allow you to know your budget, keep track of your accounts and better manage your money. You can know how much you can afford to pay actors or crew members, how much you can spend on props, and where you might need to pinch your pennies.

Tom Snee of the University of Iowa News Service suggests students focus on accounting, fundraising and financial management – as working in film is similar to running a business.

Many directors and producers work with their company to create marketing campaigns for their films. Traditional campaigns often include in-theater previews, television ads and interviews.

Pamela McClintock of The Hollywood Reporter notes that many film companies are beginning to focus on “social listening.” She explains that this refers to studios that focus on “the power of such mediums as Twitter and Facebook to understand audiences, generate early interest in films and gauge box-office prospects long before opening weekend.”

Many actors, directors and producers have taken to Twitter or Facebook to release teasers, photos and other clues about their upcoming work. This informal, modern marketing skill can increase audience interest – and can create loyal followers of your work.

Working in the film industry requires the ability to multitask, according to Sara Royster and Dennis Vilorio of the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections.

There are many tasks that need to be balanced to make sure the film set runs smoothly. To maintain this balance, you must learn how to organize – and prioritize – tasks.

This is true for many professionals in the film industry, including producers, directors, assistant directors, sound editors and film editors.

Similarly, many professionals in the industry need good communication skills. In some instances, you may be working with a team. You will need to work with all members of your team and communicate goals, accomplishments and needs to them. Without this communication, important tasks can be forgotten.

Communication is crucial for completing a film. In his interview with Snee, film student Bob Zegler emphasized the importance of communicating and building relationships. He learned how to work with others and build business relationships.

Start applying these business skills to your work today. You can focus on communicating more efficiently with peers and instructors. You can also work on organizing, managing and marketing your coursework. Applying these business skills now can make the transition into the workplace easier after you’ve completed your degree program.

Interested in more information? Talk to your degree program advisor about other ways you can practice business in film.