What Types of Jobs Can You Get with a Film Studies Degree?

Film StudiesThe types of jobs with a film studies degree aren’t just limited to acting, In fact, there are many production and technical jobs available to students with a film studies degree. Continue reading to learn how your film studies degree can help you break into the competitive TV and movie industries.

Special Effects Assistant

Film students interested in hands-on technology and creating movie magic can work as special effects assistants. Special effects, referred to as SFX, can be anything from building a breakaway chair for a fight scene or installing a sugar glass window for a stunt person to crash through. SFX assistants work closely with the photography and prop departments. Special effects are any optical or mechanical effect that creates a proper illusion for the film. Special effects are different from visual effects, which involves complex computer software to edit films during post-production.

Visual Effects Assistant

As shooting on location and film production becomes more expensive, more and more studios rely on visual effects to create difficult and dangerous scenes. Visual effects (VFX) integrate computer generated images into live-action footage. While most people are used to computer generated imagery (CGI), visual effects also involve using matte paintings or traditional photographs. Still, blue-screening and green-screening are now the primary ways of producing amazing and exciting action scenes. However, the type’s jobs with a film studies degree aren’t just limited to special and visual effects.

Production Assistant

Production assistants, or PAs, perform a variety of film production roles. For example, Set PAs work on location and typically reports to the assistant director. Their duties include locking up the set, or making sure that no one or nothing interferes with a take, and coordinating production needs between different departments. On the other hand, office PAs work in the production office and handle basic administrative tasks, such as answer phones, handing out script copies and running errands. Keep in mind that a production assistant is different from a production coordinator, whose main task is to assist the production manager. Production coordinators perform more complex and demanding tasks involving everything from HR staffing to accounting. In fact, production controllers are often the last to leave the office because they are the main go-to person for the crew.

Film Editor

Besides the director and producer, film editors are one of the most important film production figures. Film editors work with the director and other key film production members to review the dallies, or the daily footage shots. This screening meeting will bring the editor and director onto the same page with regards to the director’s ultimate vision and feel for the film. During the production period, the editor will continue to work with the director to properly edit footage shots. During the post-production process, the film editor will oversee the complete editing of the film. Post-film production editing can either drastically improve or decrease the quality of a film.


Screenwriters are the creative geniuses behind every film. Screenwriters must have strong writing, storytelling, communication and organizational skills, according to the Writers Guild of America. The primary function of a screenwriter is to develop and write an engaging and original film script. While this sounds simple, the process is quite complex. Fiction and non-fiction writing generally involves descriptive narration. However, screen writers must formulate scripts according to industry standards. This involves unique formatting, style and dialogue guidelines. Screenwriting involves constant rejection, research and script editing. In addition to this, production screenwriters take original scripts and revise and adjust them according to the demands of the director and the studio. These experienced screenwriters are often brought in during the pre-production stage of a film to drastically revise and improve existing screenplays.

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Regardless of the job choice, a degree in film studies offers excellent career choices. These include special and visual effects, production assistance, film editing and screenwriting. There are many more types of jobs with a film studies degree available.