How to Know if Studying Film is Right for You

When I graduated from High School, like most people, I had no idea what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. This brought feelings of fear and a lack of confidence that only increased once I went to college with classmates who seemed to have it all figured out. It was as if I stumbled upon a world where everyone had their life together but me, the undeclared major student. Over time and with a transfer of universities, my passion went from undeclared, to business, to video editing, and then finally to what I excel at now: film and television feature writing. This is how I got there.

I started with a business degree because I knew a lot about technology and figured I would thrive in an I.T. environment. How wrong I was. While I have nothing against the business majors of the world, the classes I attended only showed me a life that I would be miserable in. It wasn’t for me, and I knew it. So, I trusted my gut and took classes in video/audio editing while using marketing strategies from the business classes.

Loving film and television had been a huge part of my life. I figured if I was going to major in something, let’s make it that. Over time, I learned the ins and outs of media post-production and would work as a Videographer and Audio Editor for jobs and experience.

While it sounds like I finally figured out my career, I actually just felt more confused. It wasn’t easy understanding why, either. If movies and television were a big part of what I enjoyed, why did I not find that same enjoyment making them? I decided to reevaluate my life and asked myself what I wanted.

Visual media always affected me emotionally. Even in the cheesiest plots, a surge of passion would cause me to get choked up. I easily cried during the sad parts of a film and found that a bad ending to a show ruined my week. I always thought these elements of my character made me weak when compared to the people around me. “It’s just a show/movie,” they’d say. While I understood where they came from, it never felt like that to me. It always seemed oddly personal with each story.

I found that I’d write paragraphs about the latest film and send them to my director friend, because they shared an equal excitement for the cinema industry. Thousands of words would be written that only another pair of eyes saw. However, it felt freeing. Writing about the things I loved, hated, or found exciting in a film or show made me feel alive. I took that sensation and ran with it.

Once I had begun taking Film Studies courses, I was hooked. That undeclared student who felt utterly lost, finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I became friends with the professors and graduated with a Film Studies degree years later. I combined my love for writing about the media industry with my experience in actually producing visual media and turned it into working for awesome companies who also want to see film and television thrive.

The choice of what to study in college was daunting, and I’ll never forget that horrible feeling of dread. It’s something no horror movie scare has replicated. Though without it, I would have never trusted myself to choose the field I’m in. Nothing is more exciting than to write about what other companies are passionate about in a field I adore. If you are struggling with choosing a major in college or feel like you don’t know if you have what it takes to study film, my advice is to listen to your heart. It sounds cheesy but trusting yourself is key. Do what makes you happy without comparing yourself to others. It’s hard, but once you get the hang of it, your life will be much easier. So please, keep on crying from that film or show. It may be the start of a happier life.

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