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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Film and Video

Majors Overview April 2, 2014

Both the technical characteristics and production process of filmmaking will be explored in associate’s degree programs in Film and Video. Students will explore various types of films, including short films, documentaries, commercials, and educational films and videos. Those who graduate from these programs will be prepared for entry-level jobs in the commercial, television, motion picture, or video industries.

A.A. Programs in Film and Video

It generally takes two years to complete an associate’s degree in Film and Video. In the first year, the coursework focuses on the production process; in the second year, students may be allowed to make their own films. Students who want to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree are advised to enroll into an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree program, which is usually devised to allow the transfer of credits earned towards enrollment into a four-year degree program; those who wish to join the workforce immediately, should enroll into an AAS degree program.

Education Requirements

Before they admit students, schools typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Students enrolled in associate’s degree programs can expect to become adept in building sets, using cameras, cutting videos on editing bays, and working in many crew positions. Coursework may include other topic areas such as:

•Screenwriting
•Digital effects
•Production management
•Editing
•Sound design
•Camera and lighting
•Make-up and wardrobe
•Production techniques

Career Choices

Film and video producers can perform post-production, production and pre-production work for workplace training videos, comedic videos, news reports, animated films, and feature films. Graduates may choose from various career options such as:

•Camera operator
•Director
•Business manager
•Line editor
•Video production technician

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of 14% has been projected for professionals seeking employment in the video and motion picture industries during the decade from 2008 to 2018 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). The growth is expected to be driven by an increase of cable and satellite TV channels and their consequent demand for programming. In February 2012, film and TV producers with less than a year of work experience took home an average annual wage of $20,426; those with over 20 years earned $108,234, while individuals with one to four years of experience earned between $24,464 and $71,238, and those whose experience ranged between 5 and 9 years took home between $34,889 and $97,207 per annum.

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