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Online Bachelors Degree in Film: Program Overview

Get info about online programs in film. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, and check out career and continuing education options.

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Essential Information

Online bachelor's degree programs in film are available, though they aren't very common. In some cases, these programs may require completion of internships. The curriculum typically covers filmmaking, video editing and storytelling techniques, and student films may be critiqued by peers and professors. Students in these programs may need to have access to specific film software. A bachelor's degree is generally the minimum educational requirement needed to work as a film and video editor, camera operator, film producer, or director.

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Bachelor's Degree in Film

The baccalaureate film program is typically arts-intensive. Students study concepts in the film industry that focuses on creating digital media that is meaningful and interesting. They acquire skills that teach them techniques for writing screenplays, directing films, using a camera to shoot films and editing the imagery to create a completed video. To be eligible for this program, students must have at least a high school diploma or the GED equivalent. There are a few online film and related degree programs available online.

Program Information and Requirements

The online bachelor's degree program in filmmaking takes about four years to complete. Although programs are available almost entirely online, students may need to supplement online learning with other distance learning formats, such as Web conferencing or teleconferences. An internship may also need to be completed.

To complete the online program, students can access the school's Web-based application, where they can watch step-by-step instructional videos, complete assignments, take exams and interact with other students. They can also upload the films they create so their classmates and professors can view and critique them.

Students must have a working computer and reliable Internet access. Computer software programs, such as word processor and Photoshop are required. Web software programs, including QuickTime, Adobe Flash and Acrobat Reader are also necessary.

List of Common Film Courses

Through the online film degree program, students complete courses on a flexible schedule that doesn't have any required class times. However, they still may be required to participate in class discussions and turn assignments in at a certain time. General education courses are also part of the program.

Storytelling in Film

Students taking this course learn the basics of using a camera, including making decisions about shutter speeds, lights, lenses and composition. They also take photos to create a story outline of the film.

Directing Principles

This course teaches students to see the filmmaking process as directors. They learn how to consider the creative aspects of making a motion picture and practice taking digital videos and editing them to create short films.

Editing

Through this course, students gain experience cutting out parts of a film that don't work, inserting other parts and making smooth transitions. They also begin editing color, adding music and making sure the plot of the story is clear.

Character Design

Students learn how to make a character come to life with props, tools, voice and perspective. They spend time making characters interesting and engaging through the creation of backstory and plot.


Career Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for film and video editors is expected to grow by 18% (much faster than the average for all occupations) between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). During the same decade, demand for producers and directors is expected to grow 9%, and demand for camera operators is expect to grow 2%. As of May 2015, the BLS reported that producers and directors made a median annual wage of $68,440, and film and video editors made a median wage of $61,750 per year. Individuals in camera operations made a median annual wage of $49,080.

Continuing Education Information

Students who wish to continue their education in film can pursue master's degree programs in film producing, film editing, directing or television. Some of these programs are available online, but they may require that students make visits to campus.

In bachelor's degree programs in film, students get training in every stage of the filmmaking process, so graduates are qualified for multiple film-related jobs. The few online programs in this field offer considerable scheduling flexibility, but they still provide students with the chance to share and discuss their work with instructors and other students in a virtual classroom environment.

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