The design of video production degree programs vary according to the level of the degree. Students in associate's degree programs learn about the fundamentals of production, editing, directing and screenwriting, and they often do internships to gain hands-on experience.
Bachelor's degree programs cover similar topics at the intermediate and advanced levels. Students in these programs often do class projects making videos and may complete internships. Furthermore, they may specialize in fields such as media arts, film, and video. Applicants to associate's and bachelor's degree programs require a high school diploma or equivalent.
Master's degree programs in video production include advanced courses and also require film projects, along with a thesis. Students in these programs may learn from visiting professionals and participate in workshops. In order to apply to the master's program, students need a bachelor's degree.
Associate's Degree in Video Production
An associate's degree program in video production aims to cover a cross-section of the moving image production process. Course material may include film history, screenwriting, set design, lighting, cinematography and editing. Students gain some technical knowledge of hardware and software, as well as skills in managing a project from start to finish. A number of programs offer internships and enable students to work with industry professionals. Many schools also have a general requirement that students maintained a 2.0 grade point average or better through high school.
Nearly half of the courses in an associate's degree program in video production are on general education topics. Most of the on-topic courses are at an introductory level and include:
- Production basics
Bachelor's Degree in Video Production
A bachelor's degree program in video production undertakes a more lengthy exploration into all phases of production, from pitching an idea to editing to distribution. Class projects give students opportunities to sharpen their skills at negotiating, coordinating logistics for a shoot, communicating with a film crew and post-production decision making. Internships may also be available, especially for programs at schools in active film production areas such as southern California or New York. Many schools will not accept students with a high school grade point average below 2.0.
There will be some duplication in course titles between an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in video production. Bachelor's degree programs, however, tend to have intermediate and advanced versions of a given topic. Course topics include:
- Film history
- Production techniques
Master's Degree in Video Production
A master's degree program in video production engages graduates in the production process through classes, workshops and a thesis project. Visiting artists and professionals in the field often lead workshops and seminars and, in some cases, teach courses. Students who haven't previously taken video courses gain knowledge of production technology and production methods and skills in communication and negotiation. Students who have taken video courses augment their knowledge and skills through advanced course work and projects. Many programs feature production as a specialty within a media arts or film and video degree.
Many schools require that students maintained a 3.0 grade point average in their last two years of study. Some programs will give more favorable consideration to those who earned their degree in a visual media.
Some courses in a master's degree program in video production may also be open to bachelor's degree students, and some graduate students might sign up for bachelor's level courses. Graduate-level video production classes may include:
- Cinema history
- Film business practices
- Independent financing and marketing
- Editing and post-production
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) projected 9% job growth for producers and directors over the years 2014-2024. This is based on an increase in public demand for television and films and higher demand for U.S. films from the international community. Video producer job seekers with business skills will have the best prospects of finding work in an intensely competitive field. According to the BLS, the mean annual wage for producers and directors was $89,670 in May 2015, and the mean wage in the motion picture and video industries was $105,550.
Earning either an undergraduate or graduate degree in video production will afford you the opportunity to join a job field expected to grow by 9% over the next several years. With earnings potential in excess of $89,000, the video production field can be very lucrative.