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What will Happen to the Future of Film?

Industry News

(By Theresa Syn)

Have you ever felt discouraged as a young filmmaker? Don’t worry; you’re not alone.

A recent survey by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) questioned 2,077 people aged 16-24 and 200 BAFTA members about their decision-making processes and influences on careers. It concluded that young people are often misinformed or actively discouraged from pursuing a career in film.

The survey showed that one in six aspiring artists in the film, television and games industry state that they had been discouraged to go into the profession, with their educators and career advisors citing concerns about long-term job prospects.

The under-representation of women in film was also highlighted (as mentioned in our previous article: here) with 28% of female respondents feeling that they wouldn’t fit in, and 21% saying they’d been dissuaded by parents family or friends. By comparison, their male counterparts were less anxious about being accepted (21%) and had more supportive family/friend interactions (14%).

BAFTA says this attitude can result from a lack of information from teachers and career advisors as well as the influence from friends and family. The article, How to Break into the Film Industry highlights this tension, “People close to you, like your friends and family, will sometimes try to protect you from getting hurt. They care about you and don’t want to see you struggle.” As the film industry can be very harsh, many young filmmakers self-finance projects and may never see a profit from their filmmaking. So educators and career advisers are right to be concerned  about reality of paying the bills versus the financial and artistic rewards of a job in the industry. They therefore advise youths to keep a level head when making career choices.

Choosing between money and your passion can be a very stressful thing (Picture by: Rent Cafe)

With the financial realities of the current economy, young people are conditioned to believe that the most important factor of their job is a stable paycheck, putting their artistic interests and passions in the back seat. This can have negative repercussions, not just for the youth but also for the film industry. Young passionate filmmakers may be brimming with bright ideas but if they are being discouraged from entering the industry , the film industry will be drained of the vital talent it needs to survive.

So as a young filmmaker, how do you choose between your passion and your wallet? Film industry veteran, Will Wright says money is nothing compared to doing what you love, saying his first job in the film industry is the best job he ever had.  He says, “It wasn’t easy getting used to having very little money again, but the tradeoff was happiness. I was finally on the road to doing what I set out to do all those years ago, and just walking down that path filled me with a joy that money didn’t.” (Yahoo Voices)

At NFFTY, our goal is nurture and support the artistic aspirations of all young filmmakers and provide them with the opportunity to meet industry professionals and network with fellow filmmakers – connections that could eventually launch their careers. NFFTY 2012 filmmaker, Seth King from New Jersey agrees, “In one word, NFFTY is future,” he says. “It can make your career for you and bring about a change in your film career like nothing else can.”

Life in the film industry may be a tough one, but “Ïf you love what you do, you’ll never have to ‘work’ a day in your life”.



Find your big break at NFFTY 2013! Submit your films today!

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