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Phil Rhodes

An alarming statistic

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Hi folks

 

Here's a scary one.

 

I was speaking to someone who works for a prominent UK film school - circumstances redacted, I'm afraid, to save this person's blushes - and was told that the total number of people in training for work in the film and television industry in the UK right now, this year, is about 25,000.

 

And the total number of people directly employed in film and television production in the UK is... about 25,000.

 

Naturally this doesn't include people who are self-taught, anyone who's studied abroad, or anyone who's on an apprenticeship, and the numbers are almost certainly skewed further by the fact that the 25,000 includes administrators and other office staff who nobody would expect to have done a film course in any case.

 

Based on this, it doesn't seem unreasonable to assume that places on a camera department are probably oversubscribed several thousand, or several tens of thousands, to one. So, next time someone pops up here asking how they get "in"...

 

P

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Or most of the 4,559 at ITV.

 

I'm a little shocked at how low the ITV figure is given that this includes Leeds, Manchester, Wales and London and whatever is left anywhere else (probably not much to be fair!)

 

Of course none of this includes the casual labour that is common in the industry (and in the UK generally these days)

 

Freya

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It's not just too many film school graduates being churned out, many fields are over saturated. The latest Hitler "Downfall" rant involves him not being able to get a postdoc job with his physics degree...

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As I keep trying to explain to would be film school attendees, you can become a dog groomer and you'll never miss a day of work, never be laid off, and your business is 100% recession proof!

 

No wonder my dog groomer drives a ferrari and has a much bigger boat than I do!

 

R,

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It's not just too many film school graduates being churned out, many fields are over saturated. The latest Hitler "Downfall" rant involves him not being able to get a postdoc job with his physics degree...

 

True enough, my brother has a physics degree. Kinda useless unless you want to work in the military or a nuclear power station or something. Long tradition of people getting bad advice on studying. On the other hand my brother snuck me into some of the lectrues and all that talk of Red Shift and the Doppler effect and stuff was kinda fun, although I expect 3 years of it got tired quite quickly.

 

Freya

Edited by Freya Black

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It's not just too many film school graduates being churned out, many fields are over saturated. The latest Hitler "Downfall" rant involves him not being able to get a postdoc job with his physics degree...

 

It's quite remarkable the shift in attitudes toward work in Canada and the USA. How does either country function when you need a huge pool of people to do low paying "dirty" work like, slaughterhouses, garbage pick up, janitor, farm labour, etc? The answer for both countries has been to import huge numbers of people from Third World countries and make them do it.

 

My sons year books are a hoot, every grade 8 student is going to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, astronaut, etc. Not one kid says, plumber or carpenter. Funny how in the 60s that was a perfectly acceptable occupation, now it's looked down upon.

 

Career day is always interesting, the guests are always the same, high achieving professionals who come in to talk about their amazing careers. Heck, I'm usually on the list for these things. I had a group of boys at my house last week to talk about careers in the movie industry. They didn't ask any parents who have, "boring" or "common" occupations to explain their careers to the boys. Imagine a janitor being invited in to a grade 6 class to talk about careers as a janitor, never going to happen, why not?

 

R,

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Same here in the UK Richard! Plumbers and the like have been raking it in because of the demand for housing and nobody is outsourcing their plumbing to Eastern Europe or India. I'm sure I could do better electrical work than some of the people that are out there doing it right now based on some of the dodgy jobs I have seen done out there but I don't have the qualifications you need to practice that.

 

Lots of good solid work in the building industry and probably a lot of practical skills you can use in your own life too!

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My daughter spent all my money at the university getting a degree in English Literature. I don't think even the book stores were hiring.

 

So, by chance she got a job as a production assistant in the promo department of a major network. After a couple years of slavery, she now produces, writes, and edits national TV promos.

 

The English Literature degree kind of came in handy...

 

Warning: Not a typical story. Your results may vary.

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So, by chance she got a job as a production assistant in the promo department of a major network. After a couple years of slavery, she now produces, writes, and edits national TV promos.

 

I know that world well, I did it for 5 years at CTV Toronto. Good times, good times. :)

 

R,

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Try being a director...

 

Agency

We're doing an ice cream commercial. Do you have any ice cream on your reel?

Me

Yes.

Peppermint?

Yes.

Low fat?

Uh, no I guess.

Sorry, we're going with the Russo brothers.

What did they do?

"Captain America."

"Captain America" had low fat peppermint ice cream in it?

No, but it's awesome.

  • Upvote 3

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Try being a director...

 

Agency

We're doing an ice cream commercial. Do you have any ice cream on your reel?

Me

Yes.

Peppermint?

Yes.

Low fat?

Uh, no I guess.

Sorry, we're going with the Russo brothers.

What did they do?

"Captain America."

"Captain America" had low fat peppermint ice cream in it?

No, but it's awesome.

ROFL!!!! So damn true! Being a successful director for hire is like winning the lotto.

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ROFL!!!! So damn true! Being a successful director for hire is like winning the lotto.

 

I know a guy from Newfoundland that won it, big time, and I mean.....BIG TIME!

 

How many of you can find Gander Newfoundland on a map?

 

R,

  • Upvote 1

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We do have a huge problem in western society related to graduates not finding work. It's actually about to be an epidemic because a lot of them will be stuck with huge debt from school as well.

 

Ya know, job placement after graduating a trade school, isn't much better either. So it's not really a problem of JUST what you study, it's a problem of there simply not being very many opportunities right now.

 

I think part of the problem is that people today do live longer then they have in the history of the species. So the days of people dropping dead, are dwindling away. People who have great jobs and are enjoying them, aren't as motivated to retire because the more you put in to social security, the more you get out. Some companies cut you off when you reach retirement age, others don't care because if you're doing a good job, why replace you?

 

Ya know, both my parents work at prominent east coast schools and they have a job placement average of around 25%, which isn't that bad. So those are people who graduate with a guaranteed job. However, I think you'd find that most of those people are in computer science, nursing and agricultural. Those are kind of the hot job's today, tech companies are hiring like wild fire. But those are the key high-end positions, so if you don't like those opportunities, you may not find anywhere to go.

 

I graduated with many degree's, not just one in cinematography. However, I never had a real tech "degree" just certifications and I've spent the vast majority of my life making a living in the tech side of the film industry, even before I went to college. I always tell people that if you really want to be in the film industry, do computer sciences. Learn trades that directly connect with the film industry like 3D design or even more technical ones like how to support huge corporations networks. Once your foot is in the door, it's a lot easier to wiggle your way through the ranks. I personally know many people who have achieved that, myself included. There are actually plenty of entry level tech jobs in the film industry, the studio's are always hiring new graduates.

 

I always say to young people just headed to college to get a broad degree and remember that in the long run, it's just a piece of paper, not an automatic job entry form. Outside of college, you have to be hounding people for internships in whatever profession you wish to take up. You should be graduating with a full-time job, not graduating and preying your paper will get you one. This is the most common mistake of kids these days, they just assume there is someone with open arms waiting for them when that piece of paper is signed and delivered.

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I have no qualifications in either the media or language. My degree was in "multimedia systems", which in 1999 was web design. Oh dear. Timed that well, then.

 

And yes, the sad reality is that this is in no sense limited to the film industry. The western world in general has been on the back foot for decades and by mid-century we're likely to be in more or less the same place as the ex-Soviet bloc was in about 1989.

 

It's a mistake to assume there's definitely anything that can be done about this. There are some things that could reasonably be tried, but they won't be, because they involve giving something up now in order that life isn't terrible in 2050, and that isn't going to get anyone elected.

 

P

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Impressive, can you list them all for us?

Bachelors of fine arts with a major in Cinematography

Bachelors of media arts with a major in Broadcasting

Associates in journalism

Associates in Photography

Associates in Public speaking

 

I was also a year shy of finishing my MFA (masters of fine arts). However, I had been going to school for 5 years (and two full summers) already and at the end of my last semester, with all 5 degree's in my hand, I was kinda done. Plus, I had exhausted all my excess money on becoming certified as a NAUI SCUBA instructor and certified Apple bench technician. I had a great company teaching SCUBA and was shooting films on the side. It worked great until I destroyed my inner ear and couldn't dive anymore. So I moved to Los Angeles with my friends and started in the film industry working as a broadcast/computer technician.

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I know a guy from Newfoundland that won it, big time, and I mean.....BIG TIME!

 

How many of you can find Gander Newfoundland on a map?

 

R,

It's where airliners used to land before they could fly non-stop to Australia so I guessed it was the nearest place to Heathrow you could put 15000' of tarmac without having to knock down a mountain or fill in a sound. Not far off as it happens.

Edited by Mark Dunn

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It's where airliners used to land before they could fly non-stop to Australia so I guessed it was the nearest place to Heathrow you could put 15000' of tarmac without having to knock down a mountain or fill in a sound. Not far off as it happens.

 

Not bad Mark, not bad at all.

 

R,

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