In defence of Film Studies

It’s not all about Hollywood

Every time I tell someone I do Film Studies their reaction is always a nod and a “that must be really cool” followed by a “please don’t forget about me when you’re famous”.

They all seem to think that I’m in it for fame and appraisal. I mean don’t get me wrong most people dream of the Hollywood glamour but there’s more to studying Film than hopes of becoming the next Scorsese.

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You’ve probably been told at least once that a film degree is all about watching movies and reviewing them and although that’s kind of largely what we do – it’s not all that simple. In order to fully understand a film and be able to talk about it as confidently as required in seminars there is a lot more research and skill involved.

This is where it gets hard. I barely reach the 10 hrs of contact per week, which means that a lot of the research I have to do, takes time during my independent study and that can be a struggle.

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A lot of the films that we watch are not your typical blockbusters, so keeping up to date with readings and research is vital if you want to have an idea of what everyone else is discussing. Most of the films are pretty off the wall and so, you won’t find too many synopsis’s online, nor any spoilers on YouTube.

The best thing about studying film is how applicable it is in today’s society. We all watch films or consume some kind of digital media, so if you know anything about film, then you’ll be aware of the influential power that it has over an audience.

Studying Film not only helps you to understand that and become more critical of our everyday society but it also, in essence, encourages you to be more open minded to what might seem question-less when sat with a bucket of popcorn in your hands.
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So next time someone tells you they do a Film degree, don’t be so quick to just dismiss it with that firm nod. Continue the conversation, because it’s likely that they’ll have a lot to say about more than just film.

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University of Kent