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Quinnipiac University seeks to empower rising filmmakers to manage the cinematic production process


© Siri louis

Content creation has been returning to pre-pandemic levels with revenue topping 2019 levels at the end of last year. The speed of this recovery is set to gain momentum through to 2025 with a forecasted 19% growth according to the latest research from PricewaterhouseCoopers’ annual Global Entertainment & Media Outlook.

With this trajectory in mind, one of the biggest challenges facing the film industry is the lack of practical training for both entry and mid-management level production staff. This problem has been exacerbated by numerous shutdowns during the pandemic, which resulted in production crews changing careers.

However, the growth in the entertainment industry is firmly back on track, and the number of job openings within the field is booming. This is evident in the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with estimates that producer and director positions are set to increase by 24% through to 2030, a 6x increase compared to the national average. Additionally, the number of annual openings has doubled since 2019, which could indicate an even faster recovery for the sector.

The question remains, how can aspiring filmmakers acquire the skills needed and take advantage of the growing opportunities within the industry?

With a host of in-demand employment opportunities across the business, young filmmakers entering the workforce have an opportunity to work across a variety of productions, including TV shows, commercials, feature films and advertising. A boom in short-form content has also opened up many opportunities for the next generation of filmmakers to explore.

Traditionally, the route to entering the film industry has been twofold:

1. On the job training

In the first instance, there is no better way than getting practical production experience; however the career path can take years if it is either not preceded by targeted training, or if individuals don’t know how to navigate the industry at large. Despite strong demand, production management and production roles top to bottom, in particular, are still very competitive, and the trajectory of one’s career remains challenging. For the big Hollywood productions, it can also take a long time to get a foot in the door. With smaller indie productions, there may be more opportunities for those who are less experienced to get their first roles as production managers, but even then, they must know what they’re doing in order to deliver a production safely and properly.

2. Pursuing an MFA in film

The second route has been through specialized MFA degree in filmmaking or a related field. These programs typically explore film from a creative perspective and provide a strong conceptual understanding of each stage of the production process. However, they typically lack the nuts and bolts knowledge and practical insights into how the business works, both of which are essential for successful entry into the field. Students will acquire a broad breadth of knowledge, but may find themselves lacking guidance on how to move their careers in entertainment forward. 

Another setback of this approach is the high cost in specialized degrees, which can take three years or more to complete, especially if done on a part-time basis.


© Amin Oussar / Unsplash

Recognizing the limitations of this traditional education route, Quinnipiac University worked to create a first-of-its-kind degree that offers a new pathway to advance within the entertainment industry.

Quinnipiac University’s Online MA in Cinematic Production Management

With the ever evolving landscape of film and media production, Quinnipiac University has positioned itself to offer the best of both worlds through its new online MA in Cinematic Production Management. This unique program is helping students acquire the practical skills needed to advance in production roles, ranging from film to TV to streaming content. The program aims to work at the forefront of emerging methods and technological advances in the industry, giving students a further advantage by honing skills that may be in higher demand, but shorter supply.

Having developed its program with the latest insights on the changes in the film business, the University takes students through the management of each stage of the cinematic production process, from planning and pre-production to post-production and final content delivery.

Students complete the program with a final Capstone project of a professional film or television package that can be presented to prospective production companies and financiers. This includes the creative material they’ve developed or written along with a schedule, budget,  finance plan, pitch deck and rip reel or proof of concept.

Graduates of the program emerge with skills needed to enter the industry in a number of roles, including that of freelance producer, producing team member, production assistant, production manager, production coordinator, assistant production coordinator, location scout or manager, or an entry level position in development, sales, distribution or marketing.

The MA in Cinematic Production Management program was designed with working professionals in mind, and may be completed in one year if taken full-time, and just 2 years if taken part-time, while allowing students to learn on the job, and build skills working within the industry from the start.

Ready to take advantage of the growing opportunities in film production? To learn more about Quinnipiac’s online MA in Cinematic Production Management, visit Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis for the 2022 fall semester, which begins in late August.

In partnership with Quinnipiac University

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