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August 1992


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 17 Aug 1992 13:06:00 EDT
text/plain (46 lines)
Steve Car as about "how many radio-tv-film undergraduates end up in
I know of no hard numbers; no one, it seems, really wants to know.
But: It depends on what one means by "ending up in production."  If the
question is mainstream "Hollywood" production, likely very few even among
those who move to California and try to fight the Battle of Sunset Blvd.
It is true that the middle ranks of studio and agency executive are film
school grads; my experience tells me that these people would have "made it"
regardless of what they studied in school.
There are many other ways of "ending up in production."  Many larger firms
have production units for internal distribution, parallel to house organ
magazines and newspapers.  Some of these facilities are very sophisticated
at a technical level, but the product reflects corporate policy.
Non-profit organizations, church demoninations, schools (high school and
college) have similar units.  Again, one is working for institutional
masters, not for one's muse.
Many television stations are staffed by film/tv school grads.  Some large
station groups use these entering level positions as their promotion pool
for advancement within the firm while other (usually smaller) stations want
someone who can start on the floor tomorrow at minimum wage.  It's all part
of the dues one pays.
Others work independently, either on their own account (i.e., set themselves
up in business) or for others who make sponsored film/video.
I have never let students out of my grasp without telling them the cruel fact:
"No one is out there waiting for them."  I estimate that there were a
thousand or so graduates last June, and the June before that, and the one
before that.  I characterize the road to success as requiring the persistence
of a door-to-door saleman, the agressiveness of a state trooper, and the
luck of a riverboat gambler.  Talent and skill help.  But without the other
things, they might as well major in accounting.  (Or at least I used to say
the last until the economy was BushWacked so even business skills are no
Cal Pryluck                               <[log in to unmask]>
Dept of Radio-Television-Film             <PRYLUCK@TEMPLEVM>
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA 19122                    voice (215) 247-9663)