Film & Video Production Schools

Film and video production schools are educational institutions that teach their students some or all aspects of the production and analysis of film and video. Different terminology is used by different programs to describe similar or interrelated fields of study. These schools can be categorized by focus, duration, degree plan or level of expected involvement.


As for the film or video distinction in this title, programs are usually described as being a video production program or a digital film-making program, due to the different technology used to record the movies, shorts and television shows produced within them. Film is a much more expensive medium to shoot on, and as a result less campuses use them; while digital film or video is increasingly inexpensive and professional. Some schools use the title “video” specifically to refer to broadcast journalism production tracks.

Degree Types

Film or video schools can be two-year programs that focus on technical skills without an equal requirement of other academic classes. Most are four-year programs offering degrees that could be termed Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Studies or a more generalized Bachelor’s in Radio, Television and Film. Graduates of these programs can go on to earn a Master of Art in Film Studies with specializations such as world or American film culture, rhetoric and film genres. At the post-Masters, Ph.D level, some schools offer a Doctor of Philosophy in Film Studies, usually including extensive research work. Colleges often have a Film Studies program rooted in the analysis of film. It is a more interdisciplinary approach, and can accompany coursework or a degree track in English, history or film production.

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Facilities and Equipment

Schools are also distinguished by the facilities and equipment available as part of the program. Some schools have a sparse array of filming equipment, while others have entire production houses for student use. Film studies programs might also have an entire film archive on campus.

Production Skills

Film schools typically focus on teaching students techniques used in the pre-production, production and post-production of a movie. Most schools require students working in production to both serve as a crew member on another student’s projects, and enlist other students to work on your own directorial efforts. Some organize their shooting schedules so that every student gets an opportunity to work as each key crew member on someone’s film shoot.


Film students will likely take lessons in cinematography, screenwriting, sound design and engineering, lighting, chroma key and graphics, animation, editing and documentary production. Film theory courses take a critical and historical analysis of how existing films were made. Classes can also focus on the role of the producer, who has responsibilities such as financial agreements, script selection, casting, marketing and distribution and film law. Independent productions courses concentrate on producing movies outside the studio system with independent financial backing.

Internships and Thesis Films

Film and video production programs can require or offer internships at local production companies. Most programs require a final product, a accumulation of all knowledge, into a thesis film.