Why is a bachelor degree relevant to a career in the film industry?

JMC Academy lecturer, and film producer Anthony Waddington, has been a lecturer at JMC Academy for 2 years. He tells us why having a bachelor degree will put students ahead of the game.

Graduation.jpgTeaching various practical and theoretical subjects in both the FIlm & Television course as well as Animation course, he talks to us about why he thinks a bachelor degree is not only relevant for a career in the film industry, but why having one will put you a step ahead of your rivals.

See what he has to say: 

Read the transcript here: 

“My name is Anthony Waddington, I am a producer in the film industry and I lecture in Creative Industries. I have been a lecturer at JMC for 2 years now. I lecture in professional communication, film & television production, and I cross over into film & TV and animation on occasion, and I also deliver some theory based subjects, such as ‘Reinvention of Cool’. 

I think tertiary studies are extremely important for several reasons. I think that doing a bachelors, and a bachelor of arts in particular, teaches you how to think. It teaches people a basic understanding of critical analysis, which is going to stand them in good stead regardless of what area or field they move into later on. In particular to the Creative Industries, I think it gives people a very broad, and hopefully in-depth knowledge in terms of certain areas – the history of areas of entertainment, of technology, of production. It also shows people, as in prospective employers, that these individuals can apply themselves to a serious course of study, and complete it. And I think that’s a very appealing and important aspect for any prospective employer, to be able to respond to in their potential employees, i.e. our graduates. 

I think we learn different things. You know, one of the great things about JMC’s degree courses is that they are applied degrees. So while there are theoretical components, you’re also doing a lot of hands on work. So you will come with quite a solid knowledge base to the work environment when you get there. So I think you’re well prepared, and well prepared to start learning everything you don’t know yet. So it’s a very good transition, to come through a course like this and then into the work place. 

I often think that particularly in this day and age, you can go onto YouTube and watch a how-to video on practically anything, and there are some great texts that people can read about how to get up to speed on process. I think the industry is changing in that it’s growing exponentially in Australia, so if you look at recent reports, government and private, it’s pretty easy to see that the revenues are increasing I think for creative industries by $1 billion a year, I think from 2011 to 2014 in one particular kind of frame of reference that’s been studied. 

The industry is growing rapidly, the world of new media particular is exploding. A textbook can be written now and it’s almost out of date in terms of digital pathway for film production for example within two years. JMC is keeping abreast of the world of new media in terms of the content its delivering, by having people who are experienced in their fields lecturing, and bringing into the classroom environment their experience, technologically and in terms of storytelling and in terms of concept creating. And in turn, I think the two way street that can be very exciting, is to see the ideas, to hear the ideas that the students are bringing in that reflect their peer group and what’s going on for them referentially  around their interests in terms of sport, music, film, television, so again I think JMC creates its own social network if you like, for these students to have a peer group that they can draw on as a resource the moment they walk out of here, many of whom are already working I might add. And so, that’s terrific when that kinds of knowledge and information is brought into the classroom as well. 

One of the exciting aspects of the learning environment here at present is the exchange program that JMC has underway with various other colleges in various other countries. For example there are two young Dutch women here at present. It creates an environment where you get a much more interesting interaction in terms of classroom participation. There are cultural references that are thrown into the mix that may not necessarily be something our Australian students have been exposed to, and so it’s quite exciting when ideas start to get thrown around from different perspectives, I think it up’s the ante in terms of the level of conversation or the discourse, of the level of conversation in the classroom and it can be from the most sophisticated to the most simple idea. For example in one of our cultural studies classes, called the 'Reinvention of Cool', looking at popular culture and how that intersects with the entertainment industry, we were referencing a University Of New South Wales study paper that dealt with music, and at one point, this academic used the word ‘dag’ to reference a kind of, possibly unpopular form of music. And this was word that had no reference base for the Dutch student, so we had a discussion around this concept of what a dag is – how such an idea, or term, enters the vernacular in Australia. How we assume understandings about that without having any formal instruction on what this may or may not be. 

Australia offer a very high standard of both technical and theoretical skills. We’re very much at the forefront on what’s innovative, what’s reliable, and what’s productive.“