Can you set up the perfectly framed camera shot? Can you seamlessly edit video transitions and audiovisual synch? Can you write a screenplay with a captivating narrative arc that translates effortlessly to the screen? Studying and developing these skills through an academic program is one thing, but being able to answer these questions when looking for jobs means being able to show potential employers and clients the depth of your skills and the quality of your work in the real world.
Growing your career in creative media fields like audio/visual (A/V) production and screenwriting requires developing a portfolio of work. Arkansas State University’s online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Creative Media Production prepares degree candidates for successful careers by integrating foundational knowledge and skill development with real-world experience through project-based learning. Graduates of this program enter the field able to demonstrate their qualifications through both the credentials of a solid education and a portfolio of work to prove it.
How Can Project-Based Learning at A-State Improve My A/V Abilities?
Even before you think about how you’ll improve your chances of being hired, you should know the importance of project-based learning based in experiential education. Experiential education has long been lauded for deepening and cementing theoretical knowledge through practical application and real-life experience. Being able to apply knowledge in practice is especially important in a product- and project-based practical field like A/V production.
How Will This Help Me Land Gigs?
Again, being able to demonstrate your qualifications through your portfolio is key to finding work that fits your skills. Look at every job posting in the A/V world and part of the application process will most likely include submitting examples of your work. These examples should demonstrate your skills specific to the job requirements of the position. Having a portfolio that shows you can effectively meet these specific job requirements without extensive training can set you well ahead of the competition.
Why Should My Education Include Completing Projects in Areas I Do Not Plan to Work In?
Project-based learning can help you start your career along with eliminating much of the technical learning curve when starting a job. But why write a screenplay if you plan to be a video editor?
The answer is at least two-fold. In any position within creative media production you will be working directly with professionals in many other areas. With an in-depth understanding of the tasks of others, you can better network and articulate what you need from them and how they can best do that for you. You can also reciprocally anticipate and give them what they need. This allows for more efficient and effective professional collaboration.
Plus, chances are, you will need some sort of work to make ends meet while pursuing your dream job. Following varying job opportunities can be much more fruitful — and expedient — if not confined to a narrow specialization. Gaining a reputation and landing gigs as a screenwriter can take ages. Getting a job as a camera technician may not. Corporate gigs can be also lifesavers for A/V professionals. And many such jobs require freelancers or media management staffers to be writer, camera technician, director and video editor, all at the same time.
Film and TV producers, directors and other potential employers and clients will base their judgment of what you can do in large part on what you have already done. This is true whether you want to work for a company as a freelancer or full-time employee. Being able to demonstrate the depth of your skills and the quality of your work through completed projects can be the deciding factor in getting the gig.