Film Education in 2018

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The Callsheet spoke to David Stein, Film Department Manager at CityVarsity to gain a deeper understanding of the film-education landscape in South Africa.

How has CityVarsity improved its film-related course offerings to align with new technologies and student needs? One of our biggest objectives has been a continuing differentiation between our Film Degree (BA) and Film Diploma. While the Degree and Diploma make use of the same facilities and equipment, our Diploma has increasingly evolved to become a qualification that produces “industry-ready”
graduates.

As a result, our Diploma particularly has undergone enhancements to meet the needs of industry. For example, we identified that continuity is a special skill in great demand within the industry. Once we became aware of this, we began offering a continuity course within our Diploma to train our students to meet this need. Our engagement with industry has also helped us to identify pieces of equipment being used on real-world film sets. While we continue to train our students on the fundamentals in terms of equipment, we are profoundly aware that keeping them abreast of technological advancements will increase their employability.

Where it is challenging to purchase and maintain specialised pieces of equipment, we ensure that students have access to it on some other way. For example, we recently hosted a master class
on jibs and cranes, which gave students hands-on experience with these large pieces of gear. We also leverage our partnerships with organisations such as Panavision. A recent field trip to their facility was met with great enthusiasm. In terms of student needs, our engagement begins at the level of Open Days and Winter Workshops, before potential students have even enrolled for our courses. At this early stage we already begin to assess their expectations and needs as film students and future industry
professionals.

Continue reading in Issue 7 of Callsheet, here:

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