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How to make your mark in SA’s film and TV industry

This is a great time to pursue your passion for film and TV production – but start by acquiring the right skills

CityVarsity is the place to study to hone your TV and film production skills.
CityVarsity is the place to study to hone your TV and film production skills.
Image: Educor/Supplied

Film and TV can change our entire perspective on life and alter our emotions, making us happy or sad – depending on a film’s intentions. It’s an escape for most people and a way of experiencing a different journey. Great films can even inspire great ideas or give someone a nudge to do something courageous.  

The films we see often stay with us for life. We all have a list of TV productions or movies we cannot do without, and we have filmmakers to thank for all that. They work countless late hours to capture the perfect scene and ensure their film evokes the right emotion.

Filmmakers are visionaries. They envision the start and ending of a film before it’s even shot and see it to completion successfully – just by reading the script! 

Mpho Mahlaamela, a film and television student at CityVarsity, speaks about his special relationship with film and TV and reflects on how he has expressed himself creatively with training from CityVarsity. 

“Since I enrolled with CityVarsity, the highlight has been the Arnold Classic Africa [ACA] event. When I got to shoot at ACA, I had the opportunity to interview Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has been in the film and television industry for years. It was such an honour,” he says.

Mahlaamela has worked on other projects for his personal development. He has shot music videos for people in his hometown in Limpopo and filmed the Gaming Championship League. He is determined to start building his brand and work his way to the top.

What makes a good filmmaker? 

Great video production is thoughtful and engages viewers emotionally, keeping them fascinated by what has been captured. It should be captivating, entertaining, breathtaking and epic. It is vital to keep in mind that viewers are always looking for outstanding, relatable and gripping content to enjoy. 

Award-winning filmmakers are not created overnight. They make a name for themselves through years of experience and behind-the-scenes work. Powerful and acclaimed producers know and understand that you have to start somewhere, no matter how talented you are. Your skills can always be sharpened. 

Working in film and TV production is rewarding. You can do what you love and feel fulfilled while earning money and making other people happy.

Before viewers see gripping and beautifully filmed content, there are many techniques involved in putting it together. A production is created in different stages and there are myriad aspects to consider – such as the budget, time frame, equipment and scripts – to make the content worthwhile. 

To make a standout film, you should understand your audience’s interests and habits. 3D videos and futuristic visuals are among today’s trends that are edgy and engrossing. Using such techniques can display creativity and raise the calibre of your work. Whether it is a music video, film or TV production, you can influence thought and feeling by what you put in. 

Study a TV and film production programme

Film skills can be taught from an early age without formal training, but to pursue it formally gives you a new perspective on the subject and access to information, techniques and skill sets that let you take your talent and vision to a whole new level. 

CityVarsity lets students create freely and harness their talent so they can become the best filmmakers in the industry. 

The first step is to polish your skills and gain knowledge by laying an educational foundation. Studying a TV and film production course will give you in-depth knowledge of the dynamics of the industry, broaden your know-how and give you a step up on the production ladder. Studying at a recognised TV and film production institute will also boost your profile.

Your experience and knowledge as a TV or film producer will help you estimate what you are worth for different jobs. This does not mean your standards are too high; it just means you will not compromise your value in the industry by underestimating your worth. 

Working in film and TV production is rewarding. You can do what you love and feel fulfilled while earning money and making other people happy. If you would like to work in this industry and have some groundbreaking ideas, then go ahead – you’ll never go wrong chasing your passion. 

Life does get easier once you have more experience as a TV producer, and you don’t always have to sell yourself short because you need a job. The industry will compensate and recognise your worth and experience. 

The SA film and television industry has grown tremendously over the past few years. The work it produces is now being recognised internationally, and this is a great time to make your mark in this industry. Seize the opportunity and embrace your creativity and passion with CityVarsity. 

>> Read more about the BA degree in film and TV at CityVarsity


This article was paid for by Educor.