Q: I want to do something in media, such as making documentaries. Can you tell me what the subject covers and what are the career opportunities?

While it is a wonderful thing to pursue our dreams we need to be sure that our skill sets support our passion. And for that you should take a psychometric test. Most roles will need an aptitude for both technology and creativity. A course in film-making will teach you about camera operation, lighting and sound, editing, screenwriting and animation. A skill they don’t teach in college but you need to acquire is the ability to listen, as only then can you weave a story and view it from different perspectives.

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With the recent upsurge in entities such as Netflix, HBO, Walt Disney, National Geographic all wanting to create and distribute content, the demand for documentaries has never been more. But the cost of film-making is also cheaper than ever before, thereby making it more competitive.

While there are no formal educational requirements to enter the industry it is a good idea to study film and television production, get an undergraduate degree and acquire the skills required. Choose a programme with a hands-on curriculum, as that’s where the real training happens. The programme should include aspects of film production, film theory, digital media production, screen writing, and technical training.

Careers in documentary film-making will range from being a producer to director, to script writer, to sound programmer, to director of photography and camera operator.

There are several world-class campuses that also provide industry access and specialists on campus, including the American Film Institute (AFI), Los Angeles. In 2017 the Institute had 27 Emmy nominations among its alumni.

The Cal Arts School of film and video has long been a favourite stomping ground for animation and film-making for Hollywood. 

Other institutes in the US would include University of Southern California’s USC School of Cinematic Arts and Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television. The National Film and Television School (NFTS), London, is the only school in the UK with its own studios.

In Asia, The Film and Television Institute (FTII) of India is an excellent option.

Sanjeev Verma is managing director of Intelligent Partners, a leading education consultancy (sanjeev@intelligentpartners.com, www.intelligentpartners.com). Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.