Why study film in South Africa?

23 Nov 2015



Why study film in South Africa?

23 Nov 2015

Like any of the creative arts there are dozens of examples of self-taught film makers, directors and film producers.

We’re living in the digital age. Just hop online and you will find a plethora of YouTube tutorials,  online courses and gazillions of websites all proclaiming to be able to teach one the skills of any creative art.

…and they’re not all bad either. One can find some excellent guidance online.

So is it then not enough to simply invest in a Macbook, editing software and a decent digital camera and just pursue one’s passion? 

Learn as you go…

because pursuing a career and being successful is all about passion.

At SAE we’re all about passion too.

Nothing drives us more than the pursuit of excellence and to achieve that excellence takes 80% effort and 20% skill and for that much effort you need the passion for your craft.

So why study film? Why not use all the digital resources at hand?

Why Study Film?

Vocational training!

These two words summarise the importance of higher education training in creative media. When you choose to pursue your passion as a career path, the two most important criteria you should consider are;

  1. Do I want to make my passion my career?
  2. Can I forge a career out of my passion?

If your passion is Film and the answer to both of the above is a resounding yes, then the answer to the burning question; Why study film… is a yes too!

When you choose to study film at a Higher Education institute such as SAE, you are not simply choosing to learn more about your favourite activity. 

You are choosing to be educated and employable in your chosen craft.

This is the primary purpose of choosing to study film; to learn the art of Film Production and to equip graduates to embark on a career with the required skills set.

Why Study Film in South Africa?

The most recent survey, conducted by the National Film and Video Foundation, an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture found that the South African film and television industry contributes around R3.5-billion a year to the country’s economy.

Over 25,000 people are employed in the film industry; this figure was only 4,000 in 1995. 

To study film at SAE Cape Town is to prepare oneself for a career in film production by being equipped with numerous transferable skills.

Degree vs. Higher Certificate

SAE offers both a one year Higher Certificate in Digital Film Production and a three year Bachelor of Arts in Film Production.

The core difference between the Higher Certificate and Bachelor of Arts Degree is that the degree also focuses on developing a student’s critical thinking. It is not something that may seem immediately useful but is crucial for those who want to be in management positions five years on from graduating.

The Higher Certificate in Digital Film Production covers all aspects of digital film making and production including: concept development, screen writing, camera operation, production management, directing, editing and sound design. 

This hands-on practical course is specifically designed to ensure graduates are employable in the global film industry, by exposing students to the many technical and creative aspects of motion picture story-telling in all of its shapes and forms.

Career opportunities after graduating include;

  • Editor
  • Grip
  • Camera operator
  • Lighting operator
  • Assistant Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Boom Operator
  • Compositor and Visual Effects Artist

The Bachelor of Arts in Film Production is a three year degree and is designed to explore all the creative and technical elements of digital filmmaking.

A strong emphasis is placed on developing your practical skills in pre-production, production, post-production and distribution. 

On completion of the degree, graduates will have acquired a holistic knowledge of the film industry, and be thoroughly prepared with the skills and knowledge needed to embark on an exciting career in the industry. 

Career opportunities after graduating include;

  • Video editor
  • Cinematographer
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Visual effects Artist
  • Colourist

Use our Film and Sound Gear – that’s what it’s for!

When you study film at SAE it is very important to us that you get as much practical experience as possible. SAE students are able to use our film and sound gear on personal projects as well as for the standard course assignments. We encourage it.

Here is a list of the available gear.

Interested in studying film?

We have a one year certificate course and a 3-year degree course available.