Certifications for creative media such as film production were once unnecessary. However, the industry has become more sophisticated, more technological and much more competitive. Many of today’s filmmakers have film school degrees, and a number of them have even gone on to pursue advanced degree programs. There is also a new overlap between the film industry and the high technology industry, with some individuals moving from one profession to the other.
The use of digital technologies such as computer animation in making films for theatrical release, for television and for the Internet has brought the film certification process into the foreground. Employers want to know that they are hiring individuals who bring more than just good ideas into the process. Today’s beginning filmmakers are expected to know at least the basics of direction, cinematography, lighting, sound and editing in addition to essential storytelling and screenwriting theory.
Besides all the technical aspects of film production, filmmakers who have obtained film certification in their craft are also trained in the use of the camera as a storytelling tool, how to develop scripts and add the filmmaker’s own vision to a written story treatment, and how to cast and direct actors.
Another important advantage that comes with a film certification program is knowledge of the business aspects of filmmaking. Most programs use information from industry insiders and established professionals to give beginning filmmakers a road map of the wide-ranging industry in which they will be working. These are all areas that self-taught filmmakers may take a lifetime to learn.