The Career Center recently hosted a seminar on careers in the Louisiana Film, Entertainment, and Digital Media Industries. The presenting guest was Chris Stelly, Executive Group Director, Entertainment & Digital Media for Louisiana. Here are some of the main takeaways, in case you missed it:
Most people think that “film career” is synonymous with “acting career”. However, there are a wide variety of film careers besides acting, including:
- Photography: encompasses everything from the actual filming of a production to taking stills for promotion.
- Digital design: working with computers to change what we see on the screen. A good example of this is in the Louisiana-filmed movie “Ray” starring Jamie Foxx, in which the ground was digitally changed to another color to reflect the look of that area.
- Sound mixing: technicians can make a movie far more exciting or dramatic by use of sounds ranging from a simple pin drop to a loud explosion.
- Costume/production design: an excellent choice for people who are artistic and creative and contribute to everything from furniture to costumes.
- Hair and Make-up: a hair and make-up artist can provide a look or style, but could also provide a special effect such as an alien, or make actors look period-appropriate for films set in other centuries.
- Location scouting: many “scouters” go out in search of landscapes and locations to mimic other ones in order to bring a realistic experience on film. One example given was that a movie was filmed in Hammond, LA yet it was made to look as if you were in the Bronx, NY.
How to break into the industry: To get into this industry it would be a great idea to start off with small and local productions. The more experience you get, the more credible you are. For the technical side of the industry, there are many courses at local Universities and Community Colleges which you could take to improve upon and further advance in your field.
Entertainment and Music:
Louisiana has a rich and unique musical history. There are many ways a person can be involved in this industry. A few examples are:
- Producing music for artists
- Recording, editing, and/or mixing music
- Performing music as a vocalist or instrumentalist
- Promoting artists
How to break into the industry: There is no set course for breaking into the music industry – for the most part, it’s not about which classes you take in school. Instead, focus on finding and creating opportunities for yourself. Learn by doing – volunteer your time and skills for local projects. Search for internships in your field. Networking will be a huge part of your strategy – reaching out and forming connections and relationships with people in the industry.
Digital media is a rapidly growing field in Louisiana. The main field that was mentioned during this seminar was the videogame industry – everything from mobile games to console games. A video game production can be just as large as a movie. There are many different positions which are all essential to videogame production. A few examples are:
- Art design for the general art and look of a game.
- Sound design for effects.
- Computer programming for the operation of the game.
- Voice acting
- Writing for the story and tone of the game
- Game testing for errors or bugs
- Legal and licensing division to ensure that everything in a game is in copyrighted and licensing standards
How to break into the industry: You must have the technology skills to get into this field. Many of the skills can be learned at two-year colleges. For the other aspects such as the legal division, you would need a legal background and education. Video game testing in this field usually requires a high school education and a keen eye to spotting errors and following instructions. In fact, Baton Rouge has a video game testing center for Electronic Arts (EA) on LSU’s campus.
Since the creation of the pioneering motion picture incentive program in 2002, Louisiana has created many opportunities. More information can be found on the Louisiana Economic Development website and the Film Baton Rouge website.
Written by Alvin Coleman