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Studying Film does NOT just consist of watching movies all day

2nd October 2011

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Usually when I tell someone I am doing Film Studies I get one of two reactions: "cool!" or "Film? That isn't a degree!".

Film reelMost university students seem to be under the impression that studying film is just about watching films in lecture, with literally no coursework to speak of, or that we have chosen our course in order to get an "easy" degree. Now, I cannot speak for all the Film Students in the country, but at least in my (and many of my course-mates') case, this is not true.

Of course I realise that Film Studies students tend to have a lot less lectures a week than say Biomedical or Civil Engineering students, and yes, we have less coursework than many of our uni mates, but that does not mean that we do not work hard or that good grades are easy to come by.

Before going to university I did three years of IB (International Baccalaureate), and for those of you, who do not know anything about the IB system, it basically entailed keeping on top of seven different subjects, handing in at least three different assignments a week and several hours of homework everyday.

As any IB-student will tell you, the IB is 
tough and downright stressful: Film Studies is a piece of cake compared to the amount of work I had to do before, but that does not mean that my course is all fun and games: in my first year I had to set up my own production of a short film, I had to decipher several of Shakespeare's plays and write an essay on the relationship between cinema and the city in the interwar years.

And those films we watch? Silent cinema, Russian and German propaganda and a more recent film, which I will not mention the title of here, but which was probably the two most boring hours of my life.

I am not saying that Film Studies is even remotely as stressful and difficult as some other degrees, or that you should feel sorry for us. All I am saying is that just because someone is a Film student, it does not mean that they do not know the meaning of hard work, and that if you meet someone who does Film Studies, there is a good chance that they have chosen their course, because they are truly passionate about cinema.

And if everything else fails, most Film students can give you some pretty good pointers on how to survive a zombie apocalypse.

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