It’s possible. It is also possible to pursue other interests other than your major.”
It may be true that people who majored in film, television or writing are unlikely to become professional actors, directors or writers — but there are many other ways to get a foot in the door. But it certainly isn’t true that majoring in film is a guarantee of long-term success.
Consider what happened to the most famous graduate of Columbia School of Journalism, Martin Scorsese . The Columbia alumnus was a star actor with film credits including Chinatown and Taxi Driver . Nowadays, he’s an executive producer on the remake of Goodfellas, and in December 2011, he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series for his role at the center of the new HBO series The Sopranos .
In other words, Scorsese didn’t just graduate from Columbia to start a career in film. He graduated with a degree in film. But the fact that he decided to get into the film business at all doesn’t mean anything in terms of his employment and career paths.
Some people who majored in film become directors, like Kathryn Bigelow and Roman Polanski. Still others become producers and executives. Those who work in television will go on to become directors, executive producers and writers. Some of these jobs — that involve an active involvement in the creation — of television programs. Some of these jobs — that don’t require that the participants have active involvement in the production — that involve the active participation of other people in the production.
For example, here are the resumes of five directors and one executive producer of television shows, that all majored in film:
• Barry Levinson, the creator of the ABC series The Cosby Show . Now an executive producer on the new revival of the sitcom, his thesis was in film.
• David Chase, who created the series Smallville . That degree was in journalism and business, or a combination of both.
• Steven Spielberg , who produced the movies The Color Purple and Saving Private Ryan. He won an Emmy Award in 1978 for outstanding writing in a drama series.
• Robert Zemeckis, who developed The Wizard of Oz , The Lord of the Rings and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. His degree was in English.
• Steven Spielberg won three Academy Awards . The first award for best picture won in 1975, the second for best director in 1979 and the third for best actor in 1984
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