How Full Sail Preps Grads for Film Industry Roles
Published on Aug 26, 2021 by Abby Stassen
The university's hands-on approach to learning combines with a devoted Career Development department to help graduates get started in the film industry.
A Full Sail education means that you're handling the latest industry tools, hearing feedback from seasoned professionals, and getting the inside scoop from guest speakers and entertainment companies. These benefits, coupled with a Career Development department that works overtime for both current students and graduates, helps prepare Full Sail graduates for a wide range of jobs in film industry.
Facilities & Equipment
Students in Full Sail's Film bachelor's program and Film Production MFA program gain hands-on experience in campus settings that mimic different production environments in the film industry. The campus Backlot has a number of pre-built sets where students can shoot footage for their portfolio projects, including facades of suburban homes, a gas station, European-style buildings, and more. Campus Film students can also build their own custom sets on Full Sail's soundstages, become familiar with audio and visual equipment in the Camera Lab, and take care of post-production needs in the school's purpose-built lab facilities.
In addition to these on-campus facilities, Full Sail's Project LaunchBox provides digital tools for students to plan, create, and edit their movies. The kit contains an Apple MacBook Pro, Adobe Creative Cloud access, and scripting, editing, composing, and budgeting software. Alumni keep their LaunchBox after they graduate so they can continue creating as they move into the film industry.
Full Sail's online Digital Cinematography students can recreate the production process off-campus with their tailored LaunchBox. It includes everything in the campus LaunchBox, plus a camera, tripod lens, microphones, a lighting kit, and headphones. Digital Cinematography alumni also keep their LaunchBox after they graduate.
The career-focused classes in Full Sail's Film, Film Production MFA, and Digital Cinematography programs prepare students for the hard work that takes place throughout the film production pipeline. Students in team-based classes learn how to collaborate on set and develop leadership skills, and final projects are reviewed by faculty members with industry experience.
Full Sail's Career Development Department prepares students and graduates for success with guest speakers, job-hunting skill sets, and networking opportunities.
Both online and campus Film students can access or attend presentations from alumni guest speakers. In the past, Full Sail has welcomed graduates who work at HBO, Netflix, IMAX, the OWN Network, and Film Florida, among other companies. They've shared tips on surviving Hollywood, insider info on animating for Disney, and more.
Current Full Sail Film students can learn about general job-hunting skills and industry-specific strategies in Career Developmen's wide range of workshops, scope out opportunities at Full Sail's virtual career fairs, and attend other hiring events for internships and entry-level roles.
"2015 Film grad Josh Aucker landed a position at HBO in New York City through a job lead from Career Development," says Doree Rice, Full Sail's Director of Career Development. "Other Film grads have seen similar successes: Jasmine Gomez (Film, 2005) was hired by Warner Media at a Full Sail Career Fair, and Gabriela Lima (Film, 2018) used Career Development to help her land a producing role on Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, which won an Emmy."
Successful grads also take advantage of the Career Development Department when they're looking for new hires: Film grad Stephen Beres (Senior Vice President of Production Operations, HBO & HBO MAX), uses the department to find people who would fit in well at HBO.
"My last two assistants were both Full Sail students that I went through Career Development to get," he says. "Career Development has been incredibly helpful in finding us people that are of the right temperament, of the right skillset, and have the base skills that we're looking for."
Career Development's work doesn't stop with recent graduates: Full Sail alumni can use the department's resources to find opportunities throughout their careers. The school's worldwide alumni network provides post-graduation resources, job postings, information about regional events, and more. Full Sail's annual Hall of Fame event welcomes alumni back to campus to celebrate their achievements and encourage professional connections.
Alumni Success Stories
Other notable alumni who have blazed trails in the film world include Tom Boyd, an Underwater Cinematographer who worked on Little Miss Sunshine, The Big Short, and other films; Aaron B. Koontz, who brought his production company Paper Street Productions to Full Sail's campus to shoot a horror film starring Alicia Silverstone; Darren Lynn Bousman, who wrote and directed Saw II-IV and Spiral; and Emmy-award winning film producer Cherylanne Martin, who worked on Flight, Forrest Gump, and Castaway.