Shaping a new wave of on-screen entrepreneurs



The screen media industry is a formidable playground for those looking for exciting and life-changing opportunities in a rapidly changing and rewarding industry. But it’s also a demanding industry that needs focused skills and strategic thinking to get by. The Master of Arts Screen: Business at AFTRS was designed to meet this need. And now, in 2021, AFTRS has created a mid-year cohort in response to growing demand from students.

“The Master of Arts Screen for Business would generally be suitable for someone looking to accelerate their career or career path, whether in an existing role or as a career change. Many come because they want to start a business, ”said Gerard Reed, Lecturer of the Screen Business course at AFTRS.

The course is a combination of topics focused on three key areas: Creative Leadership and Entrepreneurial Studies, Financial Management, and Screen Media Technology. He is looking for students who can apply their existing media experiences to a course that typically sees graduates emerging with focused business and entrepreneurial skills. Many continue to create exciting new businesses.

Prospective students often ask questions about prerequisite skills. Most of those who are starting out have some experience in the industry, and some come with a well-developed thinking, but the range and depth of experience is incredibly varied. “We take every application on its merits, and for those who lack experience,” said Reed, “there is no need to worry… come see us and discuss your ideas.”

“Really, we are looking for people who are willing to support each other in a career change. “

All the good stuff. Image provided by AFTRS.

Disturbance and expansion

The two-year Master is aimed at students passionate about the screen sector. “It could be gaming or communications; we’ve had marketers and executive producers; and, recently, students have been focusing on virtual reality and its impact on production, ”said Reed. “The course has a strong emphasis on technology. Take a look at the recent massive disruption in the streaming industry to see how quickly and profoundly things are changing, ”Reed said.

“We are looking at technologies such as: AI, machine learning, game engines and new areas such as virtual reality (VR) and virtual production (VP),” he says of the content of the Classes. “Not that we’re going to change the name of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School by adding more letters, but it’s amazing how many new acronyms have entered the field since the school was founded in 1973. “

Gerard Reed is the Lecturer of the Screen Business course at AFTRS. Image provided.

In 2020, students studied VP while watching Unreal Engine through Epic Games. The workshops explored how the gaming market has evolved and influenced the way movies are, well, ‘filmed’. It’s the expansion into traditional screen areas that’s important, says Reed.

‘You have to follow.

“Needless to say, we don’t focus on showing in the cinema anymore; we are looking at what we call the Blue Ocean opportunities, ”said Reed. “We’re asking students to look outside of the existing market or traditional industries and see what the opportunities are,” Reed said. “The FAANG companies – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google – now dominate our screens in ways Hollywood studios could never have imagined in the last century. And these companies are now mature. So ask yourself what’s the next step? “

The course ends with a synthesis project, a major project adapted to the career ambitions of each student. In this way, the course has important bespoke elements, ensuring that all students get the most out of MASB, Reed said.

“Students display an incredibly divergent array of thoughts in the Capstone,” Reed said, “and some of their thinking is really entrepreneurial. Some come out of the course and go straight into an investor’s office.

And for those who wish to apply for the two-year course, Reed has the following advice:

“We are interested in people who have resilient, flexible, agile ways of thinking, ready to listen and to learn what the market tells them,” he said. “It’s a chance, over two years, to test, experiment and pitch, and get a good idea.”

Visit AFTRS to learn more about the Master of Arts Screen: Business.



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