Movie-making as a career? Here’s how you can do it

With UOW Malaysia KDU's Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Digital Media Production programme, students can delve into movie-making.

YOU would have heard of the wildly popular Korean series Squid Game – Netflix’s most-watched show.

But did you know that the first season of Squid Game cost Netflix some US$21.4mil but the nine-episode thriller is estimated to make the company – wait for it – US$900mil in revenue?

While Netflix does not accept unsolicited submissions and will only accept productions from its networks of “licensed literary agent, or from a producer, attorney, manager, or entertainment executive”, it is imperative to know how to get on the powerhouse’s radar.

UOW Malaysia KDU's Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Digital Media Production programme can show you how.

Those who pursue this degree will acquire the skills and aptitude to make entire movies or TV series, according to UOW Malaysia KDU deputy head of the School of Creative Media, Associate Prof Julian Lee.

“We even show students how to pitch their scripts to talent agencies to land multi-million dollar production deals.

“Netflix has a vast network of talent agencies that scout for good scripts. These talent agencies receive hundreds of pitches a day. It won't be easy to catch their eye.

“But the course will get you ready for that pitch,” said Lee.

He said that was exactly how Squid Game found its way to becoming a global phenomenon.

“After a talent agency picked up the pitch for Squid Game, the production team received roughly US$1.2mil per episode and they eventually got US$20mil from Netflix.”

Local creatives have a fair shot at getting their ideas on Netflix.

The Taiwanese-Malaysian effort Ghost Bride is now a Netflix Originals and earned a 6/10 rating on IMDb.

The six-episode series was co-directed by local directors Quek Shio-chuan and Ho Yu-hang and was based on a Malaysian novel by Yangsze Choo.

Aside from the big leagues, Lee opines that many people earn a tidy profit from sharing videos of what they love to do on over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as YouTube,

From cooking to gardening and even how to fix stuff at home, such videos can garner millions of views and might reward its creators handsomely via advertising revenue.

Lee said anyone with the passion to be a vlogger (video-blogger) will tackle the course with gusto. “If you love creating content, you will love this course,” he said.

Learn to make entire movies and TV series and even pitch scripts to talent agencies at UOW Malaysia KDU.Learn to make entire movies and TV series and even pitch scripts to talent agencies at UOW Malaysia KDU.

Before the possible glitz and glamour, students would have a lot of ground to cover.

Lee said that in the first year of the degree programme, students learn all the ropes of pre-production – from planning to conceptualising, scripting to filming and editing.

“There are also the vital elements of visual effects, animation and CGI (computer-generated imagery),” he added.

In the second year, students embark on their first production effort.

“They will be given the script to produce and yes, they can adapt the scripts and put their own spin to it or add their own identity or style to the finishing of the video,” he said.

In the final year, students would be able to perfect their craft by shooting their own stories to earn their degree.

Lee stressed that the programme assists students to delve into the practice and technicalities of production.

This differs fundamentally from conventional film and cinema courses, which are anchored by communication courses and the history, theories and business aspect of the field.

Besides that, students will learn to apply cinematic methodologies for modern-day consumption.

“Our syllabus is tailored for you to succeed in producing, directing, and marketing a portfolio of digital video content over any consumable media,” said Lee.

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