I have created a video presentation that you can watch letting you know all of the steps in detail. If you are new to finding work in film and want to soak up a ton of new information to help with your future career then check out this video below.
Watch the video in full screen here You can read the basic transcript below -
Step 1 – Bookmark 5 websites
If you can download a list of updated film jobs sites here. You will want to find 5+ websites that advertise work in your location. I say 5 plus because if you can find 10 then find 10 but I would suggest a minimum of 5 sites.
As well as jobs sites you can also find work on local film council websites. This may be a film website dedicated to your region or state. These local film councils sometimes have a database of crew that you can add your contact details into and also advertise jobs.
Social media is a new way to find work in film. It is nothing fancy you use the search bar of your social media to search for jobs being advertised. Facebook also has groups, and one of these groups might advertise work in your area or there maybe a group chat for filmmakers in your area on twitter.
Step 2 – Your filmmaker CV
After you have found 5 job sites you will need to create a CV. If you think filmmakers don’t need a CV you are wrong, when you don’t know enough people in film to be called up with job offers its likely you are going to be applying to films online and when you apply to a film job online you will always be asked for a CV. So it is misconception that filmmakers don't need a CV, if you are applying to work online you will need one.
A filmmaker CV is different to an ordinary CV, perhaps in school you where taught to create a 2 -3 page CV or resume full of info on what jobs you done. A filmmaker CV is short, simple and to straight to the point.
It’s important for a filmmaker CV – when someone glances at it they need to understand what job you are applying for. Even if they just glance at it for 5 seconds it should be obvious what job you do and are applying for.
So right at the top of your CV write you name and job title. A producer should be able to look at your CV for just a few seconds and know what job you are applying for. Producers are busy, you want to make it easy for people to hire you.
You CV credits are also nicely listed down your CV - mention the production title, the date and your job role. You can also mention the genre, the director, producer, production company. You could also mention the head of your department. So if you are a camera assistant you could mention the DOP you worked for on each production. You can download a filmmaker CV template here.
Step 3 – Cover Letters
Your filmmaker cover letters, should be just like your CVs – short and simple. Overly formal and long cover letters are not needed for a film job. The role of a cover letter is to get someone to look at your CV. It will be your CV, your experience or showreel links that will get you the job, not the cover letter.
A long cover letter will not be read. For a cover letter formula start with an introduction, give reasons for the person to hire you and end will a call to action. A call to action lets the reader know what to do next, examples of a call to action are, check out my CV, take a look at my show reel, or asking a question would you like to have an interview this week?
For Full time jobs your cover letter can be a little longer but still no longer than 3 paragraphs. Keep your cover letter friendly as opposed to formal even on full time job applications. Mention more fully your experience, often these full time jobs have job requirements which can act as a guide for your writing your cover letter – go through the requirements mentioned in the job description.
The cover letter was not what got me the job – it was the CV, the experience I had that did.
Even if you have little experience, keep your cover letter short and your CVs simple. This allows you to apply to more jobs and keep a consistent job hunt going.
Step 4 – Emailing
When you send your cover letter and CV off to a job save your CV in PDF format if I didn’t say it before save this file as your name and job title.
Applying to jobs in bulk – you need to be applying to jobs in bulk because the film industry is very competitive. I would say if you are applying to jobs correctly expect to get 1 out of every 10 jobs you are applying for.
Try to apply for 10 jobs per week. Film industry production jobs are usually freelance and temporary add that with the competitiveness jobs can sometimes only last online for as little as two days at a time. And jobs may only be a few days long. So you need to keep applying to jobs consistently in film.,
A specific job, a well designed CV and simple cover letter is how you get jobs in film.
Here is a Breakdown of what we have learnt
- First Find a focused job role or department to work within
- Then Choose a location you wish to work within
- Create you filmmaker CV
- Create your filmmaker cover letter
- And Apply to jobs in bulk (10+ a week)
- Make sure to apply to jobs on regular basis