How to write a film production cover letter with a list of cover letter samples to download. When applying for a ‘normal’ full time job you may focus on writing a lengthy cover letter. For film and freelance work a short straight to the point cover letter is best.
I also created the E-book 'Find Work In Film' which goes into detail on how to find and apply to film jobs - More Info Here
Most resumes are lengthy, detailing every job you have done, a long personal description, a list of tasks you done per job along with reasons for why you left each position. This is because most normal jobs are jobs for life whilst film and creative work, is often temporary and may only last for a few months at a time.
The process of hiring production staff particular for creative work, TV and feature films is speedy. This is why clear, simple CVs are best and the same applies to cover letters, why take up your employer's time reading over your Cover letter when you can get the point across instantly.
As with filmmaker resumes your Cover letter should be able to be glanced over by the person hiring you and the facts should stand out straight away.
My Cover Letters
For myself I wrote short unique paragraphs for every cover letter I sent off, explaining why I can do the job, that I was available during production time and a call to action 'Check out my CV attached' , 'Watch my showreel' or 'Would you like to meet up and talk about the project later this week'. My cover letters were similar for every job I applied for and I could slightly alter it for every job application. This is what a typical film production cover letter of mine was like:
Simple Cover letter example:
Hello, My name is Amy Clarke and I am a freelance Script Supervisor from Liverpool. I would love to work on your production, I have experience working on many feature films. I am free all of June, July and August. Please find my CV attached. Thank you, Amy
You can download a list of several different film production cover letter examples below
It's worth mentioning that film jobs are usually passed on through word of mouth in a friendly way. Overly formal cover letters can come across as awkward and naïve. Forget what you were told to do in school, CVs and cover letters for the film industry are best written short, clear and friendly. Think of your CV as an introduction plus short quick facts saying that you have experience and can do the job. Forget about the expression dear sir or madam, instead use a simple Hi, Hello, or the name of the person you are writing to. Keep it friendly not formal.
For Film Production crew work
Most of you will be applying for film production work as part of a film crew. For this type of work Short and simple is best, Introduce yourself, explain how you can do the job and finish with a call to action’ find my CV attached’ ‘Check out my showreel’, 'Let's meetup and discuss the project further'.
For Full time agency work
Your cover letter might be longer when you are applying for more formal positions, if it is a full time permanent job it is likely the employer will spend more time making the decision on who to hire. For full time jobs there may be several interviews and a longer hiring process. A more formal cover letter would be good here, explain in more detail why you are fit for the job.
A note on Interviews
Likely the interview for a production job (if given an interview at all) will be short and friendly, dress as you would for the job position, there is no need for a spark to wear a full suit to an interview. For permanent jobs and office work smart casual is a good idea, ie. it's OK to put colour into a film job outfit, think how you would dress for that job role itself. How you dress would be different if applying for a position on children's tv than with a news programme.
I have had one Skype interview before, yes it was awkward and luckily for me the director interviewing wasn't too sure how to do this himself, I just smiled, dressed nicely and explained who I was. Although 1-1 will always be easier, online interviews can happen sometimes these days.
Writing Your own Cover Letter
The cover letter examples I have given can be copied and edited for your own use. You could also write your own film production cover letter and use the same template again and again. Cover Letter template help -
- Introduction - Explain who you are and what job you are applying for. Short sentences are best.
- Reason - Explain why you are fit for the job. What experience and skills you have to get the work done.
- Double Reason - Not necessary but an extra push to show you are the best. I own this camera, I have worked on shows like this before, I am free all of next month.
- Call to Action - End the cover letter with a next step for the person reading it. 'See my CV attached' 'Check out my showreel' 'Let's meetup to discuss the project further'.
How do you write your Cover letters? Do you use short or long copy when applying to film production jobs, feel free to share your thoughts and ideas below.