This post will teach you how to write a film production cover letter. It comes with cover letter examples and a free cover letter template to download.
When applying for a ‘normal’ full time job you may focus on writing a lengthy cover letter. For film 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
Cover Letter Length
Most resumes are lengthy detailing every job you have done. They contain a long personal description, a list of tasks for each job along with reasons for why you left every 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.
Unless you are applying for a full time job in film you will need to apply with a short cover letter.
The process of hiring production staff particular for creative work, TV and feature films is speedy. This is why clear, simple CV’s are best and the 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.
Cover Letter Examples
If you applying for a film production job (either from a job site or through a recommendation) you may be asked to send over a CV and Cover Letter. The email itself will act as the cover letter. Cover Letter attachments will not be read.
When I applied to film production jobs I wrote short unique sentences for every position I applied for. These cover letter emails explained why I can do the job, that I was available to work on their production dates and that my CV was attached to the email.
These cover letters where successful and got me many jobs.
My Simple Cover Letter Example:
Hello, My name is Amy Clarke and I am a freelance Script Supervisor based in Manchester. 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 with more information.Thank you, Amy
It may be the producer, line producer or your department head who is hiring you. All they want to know is that you are confident to do the job, have the relevant experience and are free during the shooting dates.
There are some other details that will also sweeten the deal. It will help if you have accommodation close to the shoot, it will help if you have experience on similar film sets (such as previous credits within that genre) and any extra skills for your job role. For Example for entry level jobs such as Runner or PA having a driving license and a car is highly valued.
Production Runner Cover Letter Example:
Hello, My name is David Smith I am a Production Runner based in London. I have previous experience working on student and low budget short films. I would love the opportunity to work on a feature film production such as yours. I have a driving licence and my own car. I am free during the dates of your production. Please find my CV attached, Thank you. David
When you apply for a film job the person who wrote the job description may also have a list of requirements. For example they might ask for someone with at least 2 years experience on commercial shoots, a show reel and based in a specific city. You need to tick off all of these requirements as you write the cover letter but don’t make it wordy.
Camera Operator Cover Letter Example:
Hello, my name is Ian Welsh I am a freelance camera operator. I have over 5 years experience working on commercial productions. I am based in Cardiff but I have a place to stay in London during your shoot. I have worked with the Sony PXW camera many times before. You can watch my latest show reel here ww.vimeoshowreel.com Thank you for your time. Ian Welsh
If you applying to many freelance jobs and not seeing results try writing short confident cover letters. There are many more cover letter examples and a list of cover letter word copy you can use within my E-book ‘Find Work In Film’ - Find Here
For Film 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 show reel’, 'Let's meetup and discuss the project further'.
For Full time work
Your cover letter can 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. It’s OK to put colour into a media job outfit. How you dress would be different if applying for a position on children's TV show compared to a News Programme.
I have had one Skype interview before for a film crew job. I just smiled, dressed nicely and went through my work experience. Although 1-1 will always be easier, online interviews can sometimes happen.
Cover Letter Format
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 format -
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 show reel' 'Let's meetup to discuss the project further'.
You can Download the free film production cover letter template below
You can find me via Twitter here - @amyclarkefilms