Learn how to write a film production cover letter. Includes cover letter examples and a cover letter template.
Freelance Work Vs Full-time
The majority of film production jobs only hire self employed freelancers. There are full-time contracted film jobs however these are mainly within admin type roles. If you are applying to a full-time position you can write a longer resume and longer cover letter. This following article will look at cover letters specifically or freelance film production job roles.
Cover Letter Length
Film production cover letters just like film production resumes are best kept short. A resume for a full-time job will list all work, with a description of each role and the reasons why you left every position. In contrast a freelancers resume will be one page long and list only relevant work experience.
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.
Keep film production cover letters short.
Cover Letter Submission
A film production cover letter will be included in the email you send over for a job and not be attached separately in a document. The email itself will act as the cover letter.
When you apply for a film job online, you will send them a short email (cover letter), perhaps with a link to your portfolio and attach your resume in PDF.
Your email is your cover letter. Don’t attach cover letters as separate documents.
The process of hiring production staff is speedy. This is why clear, simple resumes and cover letters are best. 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.
Unless you are applying for a head of department role it’s unlikely that you would have an interview. Many jobs will just hire you online and give you a time and place to start work.
If you do have an interview it 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.
Interviews may also be done on the phone or through a video call. 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.
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Cover Letter Format
Your cover letter email should explain who you are and why you are the best person for the job role. Below I have broken down a cover letter format but feel free to create your own.
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'.
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Cover Letter Examples
When I applied for 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 I would attach a resume. These short cover letters of mine where very successful.
My Simple Cover Letter Example -
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 Production Assistant having a driving license and a car is highly valued.
Production Assistant Cover Letter Example -
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 all the dates of your film.
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 -
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
You can find me via Twitter here - @amyclarkefilms