Alternatives to on set film crew production work

How to get into the entertainment industry.jpg

How to get into the entertainment industry – alternatives to film crew production work. Here on my blog , I have mainly been focusing on film crew work , this is where my own experience lies battling it out on feature film set – one after the other.

However I understand that many of us filmmakers don’t wish to work on film sets, after all I quit working in film myself serval year ago. I did this for many reasons but mostly it was the work hours that stopped me. Film sets require so much time from you, that I found myself unable to pursue my own projects.

Without a doubt film crew work is invaluable experience for any filmmaker, especially if you wish to work on bigger sets in the future (as director, producer, actor), this initial experience working for others is important. However I found that as I grew older my needs are changing and from talking to others in the industry I see that I am not the only one.

Perhaps you find the nature of film production too competitive, perhaps you fit better into a 9-5 cycle, maybe you are starting a family and know that the life on the road is a contradiction to family life. There are alternatives out there for filmmakers, in the creative industries we can create our own paths.

Freelance Film work

This will likely be the easiest way to start making money in film. You can freelance any skills that you have , this is not a passive job it will take time to market yourself and make a stream of clients to bounce work off but it is possible.

When you freelance think creatively about what you can offer. This could be more traditional work freelance editing or videography. Or you can become more niche and specialised such as ‘ freelance editing for online business’ 'Costume Design advice for budget conscious filmmakers’.

You can choose to keep your freelance business home based, or bring it to other people's projects outside and travel with it.  The difference between this and film crew work is that you will be freelancing your skills on much smaller projects that take less time out of your day. As a freelancer you are in change of your own day and work schedule.

I would recommend the blog Elle and Company watch the Elle Chats here for freelance tips

Starting your own business

Another problem with film crew work – you are not your own boss.  You will often find yourself Working under a handful of people on their creative terms. How to get into the entertainment industry ,You can start your own production company altogether or run a creative business of any sort to make money.  When Starting your own business could begin as as a freelancer and then expand – hiring others and growing to become a full business. 

Sometimes working under a company name could sound more legit than being a sole trader. The main difference I feel between a freelancer film work and a business owner is that you will work with a team of people. It can be easier to grow with a team of people working towards a target, just be sure you get along well with whomever you set up business with.

A full-time job

Yes, there are full time jobs in film, these are full time contracted jobs that work just like a non creative day job. Sometimes they run on 9-5 , with fixed annual pay with all the holiday benefits you need. Likely they will not be as creative as freelance work or production job roles but they are more safe jobs. A lot of this jobs are in development, pre production and post production.

Most likely this will be office based work. Whatever Your film crew skills are these could also be transferred over to a full time job, full-time assistant producers are common, as are full time editors. For directors try out creative agencies and commercial companies. Have search and see what type of full time film jobs are in your area. A simple search on could reveal full time film work near you.

A Mix of Job Types

You can also mix it up and do a range of services and temp work to make your job pay the bills, it is going to take time to find out what works for you. You may find your prefer the online world as opposed to outdoor work (like myself) , or you may like a more lively freelance career with excessive travel. Whatever you decide it will take time to make that career change and it will take time and experimentation to find the perfect for you.

How to start

Consider what skills you possess and what you enjoy doing. How do you want to spend each work day, outside, in an office, on a film set or at home. What type of work work do you need, have you got  family and desire a 9-5 , do you prefer to work alone or would you benefit from working with a team of people. It is good to start planning ahead and make those simple steps to get where you want to be , all of this knowledge will come in time as you get to know yourself more. 

You can find me via Twitter here - @amyclarkefilms