How to get into the movie industry with Four Tips for working on major feature film productions. If you haven’t already download my FREE detailed E-book How to find work in the Film Industry with case studies.
It is the dream of many not only to work on film sets but to work on major feature film productions the type you can go and see in the cinema once complete. The problem with this is that the majority of films being made never make it to the cinema. The majority of films being made are just not that good!
It is more likely in film that you are going to be working on Indie films or B-movies than on Hollywood feature films. At least that is at first but once you have the credits and contacts working on major films does happen and then it's the snowball effect, work on one and you're more likely to work on another and another.
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Before working on major film sets here are four big tips to keep in mind, how to get into the movie industry –
1. You must Ruthlessly Define your job role
Have you defined your job role enough? If you are looking for film work on a major film productions what job would you do? For instance if you are after a job as a camera operator and have no major feature film experience, likely you will have to work as an assistant first, or build up a portfolio of indie films to show that you can do the job and work with the same equipment. The film industry is very competitive so unless you fit the role exactly you will not be hired.
2. Your CV needs to reflect that job role
Second you need to make your CV reflects the job role you are applying for. Handing over a CV that says director & editor and then applying for a runner job role making tea and coffee won't get you the job. If you applying for a runner role your CV has to say runner. So even if you wish to be a director in the future create a runner CV to apply for runner positions
3. You do need to know some people in the industry
Third you need to make film crew contacts. The film industry is run on a who knows who basis. Major film work won't always advertise online. People hire who they know first. So you will have to do what it takes to get known within the film industry for doing what you do.
This doesn’t mean you have to work for free or work for years on indie productions. All it means is that you need to work on a few films to get those initial contacts. Everyone rubs shoulders with each other in film, you need to take those first few steps, work on any feature film production you can and you will start to meet the contacts in the industry.
Click to Tweet: Filmmaker Tip: Highlight the names of well known production companies, producers and actors on your CV in bold
4. It will take time
Forth it will take time, but not forever, think a year or two to make those initial contacts before you start to find work on major feature films. Defining your job role and CV will play a big part in finding paid film work. If this is the career you're after a few years of training and work experience is nothing compared to the may decades of work that may be ahead of you.
How to get into the movie industry?
Start to create a plan of attack. One way to do this is to work backwards. Imagine what your dream job role is and how you will get there. Also remember that any career change takes time. We have the tendency to put targets in our head – married, kids, career all sorted by age 30 is a typical one This is not realistic and things take time to complete.
If you want to work on as part of the crew on major film productions you need to start throwing yourself into the film industry. Before working on major feature films you may find yourself working on B-movie type indie productions at first. For major roles such as Director, DOP, Producer this is going to take much longer, many decades even of toiling it through the industry.
film crew job seeker Checklist
- Have you defined your job role (don’t expect to be hired as a director straight away, there are many other jobs within a film crew to start off within)
- Make your CV say this is your job role If you applying to be a runner your CV should say runner
- Try to get 5 credits onto your filmmaker CV saying this is the job role that you can do and are after, to begin with include student and indie film productions
- Apply to jobs ruthlessly (expect only to get 1 out of 10 you apply for) competition is high so it will take time
- Keep in contact with the people you work with, network online and off in your industry, make it easy for you to find you online. Follow people you work with on social media platforms like Twitter.
It will take time, years even, but it is worth it if this is the long term career you are looking for in life. Have you ever worked on a major feature film production? how did you get the job, any advice for others please share in the comments section below -