How to find jobs in the film industry
There are 3 important factors to finding any type of job
- You must know what specific job you want
- You must have experience/express passion for that role
- You must apply correctly and in the right places
In this post I will go through the three important factors to finding film work. 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
Finding unpaid work experience in the film industry is not impossible especially if you are willing to travel. Finding paid work and enough of that to earn a living from it takes time.
Low paid work may take a year to come by and consistent full paid work can take about 5 years to reach. Finding jobs in the film industry comes down to persistence.
In short it is not an impossible goal it just takes time to reach!
1. Being Specific
When I first started out working in film I worked for free as a Runner. When I wanted to get paid I decided upon a specific job role and it was only then that fully paid work started to come my way.
This isn’t the same for everyone, paid runner/PA jobs in the film industry do exist they are just harder to come by.
Click to Tweet: If you are unsure what job role you want in the film industry - working at the bottom as a PA or Runner allows you to see it all, talk to everyone and get an understanding of which direction is right for you.
You won’t want to be working as a runner forever so deciding upon a department to work within will help.
There are lots of departments to work within the film industry– art, camera, costume, makeup, continuity, grip, electrical/ lighting, post production, assistant directing, accounting, sound – there are so many sub categories that go into these.
I decided upon continuity myself because I wanted to get close to the director but honestly I don’t think it matters which department you go into. If you want to work in film go into the department that plays upon your strengths.
You might like - Where to find Film Production Internships
2. Finding Experience
If you have zero experience of working on sets then working on a few student or low budget films for free will give you the credits and experience to move on to paid work.
It is OK to put student films down on your CV as experience. Created a section header on your CV called 'Student Films'.
Try to keep all credits relevant to the job you are applying for. The easiest way to find work experience is online. I have created an updated list of active film jobs sites - Read Here
You will find once you get 5-10 credits in one specific job role work will start to find you. I see by looking back at my CV I only started to get paid job roles as a Script Supervisor when I had worked on 5 short films sets and one feature film for free within this role.
Blogger Stephen Follows has written an article on finding work in the film industry here. He found that having a driving license was more important to put on your CV than a university degree.
3. Applying Correctly
Apply to jobs in the bulk at first expect to get 1 out of every 10 jobs you apply for. As you get more skilled and gain more credits you will find work easier. Keep CV's 1-2 pages long and cover letters very short.
At first find jobs online, talk to people on set and find out if they know of any other production jobs in the film industry you can work on. Begging for work does not work, keep everything professional at all times.
You need to make people trust you within your job role and this trust takes time to devlope.
My e-book Find Work In Film goes into detail on how to find and apply to jobs in the film industry. If you have any questions on how to find work in the film industry please leave a comment below and I would be happy to answer.