TV Production Apprenticeships - how to find placements

In this article I have listed film and TV production apprenticeships available in the US and UK. I also have advice below on how to find these apprenticeships near you.

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How To Find TV production Apprenticeships Near You -

In this article, I have used the word  ‘apprenticeship’ however these entry-level jobs can also be called ‘internships’ or ‘work experience placements’. Some are paid and some are not, you will have to decide what type of experience is right for you. For example, a week’s free work experience for a major TV studio could be worthwhile and look great on your CV.

Many film and TV production crew don’t start their career in traditional apprenticeships, instead they begin their careers working entry-level jobs such as PA or Runner before choosing a specific department or job role in the film and TV industry. So if you are specifically looking for on set crew work, apply for any entry-level job role in film or TV.

If you currently have no experience consider helping out on a low budget independent/student film to begin with. Having some initial experience on your CV is better than none.

You don’t need a media qualification to apply. You just need to be able to show us that you’re passionate about Television and have a genuine desire to find out what the industry has to offer. Please use the application questionnaire to tell us about any volunteer work you’ve done or projects you have been a part of.
— BBC Manchester

#1 Major Company Search

Major TV studios will have a constant rota of jobs and might offer work experience. The BBC has many internship schemes throughout the year. Same with huge companies such as the NBC and FOX. Simply have a search for major companies near you are see what they have to offer. Alternatively apply for an entry-level job working for a major TV or production company.

#2 Film Councils and Unions

Some countries/regions/states will have a film council. These councils may have a list of opportunities and resources on their websites. You could try contacting them to ask how they can help you find a work placement. Union websites might also list apprenticeships or guides on where to find them. For the UK see BECTU, the US has many filmmaker unions find a list here.

#3 Smaller Company Search

Even if you do find and apply to TV production apprenticeships there is no guarantee that you will be accepted. Have a search for smaller companies near you. This could be working for a smaller TV company, production company or perhaps a creative agency. Use Google maps to search for creative companies in your location. They may advertise placements on their own careers page and you can always email them directly asking if they could offer you work experience (yes this works).

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#4 Entry-level freelance work

If you are having trouble finding apprenticeships consider freelancing. You will find initial work experience for filmmakers on film jobs sites or Facebook groups. Build up your work experience by helping on local independent film productions.

If you build up enough contacts/experience in time you will begin to open up the doors to professional TV production. On set TV production crew work is often not advertised online. It can be hard to break in, but it will happen if you keep building up your experience and contacts.

I was approached for my first fully paid TV job after being listed on a film council database, I built up my work experience on independent features and shorts.

You might like to read - A list of the best filmmaking books


How did you find your first job in film or TV? Let me and others know via the comments section below -