In 2016, there were about 250,000 people employed in the film industry.
Few jobs seem as enchanting and exciting as working in film, alongside talented directors, actors, and writers.
When you’re just starting out, though, it can feel impossible to break in.
Let’s look at 5 tips for landing an entry level film job.
1. Learn as Much as You Can
When you’re trying to learn how to get into the entertainment industry, there’s no shortage of things to learn. You’ll want to understand the way that recruiting works in entertainment and how the industry operates.
In addition to this, you’ll want to learn as much about film as possible. Whether you self-educate by watching YouTube videos and reading blogs or you get a degree from Full Sail University, this is definitely a situation where knowledge is power.
That being said, it’s important to understand that a college education means something different in the entertainment industry than in others. While it is a great place to learn the necessary skills and study the history of film, you shouldn’t expect to get a job just because you have a degree. It’s important to understand that the process of starting at the bottom and working your way up is something that can be done without a degree.
2. Network, Network, Network
If it’s distasteful to you that getting jobs in the entertainment industry is all about who you know, then this might not be the industry for you. Like it or not, that’s really how it works.
That doesn’t mean that you have to be best friends with an Oscar-winning director. It just means that you’ll want to have as broad a social network as possible and take opportunities where you see them present themselves. Once you land your first entry level film job, if you do a killer job the people you work with will be more likely to suggest you for a future project.
3. Find an Internship or Volunteer Opportunity
There’s really no substitute for experience. Sure, you can read every book out there about the film industry, but you’ll still be surprised by what it’s actually like on the ground. Sometimes you just have to get your hands dirty.
Finding an internship or a volunteer opportunity is both a good way to get your foot in the door and find out if this is even a door you want to walk through in the first place.
Most major studios and networks offer internship programs, and you don’t necessarily have to be a college student to apply. If you already know which filed you want to go into (meaning directing, writing, programming, etc.) then you can find an internship that suits your desired field.
To find internships, look online at the different media corporations’ websites. Under the jobs or employment opportunities section, you should be able to find the internship programs they offer.
Volunteering is also a great way to expand your network and get a taste of what film industry jobs are really like. Pretty much everyone needs an extra pair of hands in the entertainment industry. If you know there’s a movie or TV shoot going on nearby, contact the studio or someone on the set to ask about volunteer opportunities.
4. Work on Your Personality, Professionalism, and Presence
Getting jobs in the film industry means that you’ll have to work on how you present yourself. This is true in a lot of industries, but it’s maybe particularly true in the entertainment industry.
You’ll want to be able to hold a conversation and come off as personable. You need to feel comfortable talking to just about anyone. At the same time, you’ll need to present yourself as composed and professional.
It’s natural to be nervous when you’re interviewing for any job, but it’s important that you find a way to keep calm. Things can go wrong on movie sets or in TV industry jobs, and it’s important that you are more of a problem-solver than a panicker.
Confidence is another important attribute when working jobs in the entertainment industry. You don’t want to come of as over-confident, as it’s important to have humility, but you should have self-confidence that inspires trust and respect.
5. Improve Your Writing Skills
It’s more and more common to communicate over email in any industry. This means that your writing skills are very important. You’ll want to be able to communicate effectively, write well, and use proper grammar.
When you’re sending out resumes and applications, one of the first things that will get your application trashed is spelling or grammar mistakes. It’s important to not make little mistakes like that, even if they seem inconsequential. Written communication is key, so you’ll want to master it ahead of time.
Following These Tips Might Help You Get an Entry Level Film Job
Breaking into the film industry can be a difficult and seemingly impossible task. Many people go to LA with the hope of working their way up the ladder, only to get stalled somewhere on a lower rung.
That doesn’t mean success in the film industry isn’t possible, of course. But it’s important to realize that there are a lot of pitfalls and obstacles that can meet you along the way. When it’s your dream to work in an incredibly competitive industry, you have to expect that you won’t simply glide into a high-paying position right off the bat.
Did you find this article about getting an entry level film job helpful? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more informative content!