How to get a job working in the film industry

by Joost | Last Updated: June 30, 2022
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If you have just completed a film course, you have to get started quickly to pay back some student debt.

In addition, there are many hobbyists who have developed from YouTube videos into film makers at a professional level.

You want to turn your passion into your profession, how can you really start working in the film industry?

Working in the film industry

Networking

If you follow an audiovisual training, you are surrounded by people that you will meet later in the industry. You can’t afford to walk the halls like a wallflower or gray mouse.

This is the ideal time to set up your network without fishing for a job.

If you know how to make good contacts and can spread your talents, there is a good chance that classmates will contact you later if they need someone. In addition, it is just fun to talk about the subject with fellow students.

Playmobil petting zoo stop motion
Playmobil petting zoo stop motion

At school you can probably practice for network meetings in “real” life. There are plenty of occasions where filmmakers and specialists come together. To find a connection there is a lot more challenging.

You don’t want to sell yourself short, but you don’t want to impose your talents on a stranger either. Fortunately, everyone thinks that way, nobody is really comfortable in these kinds of situations.

Find an entrance to a conversation, just say that this situation is actually quite uncomfortable, your conversation partner will probably agree with you, or give you tips to feel better.

Think about some questions in advance that you can ask someone, such as “what do you actually do?” or “are those meatballs really spicy”?

The first question doesn’t really matter that much, it’s just an icebreaker, it’s much more important that people see your character, be open and give others the chance to connect with you.

Especially if you have not received any professional training or course, these kinds of encounters can be important.

Although you can learn all the techniques independently, you still have a disadvantage in your network, and film is an art form in which collaboration is essential.

Social Media

In addition to physical contact, establishing and maintaining contact via the Internet has become increasingly important. Present yourself via Facebook and show your identity, and create a profile on LinkedIn for a more professional way of presenting yourself.

Keep in mind that your social media accounts are also viewed by potential clients, pay attention to personal details about your life. Present yourself in an honest way but avoid “extreme” photos and points of view.

Social media, including forums, offers an excellent opportunity to share your knowledge. If people ask about equipment you have experience with, share your knowledge.

Being the Guru in a specific field builds a reputation and sets you apart from the rest. Don’t be too arrogant in your responses, text offers little nuance.

Be helpful and stay constructive, provoking discussion will not make you popular.

Create an Eye-Catching Showreel and Resume

You are in a creative medium. Some activities require a study or diploma, but there are also plenty of jobs and positions where experience counts most.

We all know a picture is worth a thousand words, so create a flashy show reel with all the highlights of your work. Always make sure that you are allowed to use the material copyrighted, ask permission if necessary.

You can also make (a part of) your showreel specifically for this presentation. The employer wants to see what you can do, and preferably as soon as possible.

In addition to a showreel, a CV is also important, make it interesting, even if you don’t have that much experience. Just a summary of your achievements in Word is not enough.

Use fun graphics, choose a sleek design and let your talent and creativity shine.

Also realize that even if you don’t get hired, your showreel and resume can lead to a very different offer years later, make sure you get into people’s long-term memories!

Working in the film industry is fantastic, realize that this industry is very broad. You may be dreaming that you are going to be the next Spielberg or Tarantino, but Quentin also started working behind the counter of a video store.

In addition to films, you can work on Reality TV productions, commercials, corporate films, video clips and much more. Not all work is shown in the cinema, well-known Youtube stars sometimes earn tons on an annual basis, don’t just turn your nose up at that.