If you’ve always loved sitting down to watch a good movie with popcorn in hand, you’re like most of us! It’s a good way to relax, have fun with those you love, and who doesn’t enjoy the cinema experience after a long working week? But if you’re a real film buff, who knows the ins and outs of what it takes to make a movie (and your movie collection is bigger than the house you store it in), you could take this passion to the next level.
You could start to get involved with the film industry yourself. Yes, you really could follow your passion and start making movies of your own, or get a job in a movie, or even just be a set runner for a little while to get a feel for things. No matter why you love movies, or what films you always sit down to enjoy, this could be your chance to find a career you’ll never feel like you have to work.
Pick Your Perfect Role
The first thing you should do here is decide what it is you actually want to do within the film industry. Maybe you’ve always wanted to act, and would love to get some extra work? Or maybe you’d like to be behind the camera and help set up the shoot? Maybe you’ve always wanted to sit in the director’s chair and decide how a scene ends up? Or perhaps you’d like to get involved at an even earlier stage and write the script for the whole thing?
Whatever it is you’d love to do, go for it! And if you want to do more than one thing, it’s best to stick to one career path for the time being. You’re just getting into the industry and building up a name for yourself, so it’s best to carve out your own mini brand. Show people that you’re good at what you do, and have an extensive resume to back up this impression. Establishing yourself now gives you a lot more opportunities down the line and that can blow your career wide open in the long run.
Get a Relevant Qualification
The majority of people who end up in the film industry have some kind of previous background with it, whether they want to film school, drama school, or art school. As such, it’s best to raise yourself to the general level and get your own relevant qualification that’ll give you some basis. It’s a good thing to put on your resume, if nothing else, and proves to people straight out the door that they should give you a chance.
If you even just write down how proficient you are in certain editing suites, thanks to years of experience in using programs such as Photoshop or Sony Vegas, you’ll have a relevant skill to talk about in the interview room. On the other hand, you can simply head back to university and get a whole new degree in film directing or media editing if you like! You can even do such a course in your spare time with online degrees, which give just as much a qualification as living and studying on campus does.
Attend as Many Production Events as Possible
Networking is a big deal in the film industry. It’s how most actors, producers, and directors find their feet and get their first big gig – as they say, it’s who you know! So why not follow their lead and start attending production events and festivals whenever you can? The more you show your face, the more people you meet and befriend, the more likely you are to get involved in a meaningful way.
Of course, going straight out the gate with your job hunt might not be the best way to start a conversation, but you can still work it in. Let people know you’re on the lookout for a job in the industry by talking about the movies you love, your passion projects, and how far you’d go to have a chance to be part of a film of your own. Make a good impression, be helpful where you can, and seal the deal with some upfront honesty about your ambitions.
Don’t Be Afraid of Entry Level Jobs
You have to work your way up in any sector you move into, and it’s no different in the film industry either. Unless you’ve already got a strong, influential connection there, you’re not going to be the top billed producer on a feature film when you’re just starting out! You need to put some hard graft in, get some experience under your belt, and learn how to work a set to your advantage.
As such, don’t be afraid of taking an entry level job, or ‘grunt work’ as some people put it. Being a production assistant, for example, means you’ll do everything the ‘higher ups’ don’t have time for. These are long hours on set, in offices, and up and down the location you’re filming in, but they really prove what you’re made of.
And you’ll often be assigned to assist a certain person, so if you make a good impression on them, they’ll be likely to put your name forward whenever another job is going in the area. Take your time working your way up; the film industry can be cutthroat!
Think About Starting a Production House of Your Own
You could also just skip to the front of the queue and start up a film production company of your own. Sure, you’ll still need to put a lot of work in (more in fact!), but this way you stay in control. You get to work on what you want, you get to choose what projects come across your desk, and ultimately you have the final say in what way you want to be creative.
If this sounds like the dream role for you, it’s time to put a plan together. How are you going to fund your operations? Start by working out a good initial figure and then look for ways to cut back. For example, instead of buying your own production tablets to work from, you can use an ipad rental service to hand out working tech amongst your crew.
Speaking of, how are you going to put together a talented crew? Search job boards, make connections, and always go the extra mile to see what a person is capable of. You can find some real hidden gems if you’re the kind of producer that’s willing to offer an interview to anyone with a passion!
And finally, who do you need to know to be the first to get news over projects currently in the works? Who do you need to get buddy-buddy with to have your pick over what to work on? Get some names down, connect with them, and always offer them something first before you ask for something in return.
Want to Work in the Film Industry? It’s Possible!
Getting involved with the film industry isn’t as hard as you might think. There’s a lot of work going out there, thanks to just how much media is made on a daily basis, and you could end up working in any number of productions. Keep tips like these in mind to help propel your new career forward and never be afraid to get your feet in on the ground level – it could mean stardom for you and your work one day.