Working in the film industry can be very competitive. There are minimal jobs with a lot of people vying for the best paying gigs. Everyone wants to work on the blockbuster films with A list actors, but there is only a small network of people who get hired for these jobs.
As the saying goes, “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” This couldn’t be more true than in the film industry. While it is extremely important to have a solid grasp of knowledge on equipment, film techniques and the production processes, in order to pay the bills you have to get an actual job. Often times, if you have a good work ethic, you will be called back to work on more gigs with the same company in the future.
So the key to getting jobs in the film industry: meet as many people as possible. Work on any project you can find, regardless of the pay. It may be a student film or an independent project, but the more people you meet, the wider your circle of colleagues becomes, and it is only a matter of time before you are getting hired for bigger projects.
There are many ways to meet new filmmakers in an area:
- Respond to Craigslist ads
- Reach out to production companies and ask if they need help
- Use social media to find new groups of filmmakers
- Attend film festivals in your area
- Volunteer to film events, parties, and commercials for local businesses
- Start working on your own film
- Work with local musicians to create music videos
No matter how big or small a project is, you never know when one friend can help you find a job. It is important to keep working, learning, and being on set. The more you work, the more you can add to your production reel and resume, and it is only a matter of time before you are directing your first feature film.