Following on from yesterday’s article, I’m going to share some extra tips on getting into the film production industry. This is another notoriously difficult industry to get into. The tips from yesterday still mostly apply, but here are some more film specific resources and tips.
Again, learning by being immersed into the set is possibly the best way to gain contacts, knowledge and confidence. And if you can show dedication then this is a great way in. However, it is very hard work and long hours so prepare yourself. Some people also find it hard being so low down the ladder, but if you can see past the job and to the progression then it’s a great role. The job will vary from set to set but by starting from the bottom you will learn a lot, and other producers and crew may give you valuable insights because they have been where you are. Also, no qualifications are needed for this role, apart from a driving licence.
- Calltime Company – Calltime was set up by two well established women in film, Tamana and Vicki. They created Calltime to connect runners to work in film and help people through the next steps of their careers. Calltime opens its books several times a year to new entrants to the industry. They also take on established runners all through the year.
- The Call Sheet – Another job site with useful resources and lots of film jobs posted, so get that CV and cover letter ready. The Call Sheet connects film industry professionals.
Film courses will give you access to equipment, skills, crew and connections so that you can make your own content. With this you can develop your style, your portfolio and take yourself to film festivals. The downside is that good courses are expensive and competitive. ScreenSkills has a list of approved courses which will give you legitimate links to the industry.
Most of us have access to powerful cameras in our pockets now. Whilst these cameras aren’t fit for making professional videos, you can definitely execute some great ideas on them, get practice and start to create a portfolio on a very low or non-existent budget.
If there is an area you are particularly interested in, such as sound mixing, lighting or props then pursue it. There are lots of entry level jobs in these fields but you’re going to need to demonstrate your interest and knowledge. Look at courses, YouTube videos and practice. You can contact film schools and see if they need any extra crew for shoots or look if production companies do work experience.
We are based in London, if you are too then you’re in luck because London has become the hub of post-production and if you can learn the software then there should be opportunities for you. If you can learn and demonstrate your skills by creating videos and posting them online then you’ve started a portfolio to use in job applications.
Women in film production
Technical operations in film are overwhelmingly male dominated. From university courses to professional sets. If you are a woman looking to break into film, have you considered breaking down these barriers and pursuing the traditionally male zones? Rise is a group for women in broadcast. The offer mentors for women form all backgrounds who are or want to go into broadcast technology. I’ll be talking to Managing Director, Carrie Wootten in an upcoming article about giving women the knowledge and confidence to develop their careers in broadcast technology.
So, more advice to start from the bottom and work your way up. Realistically it is hard work and not everyone is going to make it onto Hollywood film credits. But using resources available to you and seeking out opportunities to learn will help you get started. Keep an eye out for my upcoming article on women in broadcast.
Nostairway is a video production company in London. We offer all aspects of the video production service. If you need any help with your next project then get in contact.