Get Work in the Film Business – How to Action Plan
If you are starting from the absolute beginner level or minimal experience, you will need to make obtaining a paying job, your committed goal. You will also need a measurable specific time frame such as 2 years to achieve. You will also need an Action Plan.
From my experience of seeing people successfully obtain work in the film industry, I have created the following action plan. This plan has worked for other people who have created successful careers.
Year One Preparation, Learn and Build Credits (CV) and a Network
- Enroll in training. Learn filmmaking from a 3 month film course.
- Make as many contacts and build your network, while doing the film course. You will meet experience filmmakers, who are teaching and you will meet your fellow course participants who will form part of your network.
- Get your certificate and your first credit on the Certificate 3 Month Film Course
- Volunteer on other productions to build up your experience and crediability.. You will hear about many productions on the 3 Month Film Course and in Indie Film Club. Just put your hand up and learn as much as possible and put your best effort in. 3 – 9 months time frame
- Listen out for more opportunity Work attracts work. 3 – 9 Months
- Look into doing our Advanced Course (open to graduates of the 3 Month Film Course and make your very own personal short movie. 3 – 12 months
- Have at least 3 Credits on other peoples short films and maybe even have made your own short film. 9 Months – 12 months
- Proactively go after work. This is a process that involves emailing all the production companies in your city that make top grade productions.
- Have a great CV with Film Credits from your first year.
- State that you want to help their productions, when applying for work.
- Persist. Keep emailing companies and follow up once every two – three weeks till they tell you not to or give you a job.
- Offer a voluntary three weeks of free work and if they like you, they can hire you. This takes the risk away from the production company.
- Within 6 – 9 months from the start of this Year two process, you will have given yourself a 95% chance of being employed and getting paid in the film industry.
- Once you are started on your first job, the rest will take care of itself as you climb up the rungs of the film industry
What if you want to go for a specific area or skill set? For example if you wanted to be a cinematographer, find via the same process a cinematographer to work with. Seek out 2ndAssistant Camera Work or even just general assistant to camera department.
Get your foot on the first rung and the rest will follow. If you wan to be DOP, make sure that you invest in Camera equipment and offer your services.
I can not emphasise how important building your network is. People who enrol on our online film course, or our 4 Month Filmmaking Courses are joining our network. People who go on to our advanced course are there for two reasons.
- To make their own personal film
- To get work with us.
We are a Production Company International Film Base and nothing works like knowing someone. So many times we give our contract work to people we know.
We have run the Four month film course since 2003 and have seen so many people successfully navigate their way into the film industry We have also given jobs to numerous people who once started at the beginning on one of our three month film courses. There will always be bias towards people who have enrolled on one of our film courses.
If you are the sort of person we need, you may, after a similar period above of training, get work with us. We are seeking editors and camera department for shoots. And we prefer to contract people we know.
Once you have six months paid experience , you can join one of the various agencies and before you know it, you will be turning away work. There is that time where there is too much work and you will have to get good at picking your jobs.
How do you find the list of Production Companies and Cinematographers and the Players and the Crew Agents. Well I promise to tell you the sources, once I see you on the four month film course
About the Author: Colm O’Murchu is a successful Indie Filmmaker and Director of three successfully released feature films and one documentary.
He has run Australian Film Base since 1997 and helped filmmakers produce hundreds of short films made on his filmmaking courses.
He has spoken at Indie Film Seminars all over the world. His most recent film Tabernacle 101 has been released worldwide in 2019 and will be released in Australia in late 2020. He is currently in development on his next feature film Absolute Freedom His Films Here