Working In The Film Industry Overseas | Raindance Film School

Are you looking to take your film career global? If so, you’ve come to the right place. This industry has a worldwide presence. Therefore, you can theoretically work anywhere you want — but how do you get started?

Here’s what you need to know about film jobs in a few of the most promising countries for filmmaking.

1. United States

There’s no denying that the United States has always been a hotspot for movies. After all, it’s home to Hollywood, which supported nearly 6,000 film-related businesses last year. America could be the perfect place to take your career to the next level.

Requirements

What are the requirements for working abroad in the United States? As a foreign national, you need two documents to find a legal job. These materials include a work visa and a work permit. You can obtain a work visa from your country’s U.S. embassy. It’s then possible to apply for an employment authorization document. If you want to enter America to work, you need both.

Try to start this process as soon as possible, because it’ll take several weeks at a minimum.

Considerations

The primary consideration will be location. America has a few major filmmaking hubs. In other words, you’ll have more opportunities when you move to these places. This point should be true worldwide. The most lucrative spots include:

  • Atlanta
  • Austin
  • Chicago
  • Los Angeles
  • New York City

You don’t have to move to these areas to be successful. There could be a perfect job in Tampa — but you’re more likely to find fellow creatives and more positions in the hub cities listed above. Be sure to remember that as you weigh your options.

2. Germany

Germany’s film industry generates nearly €7 billion annually. Several notable films have come from Germany, including “The Boat,” “The Lives of Others” and “M.” If you’re interested in working in Europe, you might want to put this country on your list.

Requirements

To work in Germany, you need to acquire three different documents beforehand. These records include a work visa, work permit and residence permit. If you’re already a European Union national, you can skip the residence permit. You need a genuine job offer before you apply for the work permit, too.

Considerations

Berlin might be the best spot for film in Germany. It’s where you can find Babelsberg Film Studios, which used to be a European powerhouse for movie production. If you want to move to the biggest city for film, you should consider Berlin.

You’ll want to think about the language barrier, as well. Germany produces its films mainly in German and English, so you should have significant knowledge of both languages before you go. Otherwise, your job will be more challenging.

3. United Kingdom

The United Kingdom includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These countries have long been hotspots for movies and TV shows. Did you know the HBO series “Game of Thrones” was filmed mainly in Northern Ireland at Paint Hall Studios?

Requirements

Like other countries, you need to obtain a work visa to work in the United Kingdom. You must have this document before you arrive. A smart idea would be to get a job with a company based in your country that plans to shoot a project in the United Kingdom. Then, you’ll be able to start much faster.

Considerations

The United Kingdom contains different countries with different cultures. Therefore, you should aim to choose one that works best for your interests. It’s going to be a separate experience living in Scotland than living in Wales.

You should also think about which country has opportunities. For example, London offers various well-known film studios, so you might be able to find a job there faster than you would elsewhere. Try to look for places that already have a well-established creative scene.

4. India

If you’re looking for extensive filmmaking experience, you might want to skip Hollywood and head straight for Bollywood. India produces thousands of movies every year. This country has a massively dedicated audience that consumes their films.

Requirements

India’s entry requirements are similar to how other countries operate. You’ll likely need to get an entry visa, work visa and residence visa. These documents will grant you six months to one year to live and work in the film industry.

If you already work for a company in your country, you might want to apply for a business visa. This record will allow you to enter and work in India on your employer’s behalf. That’s a good idea for projects that film internationally.

Considerations

The majority of Indian movies are in Hindi and English. However, it’s not unusual to find Indian films that feature other languages. As a result, you should be able to get by using your native language — but it’s smart to know Hindi at least somewhat.

5. Japan

Are you a fan of animation? If so, you probably already recognize Japan’s renown for its work in movies. Filmmakers like Hayao Miyazaki have created legendary work that put Japan on the metaphorical map. It’s a fantastic place to go when you want to work internationally.

Requirements

The requirements for working abroad in Japan are generally straightforward. If you’re an American, you can’t apply for a working holiday visa like other applicants. This limitation means you have to get a different visa that indicates what kind of work you plan to do while there.

A unique step that differs from other countries’ processes will be obtaining the certificate of eligibility. You need a Japanese citizen’s signature to confirm that you won’t burden the country. That’s why it’s essential to get a job offer before you apply for a visa.

Considerations

You should know Japanese before you travel to Japan. Many Japanese people don’t speak or understand any foreign languages. For example, Japan ranks 55th among English-proficient countries, so you’re going to have a hard time navigating without knowing their native language.

What Opportunities You Can Pursue

How do you get started working film jobs abroad? There are many ways to dive headfirst into the industry. The best tactic will be browsing international job boards. It’s possible to use social media to connect with global filmmakers and studios, too. Look for avenues like:

  • Volunteering
  • Getting an internship
  • Being a production assistant
  • Working for a company in your home country that also has a presence abroad
  • Going to graduate school

It might seem tricky to find your dream position — but as long as you promote yourself through networking, you’ll be able to make connections in your chosen country. Keep the listed requirements and considerations in mind as you pursue different options.

Try These Ideas to Find Film Jobs Abroad

Hollywood isn’t the only place for film. There’s an entire world to explore as a filmmaker. Use this information to help you land a fantastic position anywhere in some of the best countries for filmmaking.

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About 

Ginger Abbot is a freelance writer and graduate student with a passion for helping others find their career paths. Read more of her work on Classrooms, where she serves as Managing Editor.