Simple Steps to Kick Off Your Filmmaking Career - Raindance

The film industry is a rapidly growing industry. Estimates show that revenue is expected to increase from $38 billion to $50 billion from 2016 to 2021. Whether you are making a late-career change, or you recently graduated from college, there is certainly enough room to make a profitable career in this industry. However, starting out is usually the hard part, just like any other venture. Luckily, the following article will help you kick start your filming career. But first, why should you listen to me.

Why Should You Listen to Me?

I have been fortunate enough to work with many people pursuing careers in fields such as this one. Furthermore, I am a professional and certified career advisor. Helping people find their career ‘calling’ is part of my job. So, when it comes to a job in the film industry, where do you start?

As is the case with most things in life, finding your feet in a new line of work can be challenging. However, with the following steps, you will be on your way to a profitable career in the film industry.

Resume and Job Application

As a career advisor and consult, the most overlooked yet important aspect of the job-hunting process is the resume. Many individuals are concerned about their academic accolades. However, the presentation and skills aspect is the most crucial bit. Take a look at your current CV. Do you think it is enough to land you a job in a production company? Let’s look at the facts

A whopping 40% of hiring managers spend less than a minute viewing a resume. Additionally, 17% of hiring managers do not cross over to page two of resume applications. What does this tell you?  Managers are concerned with brief and straight to the point resumes. So, be brief and cut to the chase. 

Lastly, 77% of hiring managers disqualify resumes based on presentation, grammar, and typos. I cannot stress this enough; Your resume needs to be perfect before you can apply for a position as a filmmaker. This is why you may to employ the services of professional resume writers,  who give free and expert reviews to help you land that job.

How to Get into the Film industry

The film industry has many positions in many departments. You must know which job position you want to work in. If you are uncertain about which position you want to work in, start off at the entry levels jobs such as a runner or production assistant.

One popular method used by many in the film industry involves looking up film production jobs online, from trusted websites. Alternatively, you could get in touch with creative agencies to find out the relevant job openings. 

If that doesn’t work, consider following the following steps to get into the film industry:

  • Study and Research

Ever heard the quote; ‘Study to show yourself approved?’ Before pursuing a career in film, conduct your own research. Find out the logistics of the industry or job positions that strongly appeal to you. Quentin Tarantino once said he never went to learn film at school. He preferred going to the movies! Talk to people and watch a lot of films. Know your stuff.

There are many learning methods out there that you could use in favor. For instance, there are many YouTube tutorials that you could use to enhance your knowledge about the subject matter of films and production. Additionally, some websites and e-resources educate filmmakers about the legal and business aspect of film production. All in all, study and research at every given moment.

  • Want Experience? Volunteer

Getting skillful experience is vitally important to the success of your film career. However, not many people like working for free. But think of volunteering as a means to get closer to the industry specialists. Besides, how else are you going to get experience? You could start small and make your way up. Volunteering and internships are the traditional methods of getting into the film industry. For instance, some people have said they achieved 5 film credits before getting paid for work consistently. So, don’t be too quick to rule out an internship.

  • Take Part in a Film Production

Just get a camera and start small productions. You could write a one location short film. Instead, you could become the director of the screenplay in the film. Consider taking part in a low budget or no budget film. Many websites are advertising such job openings. As a matter of fact, this could be the perfect avenue for you to test your skills. The best part is you don’t need a lot of money for this. If you need to fund your films, consider researching for independent film funding resources online. 

Final Words of Advice

Before venturing into the film industry, you need to ask yourself this question; Do I really want to this? Your determination, drive, and zeal are what will keep you grounded when things get tough. It might take longer for you to become a big-budget film director or producer. However, one day, it will become a reality.

No one is comfortable hiring someone with little to zero experience. This is why you need to look for ways to find skillful and valuable experience. Polish your resume and apply for entry-level jobs such as personal assistant jobs. Alternatively, you could be part of a low budget or no budget film.  

Try to enjoy every minute while working in the film industry, whether you’re paid or not. After all, we are all chasing after happiness in one way or another. 



Laura Garbers is a professional career advisor and career coach at CraftResumes. She interviews people in group sessions, online sessions, or ‘one-on-one’ sessions, to help them realize their full career or education potential. She is also known as the Career Coaching Expert.