You’ve heard over and over about the difficulty of breaking into the film industry. It’s true that acting, producing and directing jobs are highly competitive, but it takes all kinds of workers to produce a film. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that job prospects are much better for multimedia artists, animators, editors and those skilled with digital filming and computers. You may already have a specific skill that the film industry needs. For example, film companies also need business managers, accountants and marketing experts. Regardless of your specific career goals, if you're persistent, you'll find your place in the film industry.
Educate yourself. Whether this means reading up on the industry or pursuing a degree is completely up to you. Some jobs may actually value experience, creativity and professionalism over formal training, says the BLS, while others may prefer you to have a degree in film production, communications, or theater arts.
Enroll in a training program or workshop, such as those offered by the American Film Institute. Though these programs usually charge a fee, you’ll learn valuable information about the industry and gain exposure within the film community. If you desire to be in front of the camera, consider participating in community theater, being an extra in a movie or taking acting classes to hone your skills.
Attend film conferences to keep up-to-date on the film industry and meet with important members of the film community. Bring business cards and copies of your resume in case an opportunity arises. Don’t be shy. You’ll be surrounded by potential employers, and meeting others face-to-face can set you apart from the competition.
Visit local movie theaters and film clubs to find work opportunities. An internship, even unpaid, can give you hands-on experience that may be worth more than a bachelor’s degree. Also, think non-traditionally when looking for a starting job: the BLS states that many successful people in the film industry start out working on business, government, documentary or other technical films.
Because many jobs in the film industry are temporary or very narrow in scope, be prepared to experience slump periods between jobs. When starting out, it is essential that you are highly motivated to continue seeking new jobs after completing jobs and projects.