How can graduates with little experience find film industry jobs?
How can graduates with little experience find film industry jobs? Here are a few career tips to help you break into the world of film production.
The UK film industry has reached international acclaim, gaining respect, audiences and awards worldwide. With studios such as Blueprint Pictures, See-Saw Films, Working Title and Ealing leading the way, British actors, directors and writers are fast becoming an international force, meaning film industry jobs have never been more in demand.
Consequently, getting into the film industry has become increasingly difficult due to this growing popularity, however enthusiasm and being prepared to start from the bottom will go a long way toward showing your commitment to film. Enthusiasm and vision are just as valuable as experience, so if you have these, it is still possible for you to break into the film industry.
Entry level applicants for film industry jobs will need to be prepared to take on a fair amount of unpaid work – facing long hours and a wide variety of different tasks. This position is often known as a ‘runner’ and involves attending to wide and varied cast and crew demands as efficiently as possible.
Tips for graduates looking for film production jobs
Runners generally operate on a freelance basis and it will be your responsibility to contact companies and independent filmmakers. As all experience is vital, try applying for low-budget or student films in local or regional areas. The smaller film crews will allow you to learn from all roles, however it will often mean more work than a larger crew where you may be assisting one person or department.
As a new entrant you should concentrate on a particular area of film industry jobs rather than an all-encompassing role to better your chances. The areas most in demand at the moment are said to be production accountants and craftsmen.
Runners are commonly not paid, with the work experience being viewed as payment enough. If however you do secure a paid position this will typically be minimum wage with salaries starting at £59 per day for an average 8-hour day. This is typical with film production internships in London.
As well as building practical knowledge and film expertise, the role of the runner will be crucial for building contacts and this can potentially lead to other roles and positions for film industry jobs.
Whilst on-the-job experience is priceless, if you haven’t managed to secure a position yet, keep trying and even applying for short courses, as these will give you valuable skills. For example the Met Film School (who offer courses from 6 months upward), National Film School, British Film Institute, UK Film Institute and London School of Film, Media and Performance, all offer courses that will help build the type of skills useful for all film production jobs.
With competition for media jobs being one of the greatest, working as a runner is the first step on the ladder towards continuing a career in the film industry, and searching for any available opportunities are best started as early as possible.