Launching Entertainment Careers in Film
Why Work In Film?
Why try to build a career in film as a professional?
A good reason is that the industry continues to grow. The resources to show a movie seem endless. We have movie theaters, Blu-ray/DVD, Internet, and streaming — significant companies distributing films. Many film jobs in California, other parts of the country are available in front of and behind the camera.
Periodically, the American Film Marketing Association (AFMA) commences a study on filmmakers' economic impact on the economy as a whole. Its findings are rewarding for those eager to work in the film or entertainment industry, and particularly for people interested in work that does not involve the financial and emotional risks associated with such fields as acting and film crew.
Hey, there is nothing wrong with being an actor or film crew. AFMA's study reports a mature and growing industry. An industry that needs dedicated professionals in a wide variety of trades is an opportunity for you.
Internet, Blu-ray/DVDs, Streaming
Filmmakers -- both independent and major studios -- account for over 408,000 jobs nationwide. The report primarily includes those who work as consultants or freelancers. The bulk of the workforce is pretty much contract workers. The film industry's "total U.S. economic effect" is estimated at over $12.5 billion.
Total production costs of network prime-time television, first-run syndication programs, and streaming platform offerings are enormous. Who gets all that money? You guessed it -- film and television professionals that worked hard to make it in the business. That could be you.
The AFMA study concludes by proving the fact that there is a growing demand for films and entertainment. With the added benefit that many new formats like streaming and opportunities provided by emerging telecommunications and computer technologies, the industry is, as a matter of fact, growing leaps and bounds and most likely to continue to do so.
What Do You Think?
Do you think you could make a successful career in film?
If you read the trades, you learn about the industry and how its growth is increasing and will continue to grow in the sector, verifying AFMA's reports. Among the most validating reports on expansion in the film industry is CBS.Com reporting, most Americans are streaming movies. Most of that streaming happens on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Disney. As the list grows, so will more job opportunities.
Of course, figures like this rise and fall, and the business of film can have its shifts, even some of the large and most successful companies with hardly any warning.
Because the entertainment industry is creative, you have to be creative to work in the industry. Reading the trades and studying books about the business will help you get your foot in the door. Once you are in the door, you need to maintain your foothold by being a professional and learning more about the industry.
"" is a book you should read to learn about the business. It is an easy read but dated. The bulk of the career book offers advice, tips, and fundamentals for getting your foot in the door and building a long career in the entertainment field. Breaking into Film
The book offers samples of resumes and letters, which are a vital part of this industry. The book also discusses the dress code. How are you supposed to dress for an interview versus dressing on the set? It dedicates a whole chapter to the importance of networking and establishing relationships.
Reading the trades is a vital part of being in the business, and it will help build your career. Some other publications to read are Film & Video, Filmmaker, Film Comment, Cinefex, and Cinefantastique. Each publication focuses on an aspect of the industry. Cinefex covers special effects, while Cinefantastique covers fantasy, science fiction, horror movies, and television.
Entertainment insiders tend to read publications that fans read to see how their competition is faring. The "Calendar" sections of newspapers, The Los Angeles Times business section, and The New York Times' Sunday edition are primarily read by them.
Guilds, associations, and other unions distribute newsletters to their members, available for non-members at a price. The newsletters specialize in current and upcoming events that should interest you for networking purposes.
All these publications, for the most part, are available online.
United Talent Agency List
The best source for film job openings comes from the United Talent Agency List. The list is a printout that is published once a month or so. It lists jobs important enough to go after in the industry.
For over 30 years, the list is where all the significant players place the job openings. The big hurdle is that the list is practically impossible to get unless you are one of the agency's clients or connected to one of the industry's insiders.
Anonymous Production Assistant is a website the publishes the agency's list. Reports say people get film jobs from the webmaster's postings. If I were you, I'd give it a try and see what happens.
First Job in Film
Breaking into the entertainment industry is not a cakewalk, but it gets easier once you have your first job. It's vital that you persevere and don't give up. Each job leads to the next job offer, taking a great deal of time and effort.
© 2007 Kenna McHugh