ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Truth About Launching Entertainment Careers in Film

Updated on October 18, 2020
Kenna McHugh profile image

I wrote and contributed to books on film and worked in the modeling and film industries. I like to share insights into both businesses.

Where dreams are made.
Where dreams are made. | Source

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 direct to streaming are significant companies sell products. Both in California and other parts of the country, jobs are available for professionals in many fields, such as in front of and behind the camera.

Periodically, the American Film Marketing Association (AFMA) commences a study on the economic impact filmmakers have 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 platforms 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?

See results

Entertainment Industry

If you read the trades, you learn about the industry and how its growth is increasing and will continue to grow in the sector, which verifies AFMA's reports. Among the most validating reports on expansion in the film industry is CBS.Com reporting, 60% of Americans are streaming movies. Most of that streaming happens on Netflix.

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.

"Breaking into Film" 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.


Industry Publications

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. For example, Cinefex covers special effects while Cinefantastique covers fantasy, science fiction, and 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, which are 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 come 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 once you have your first job, it gets easier. It's vital that you persevere and don't give up. Each job leads to the next job offer, and it takes a great deal of time and effort.

© 2007 Kenna McHugh


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      2 years ago

      Thank you for the prompt and detailed reply.

    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      2 years ago from Northern California

      Robert, Thank you for reading my article. I hope it's helpful. To answer your question, most of the work is in LA and NY. More states are offering tax and other incentives if film productions come to their state. Right now, Georgia and Massachusetts have many productions like Stranger Things in Atlanta and Mark Wahlberg produces his movies in Boston area. Seattle and San Francisco are good cities, too. Still, locally produced commercials are happening anywhere. That is a great way to get your foot in the door.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      2 years ago

      Thank you. it is good to know film making is an expanding field. Is it mostly concentrated in a few areas or are there good opportunities wherever you live?

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 

      13 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Great hub and I totally agree with your analysis. With thousands of cable channels, DVDs, the web, cell phone technology with screens for video and text, a global audience, etc. this industry is starved for content which means that jobs and opportunities will be expanding as well.

      In my opinion, sites like HubPages are a great way for total amateur's to break into the business of providing content whether it be text, graphics, video, audio or combinations of these.

      I just discovered your hubs and have been reading a few. They are very good and I am looking to read more as you write them. Chuck


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)