How to Apply for a Film Production Job
When you are wrapping up with school and have finished your internships, final projects, and programs, you may be wondering what the best way to look for a film production job may be. If you have a particular film production position in mind, such as a cameraman, a chief electrician, or a set designer, you may be interested in ways to apply for these positions. Your professors may have recommended certain places to look for jobs, or further internship programs to introduce you to the film world, but you may still be looking for tips on actually applying.
Film production jobs resemble other jobs in many ways. There is likely to be a lot of competition, and you may have to settle for a job you do not want and work up from there. Some application methods that work for all jobs will work just as well for the film industry. However, in other ways film jobs are more unique and you can find a job more easily by paying attention to what your employers are looking for.
By now you have probably heard that your resume should be clean and simple. Limit it to one page, and fill that page only with useful, easy-to-read information. Film employers love to see experience, because experience on the set or behind the camera counts for more than any film degree you may have. List clearly any internships you have been a part of, any mentorship programs you have entered, and any important film projects you worked on in school, especially if these films were entered into a contest or shown at a film festival.
Life as part of a film crew can be very demanding. To show employers you have what it takes, highlight any experience you have working hard or long hours (but be subtle about it). Keep in mind that film employers differentiate between film experience and TV experience. Separate the two into different sections. List any shows or films you have worked in with a bold format.
If you enter the film production industry officially, you will need to deal with unions. If a show is unionized, they will hire union workers and no one else–it is a legal obligation. The way around this is simple: join the right union for the job you want. Keep your eyes on independent film projects until you can apply to a union–the pay is lower, but you will probably need some experience before you enter the big leagues. The primary exception to the unionization rule is the Production Assistant, so if you aim for this position you have a little leeway.