8 ways to get into the film industry

© TheRegisti

Out of all the industries to choose from, film is notoriously hard to get into. That’s probably because of the allure of films. We’ve all grown up watching them, and there’s nothing like the desire to move to Hollywood to motivate a person.

So, sure, people will tell you that getting into the industry is too difficult. But it’s not impossible. There is a huge range of entertainment jobs out there. There are limelight-stealing roles like acting and directing. And then there are the fascinating roles like editing, production, publicity or management. And you don’t even have to rely on nepotism for any of these options.

There are many ways to get your foot in the door, so hopefully, these tips will help you.

  • Get any experience you can

Even if all you can do is make coffee, do all you can to get some experience. So, tuck away your pride and get networking and actually be in the room. Not every person in the film industry started with an excellent salary and healthcare plan.

Getting your foot in the door could mean starting a position as a PA, or getting a job with the film set crew.

  • Running

This option needs its very own section. Becoming a runner is clearly one of the best ways to get into the film industry, and that’s why it’s so incredibly competitive.

This position is entry-level, where you’ll be given a wide range of tasks, depending on whether you’re a runner for an actor or a director. This role gives you a crucial, firsthand insight into the industry and how things work.

It’s a brilliantly varied and intense role, but it does have some drawbacks. These roles are often very challenging and poorly paid. So, if you can handle the pressure, it’s a great opportunity to start.

  • Film school

It had to be mentioned. It’s not the cheapest or the easiest option, but it’s a significant step on the way to getting into the film industry. It’s a dream for most people for a reason.

Consider your options. Is a loan worth it? Do you have family members who can help you out? For some, film school is the only option and the best chance of getting discovered.

Whether it’s the New York Film Academy or the London Film School, there’s one out there that will suit you and your style perfectly.

So, rather than settling down to watch Packers vs Saints, fill out that application and take a chance. You never know, and you could be the next star.

  • Create your own work

You don’t need to wait for someone to tell you to work — if you love it, start creating your own work. You will learn so much so fast by making your own work. It will give you the space (without pressure) to learn your own style and discover what works for you. And if you can’t hire an actor, don’t be afraid to cast yourself.

Luckily, mobile phones have such brilliant cameras that equipment doesn’t even have to be a barrier — just get going!

  • Sell yourself

If you’re already creating your own work, why not try submitting it to a film festival? And if you’ve got some brilliant plans for lighting, why don’t you tell someone? It’s a hard industry to get into, so you’ve got to be your own advocate. That means creating a website, making connections and putting yourself in front of people that matter, wherever you can.

Self-promotion can be difficult, but try and break through those barriers to see the value in your own work.

  • Make connections

While it’s not all about who you know, it is about making genuine connections with people in the industry where you can. It doesn’t mean shmoozing everyone and coming across insincere and grabby, but it’s about putting yourself in the position to make a genuinely positive impact on someone.

So, whether it’s a meet up group of local film directors in your area or a Twitter exchange with your favourite star, make it count. You never know when you’ll meet them again.

  • Stay positive

This may sound like an odd one, but consider this is a marathon, not a sprint. Your mental health is important, and getting into the industry can feel like a thankless task sometimes. Consider how you can look after yourself. Do you want to pick up mindfulness? Or is it time to take a calming meditation course

You’ll be surprised and how much more calm and confident you could feel, and how success can follow smoothly from a place of calm.

  • Digital first

Gone are the days when being online was an anomaly. To get your work in front of the people you want, you’ll have to get your work online. So. make yourself a YouTube channel and publicize your work when you can.

There are tons of YouTube influencers out there who are killing it, so take a look at what they’re doing, and how they’re doing it. That’s not to say you should copy them — be true to yourself and your art — but it’s a great way to learn how successful people are doing it. You can take that knowledge and build on it. Consider what makes your work different. Are you funny? Is your work thought-provoking? Or maybe it’s just downright ridiculous? You won’t know unless you give it a go.

Plus, if you get enough views, you’ll start to make money, which is never a bad thing.

Hopefully this list has given you some food for thought on how to get into the industry. No, it’s not easy, but it’s doable. The film industry offers such great opportunities and is filled with fascinating, talented people (like you!). Don’t give up on your dream — carry on fighting. So pick up that camera or learn those lines, there are opportunities out there, you just might have to make them yourself.

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