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Categories: Features

Sophia Beirne breaks down the sometimes seemingly impossible task of starting a career in the film industry into more manageable, bite-size, chunks.

Breaking into the film industry is an ambitious feat. It may feel like the tallest mountain to scale, but when you step back and look at it from a distance, it really isn’t insurmountable. You’ll need a lot of patience and devotion to be able to secure yourself a position in film, but as long as you have a plan, nothing is impossible. The earlier you strategize, the sooner you’ll be living your dream.

  1. Get a Relevant Education

College or film school are great ways to meet people and gain a little insight. If you’re looking to formally apply for an entry level film job with a larger company, having an education that’s relevant to the position you’d like to apply for is almost always necessary. If you aren’t looking to be a part of a studio, you don’t necessarily need to have this education. Robert Rodriguez proudly boasts that you can learn everything you’d learn in film school in about ten minutes, although he was more willing to take risks.

  1. Take Small Jobs You Don’t Want

At first, it might seem counterintuitive to take jobs you don’t actually want. As long as these small gigs get you around film industry people, it never hurts. Even running coffee or snacks around on the set of a local student film is a promising networking opportunity. Most big deal film industry jobs aren’t publicly advertised, and you’ll need to network to find out about them. Keep an eye on Gumtree for small gig jobs. As long as you’re willing to show up, you’re doing something to further your possibilities.

  1. Read and Blog

The internet has largely changed the film industry. Some people exclusively use the internet to put together an entire movie. If you blog about the film industry, you’d be shocked how many people you can meet. You might even get free press copies of films for review. If your blog mentions that you have a special skill you’d like to lend, people might even contact you directly about utilizing that skill. Regularly updated blogs rank much higher in Google search results, so make sure you’re consistent for the best results.

  1. Learn the Equipment

Kevin Smith often cites that the only worthwhile part of his film school experience was learning how to use the equipment. Whether or not you go to film school, developing a mastery of most of the equipment used in creating or editing a film will only bring you good fortune. Creativity is only half of what counts in the film industry – the other half is the technical skills that are necessary to make any vision come to light. Practice using anything you can get your hands on. If you develop a knack for it, you’ll become invaluable.

  1. Go Independent

It’s always harder to go it on your own, but if you’re passionate enough about film, it’s a challenge you can overcome. There are plenty of people just like you waiting to break into the industry. If you can network together a group of likeminded people who all wish to fulfill different roles in film, there’s nothing stopping you from banding together. Be prepared to face the stresses – they’re not in short supply. You’ll know you’re doing what you love when you can look at the finished product of your work and say everything was worth it.


Film isn’t for everyone – it’s only for the most devoted people who are prepared for many sleepless nights. If you truly want it, you’d be glad to miss that shuteye. Just remember to attend every convention and become a part of every set you possibly can. You never know where you’ll find your big break.


Posted on Sep 11, 2017

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