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Film industry
careers guide

Fancy a career in the film industry? We have all the knowledge and tips to help you become a film pro.

What is film?

“The technological and commercial institutions surrounding the production of moving pictures to tell a story”

Starting with a simple idea for a story and turning it into a polished blockbuster movie involves hundreds of people working together from the creative and financial sectors. Films not only have to entertain, they have to sell, and it is the task of producers to assemble teams together in order to get films off the ground.

However, the film industry is a notoriously competitive sector, and due to the amount of freelance work centering on individual projects or contracts, it can be hard to hold down a job long-term.

The time-honoured route of acting as a runner for a film production company is still the easiest way to get your foot in the door and get an overview of the filmmaking process. Whilst some of the tasks may appear menial and seem irrelevant to the particular route you want to go down, the on-set experience provided is invaluable for making contacts and getting ahead with your career. Put simply, experience is the key to getting into the film industry, and any time spent on a live set will give you an edge.

Being able to showcase your work and demonstrate your passion is also a big bonus. Make your own short films with friends, or as part of student projects, and don’t be afraid of entering competitions to get your work noticed by industry experts. Attend free events and screenings to make contacts and ask those key questions. Always have ideas on the go: imagine you’re stuck in a lift with a film executive and only have two minutes to sell your idea. Can you summarise the plot and demonstrate why your idea is unique? Film producers are busy people and don’t have time to listen to too much waffle. As director Frank Capra once said “there are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness” - make sure your ideas stand out!

How the film process works

There are numerous different stages in the production of a film, whether it is this summer’s big blockbuster, or a kooky independent short.