Film internships are an undeniably great way to start your film career.
By attending a film internship, you get to learn about the industry whilst working within it. Not to mention, the opportunity to make initial industry contacts, and get that first experience credit on your film resume.
Below you will find more information on the benefits of film internships. As well as a list of places to find them, and plenty of helpful links.
How To Find A Film Internship
An internship allows you to experience work within your desired field before committing to a job. In film production, this could take place as a position in a production office or working amongst a film crew. There is no right or wrong route toward a film career, make the most of any opportunity that comes your way.
1. Ask Your Contacts
Firstly, the film industry is all about connections, and the easiest way to find work is through a recommendation. That is to say if you know someone already working in the industry, ask them if they can help you out.
This is not just exclusive to family, but to friends, past colleagues, and old classmates. If you are still in education, your professor may also be able to help you out. Asking your contacts is the easiest way to find a film internship.
Also, this is because people are more likely to hire someone if they are recommended by a person they already know and trust. So, have a search through your contact list both online and off. Perhaps you won’t need to search too far to find a placement.
2. Production Companies
Many production companies have year-round film internships. This is especially true for large companies such as Warner Bros, BBC, Pinewood, and Aardman. You can also find these with a Google search, and by checking out the career pages on their official company websites.
The larger the company the more likely they have entry-level film jobs. However, smaller companies might also need a film intern. To find a placement, you will need to send out a lot of emails to companies. Above all, write a personalized email for each application, and don’t copy and paste a generic inquiry.
One benefit of applying to a production company is that there is a chance that they will ask you to stay and work for them.
In addition to this, the UK has a bunch of helpful film charities and funding bodies that can help you find a placement.
3. Film Commissions
One of the most overlooked ways of finding film opportunities is through film commissions. Every region/state has a commission whose overall job is to encourage film production within that area.
Furthermore, they tend to have a lot of advice for local filmmakers and might even help you find a film internship.
Search and find your local film commission and see what they have to offer. In addition, they occasionally have job boards and crew directories. You may be able to put yourself on their crew directories as looking for entry-level work.
It will be useful throughout your film career to be familiar with your local commission.
4. Networking Events
It can be easier to build contacts if you meet people face to face. Of course, this can be scary at first, but it is a skill you will need to learn. A key benefit of networking is that it will help you build up your confidence.
So, when you attend an event, have an idea of what you want to get out of it. If it is to become a film intern, ask if anyone can provide you with entry-level experience. You won’t need a business card or showreel in these early stages.
Networking events can be found in lots of places from film commissions to film schools. Events are advertised on Facebook groups, film job sites or even held at local cinemas. Another great place to network is at local film festivals.
5. Film Festivals
Not only are film festivals a great place to network, but also they frequently hire interns. Film festivals worldwide are on the lookout for volunteers. Although this will mean doing basic work (for example checking tickets at the cinema entrance), you will also get the chance to attend events and meet filmmakers.
In addition, you will be able to place this as work experience on your filmmaker resume. As well as the big festivals, there are hundreds of thousands more taking place all over the world year-round.
Also, you can search for film festivals with Film Freeway, often festival sites will have a volunteer sign-up section.
6. Independent Filmmaking
Official film internships are hard to find and might prove to be too competitive in your area. If that case, you will be able to find work experience on independent low-budget film sets. Producers are always on the lookout for volunteers to help them during production. Once again this will be basic work, but a key benefit is that it will give you on the job film crew training.
You can find entry-level work by looking on film job sites, social media, and by contacting production companies directly. Facebook groups are an excellent way to see what low-budget productions are taking place in your area.
Film Internships – Wrapping Up
Film internships are a great way to start your career, although it will take time to find that perfect placement. If you are still struggling, work through the list above and remember low-budget indie films are always looking for crew.