Having a decent film resume can really improve your chances of finding work.
Filmmakers will find a resume particularly useful if applying to jobs online. In addition, resume’s can be forwarded to companies and placed on portfolio websites. By having a resume, you make it easier for people to hire you.
Below you can find a free film resume template download. Feel free to edit and personalize this template for your individual use.
Why Make a Film Resume?
Some people wrongly believe that they don’t need a resume to apply for film jobs. Since they hear that film work mainly comes from recommendations. While this may be true for experienced filmmakers who have a pool of industry contacts, beginners don’t have this luxury.
The easiest way for beginner filmmakers to find work is through online job applications. When you apply for a job online, you are required to attach a resume alongside a cover letter. Additionally, even if you get recommended for a job, the producer may still ask to see a resume.
In other words, a film resume is another way to show off your skills and convince people to hire you. So, whatever your film industry job role, consider making a resume to find more work. This next section looks at how to structure your resume if you are a beginner with no previous experience.
If you are a student or brand new filmmaker, you will have little to no experience. But you can still make a film production resume by following the same format listed below. However, your information might be slightly different in each section.
For example, instead of work credits, you can make a section called ‘student work’ and list your student projects. Or you could create a section called ‘previous work’ and list work you have done outside of the industry.
This is perfectly acceptable if you are applying for an entry-level position. But if you are looking for more creative work, firstly you need to prove that you can do the job. You can do this by making your own films or by working on low budgets.
Another tip is to consider how your previous work and skills can transfer over to your film job. Such as how admin work, can be transferred over to a production office position. The skills you learned in customer service can be helpful for runner job roles, as they both require interpersonal skills.
Basic Film Resume Structure
1. The Top
Firstly, your film resume needs only be one page long. This will be easy if you are just starting out. If you have a lot of experience list only your best and most relevant credits. You can also personalize your resume with font style, bold text, or italics.
2. Your Name and Job Title
At the top of your film resume should be your name and job title. This makes sense as it is the first thing people will read, and the first thing a hiring producer would like to know (who are you and what job you want).
Most Importantly your job title should be the same as the job title you are applying for.
This might sound obvious but a lot of filmmakers don’t do this. For example, if you are applying for a job as an editor, label your job title as editor. Do not make the mistake of listing many job titles or not focusing your job role. Some filmmakers make the mistake of writing the generic title ‘filmmaker’ at the top of their film resume. Make sure to pick a specific film crew job role when applying for film and TV crew work.
Keep in mind that on professional film sets only one person is hired per job role.
Next comes your contact details. Make sure to include your email address and mobile number. If you have a visual job role also include a link to a showreel or portfolio. If you have a nonvisual job role (e.g production assistant, camera assistant) then there is no need to include a showreel link.
3. The Middle
After your job title and contact details come your personal brief.
This is simply a few sentences explaining who you are and what can bring to the production. This should not take up a lot of space on your film resume. Use this section to talk about your previous experience to convince someone that you can do the job. Here is an example of a short personal brief:
‘I am a Camera Operator based in London. I have extensive experience working on music videos for numerous record labels. I am hoping to progress into more narrative and creative based work’
4. Your Film Credits
The majority of your film resume will be filled by your work credits. List your credits neatly down your resume including details on the – name of the project, your job role, the name of the director, producer, or name of your department’s HOD, and the year you worked on it.
You can also include details on anything impressive. Such as, mentioning that you worked for a well-known production company or if you worked with anyone famous. I mention the names of famous actors who I have worked with on my filmmaker resume – this shows that you were previously trusted to work with professionals (it’s OK to show off on your resume).
If you have too many credits List these under the section title ‘selected credits’. Students can list their work under the title ‘student films’ and you can list day jobs under ‘work experience’.
If you have no film experience consider how the skills you do have from previous day jobs could be transferred over to a film job (for example, the skills from a previous admin job could transfer well over to office PA work).
If you have no experience at all then find some experience on low-budget films. Low-budget work can still be placed on your film resume. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to escape some low paid work in the film industry. Just a few credits on your resume can make a big difference.
5. The Bottom
Lastly, list your education and skills. For education, list any higher education (university level plus) or film related workshops. It’s ok to mention any degrees or masters you have outside of the film industry.
For skills consider what skills someone in your job role would need. Our job roles section is a great place to find film job profiles and what skills are needed for each role. For example, for a production assistant having a car and driving license is a valuable skill to mention. For a 1st AD having first aid training and good interpersonal skills is desirable.
6. What To Do With Your Film Resume
When you apply to jobs online you will always need to apply with your film resume attached (ideally in PDF or Word format). You can also upload your filmmaker resume directly to film crew directories to increase your chances of finding work.
You can also put your resume up on your own personal website or via a link on social media. Keep your resume updated, when you gain more experience remove credits and replace them with better ones. Ideally, your resume should always be one page long.
FREE Film Resume Template
Also, check out our library of other free templates 😉
In time, you might find that you have too many work credits. If this is the case, start to remove all unnecessary work and experience. This includes day jobs, low-budget work, and credits that are not within your particular job role/department.
If you still have too many credits, you can create a title ‘selected credits’. Try to include only your best and most-impressive credits on your film resume.
In short, your film resume is the first step to getting your name out there and applying for work. Until the world knows your name, and you have industry contacts, make it easier for people to hire you.
It can take some time to gain credits but be patient and keep applying. Good luck with the job hunt!