work experience in film and tv

Work Experience in Film & TV

How do you find work experience in the film and TV industry? As you know, it isn’t easy to find professional training in the overly competitive world of film.

Many filmmakers start their careers by working on indie films. However, by doing this, you can learn the wrong methods. So, finding work experience on a professional film set is ideal.

This guide breaks down the six main ways to find work experience placements in the film industry. We also include links to helpful websites and advice on applying.

1. Film Studios

Warner Brothers film studio

To begin with, the easiest way to find work experience is through a film studio. For example, names such as NBC and BBC have summer internships. Plus, big names will hire students and recent graduates throughout the year. 

Working for a big company may involve more admin tasks than actual filmmaking. However, it can help your career, and make you more employable when you add a well known company name to your film resume

In addition, if you want to work in a particular area of film. For example, in editing, art design, or VFX, you can find companies that work in these areas and ask them directly for work experience. Big companies are a good place to start as they hire the most people.

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Lucas FilmWorking Title Films
Pixar InternshipsPinewood Studios
NBC Universal CareersBBC Trainee Schemes
Netflix Intern ProgramChannel 4 Apprenticeships
Sony Pictures Intern ProgramPro Cam Training Programme

2. Local Companies

Telephone directory

If you find it difficult to break into big studios, it might be a good idea to apply to smaller ones. There are thousands of film companies worldwide not just the large ones that make Hollywood films. They won’t hire as many people but they are also not as competitive.

In addition, smaller companies are also more likely to have practical film training. To find them search Google Maps for film and media businesses in your location. Create a list of companies and apply to them in bulk.

Some companies will advertise work on their websites. However, you can also contact them directly to ask for work experience. This approach is called ‘cold emailing’. To do this write a short email asking for work experience and attach a resume to the email.

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Beverley Boy ProductionsTiger Aspect
First Look MediaPACT Diversity Scheme
DoDo Artists AgencyEndemol Shine UK
So Create ScreenwritingLime Pictures Work Experience

3. Film Agency

This is another clever way of finding work experience in film and tv. Every state and region has a dedicated film agency that could help you find work experience.

Many filmmakers forget to take advantage of local opportunities. In the US, these agencies are active in every state and major city. In the UK, the main agency is Creative UK, but make sure to search and find your local one too.

These film agencies might also have a film crew database where you can input your personal details. Indie filmmakers and professionals will use websites like these to hire their crew. Plus, you can also find access to funding and training on these websites.

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Film New MexicoScreen Yorkshire
Texas FilmScreen Ireland
Georgia FilmFilm Edinburgh
California FilmFilm Cymru Wales
Nevada Film OfficeNorthern Ireland Screen

4. Film Charities

Film charity

You can find film charity groups worldwide that aim to help filmmakers find work. If you are new to the industry and within a specific group a charity can help you get started.

These film groups are for people such as women in film, BAME, or veterans. But they can also help students find work experience and offer general education for newcomers.

Your local film agency can help you find training placements near you. For example, their websites might list local training programs and film clubs. Some of these sites also have paid work experience and resume feedback services.

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Street LightsBECTU Freelance Fair
The Intern GroupScreen Skills Trainee Finder
Woman In FilmThe Film And TV Charity
IFA ChicagoMamma Youth Project

5. Film Job Sites

You can find a lot of film job sites online. These advertise paid film work but also entry-level positions. Both major and small film companies use these websites to list work experince.

When you apply for a film job online make sure to carefully read the job description. Most job advertisements will ask for a PDF resume and a cover letter. Freelance job roles tend to ask for experience while full-time roles will want references.

Either way, when applying to film jobs online, you will need to apply to many positions. Film work online is very competitive, so expect to get one out of every ten jobs you apply for.

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Entertainment CareersShooting People
UTA Jobs ListTalent Manager
Backstage CrewTalent Bases
Staff Me UpThe Call Sheet
Production HubMy First Job In Film

6 Social Media

Social media

Finally, you can find work experience in film and TV on social media sites. Filmmakers often advertise jobs and entry-level positions through social media. It’s less formal than job sites, so may only find work on indie films.

To begin with, Facebook groups are very popular with student filmmakers and people looking for PAs. However, you can find work on any big social media network, for example, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. To do this, use the search bar to directly look for work.

You can also contact filmmakers on social media and ask for work experience. When you do this don’t spam anyone, a short message with a link to your online portfolio is all you need. In addition, ensure that your social media profile and feeds all look professional.

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Film Industry NetworkUK Film Jobs
Los Angeles FilmmakersArt Department UK
I Need A Production AssistantPeople Looking For TV Work
Georgia Filmmakers NetworkScottish Filmmakers
New York Indie FilmmakersLast Minute TV Jobs

Work Experience in Film and TV – Wrapping Up

To sum up, finding work experience in film and TV is not easy, but there are many ways to find a placement. We are also lucky to live at a time when there are plenty of jobs for upcoming filmmakers. This first step is the hardest, but finding work will get easier once you have training.

For starters, join a local Facebook group, many offer advice for people starting in the industry and can even provide resume feedback. Then, check out your local film agency and research local companies. Good luck, and remember you don’t have to do this alone.

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