You might call yourself a filmmaker, but that doesn’t restrict you to only working in the film industry. Throughout your career, you will likely work in a variety of different media sectors.
That’s because your skills as a filmmaker are in-demand within other creative industries. However, although these industries are similar, there are differences in their work routes. It can also be helpful to diversify your income as a freelance filmmaker.
Below we breakdown how to find work specifically within each industry sector.
Firstly, the film industry includes features, shorts, and both professional and independent productions. There are around 200 feature films shot in the UK each year, and the numbers for short films are much higher.
This is good news for filmmakers, feature film work alone amounts to thousands of jobs. Nevertheless, keep in mind, the majority of this work is freelance and project-based. So many filmmakers work with a handful or more clients each year.
To work successfully in the film industry, you would need to develop your skills in an industry job role. Start by finding entry-level experience and training in this role. You can find a full list of film job roles here.
Dramas, documentary and live broadcast all fall under the television industry. Many people working in these sectors will be self-employed. However, unlike film, there are full-time jobs in television.
These full-time jobs will be in admin and management roles. But, there are in house production staff for a recurring television show, for example, soap operas and sports.
It is possible to work in both film and TV at the same time. Nonetheless, TV producers would prefer you to have TV work experience. That is to say, by knowing a specific industry, you increase your chances of getting hired.
To start your career in the television industry, you can work any entry-level job role. The entry-level job roles in television are PA, runner or assistant.
Animators can work in many creative industries. They can use any style to animate with, from stop motion to digital effects. Also, if you want to learn how to animate, you can start by watching online tutorials.
You can teach yourself the basics, but you might wish to take a course with a subject such as filmmaking or illustration.
Before applying for work, you would need to put together an online portfolio. You can do this with free software such as Wix or WordPress.
Many animators are self-employed, but there are full-time staff positions available at large companies.
Many people in this industry work full-time in both management and production roles. If you are looking for work experience look on the career pages of company websites.
You can also find work on corporate production. Like all sectors, it is helpful to have work experience similar to the job role.
This industry is close to music video production. Subsequently, many directors begin their careers by making music videos for their portfolios.
Visual Effects is the fastest growing industry sector hiring more people than film. You will notice at the end of any significant film a long list of credits belonging to the VFX team.
Unlike other creative roles, the VFX workforce is highly qualified. The overall majority of VFX workers are graduates. However, you can teach yourself these skills by using online tutorials. Before applying to jobs, you will also need to create a portfolio.
Furthermore, internships and apprenticeships are typical when first working in this industry. You can find these on the careers pages of VFX companies. The entry-level roles into VFX are office runner, CGI assistant, and modelling artist.
Finally, as well as the above sectors, there are many other sub-industries you might work within. For example, the UK games industry is booming. Screenwriters and film directors are more often working within games creation.
The events industry also hires a variety of film roles from lighting designers to vision mixers and camera operators. And the events industry is vast including shows such as theatre, live music, and sports. There are also other industries you would not expect to find filmmakers. Fashion is one such industry hiring full-time camera operators and editors.
Then there is new media and virtual reality. There are likely to be many new jobs available for filmmakers in the future. How your career develops might be different from what you initially expected.
You might be a filmmaker, but that doesn’t restrict you to just the one industry. With new media and technologies, there will be many more opportunities for work in the future.
Next, learn about..
- Finding Film & TV Work
- Marketing & Self Promotion
- Managing Clients
- Taxes & Finances
- Education and Skills
- Industry Sectors
- Film Crew Glossary
- Useful Links
- Free Film Production Forms