In this article, we break down 6 ways to find work experience in Film and TV in detail.
Just how do you get your first big break? As you likely know it is especially difficult to find professional training in the overly competitive world of film.
So many filmmakers start their careers by working on indie films in effect learning improper practice.
Luckily for you right now there are tons of UK placements offering work experience in film and tv.
The list below also includes many examples of trainee placements together with apprenticeships that are currently taking submissions. Therefore make sure to take full advantage of these training opportunities without delay.
1. Major Companies
To begin with, the easiest way to find professional work experience is through a major company search.
Large companies such as the BBC will have internships and graduate programs.
On the negative side, these jobs are unlikely to be on set production work and are more admin based. Nevertheless starting out at a major company will provide you with a great professional start.
Having a major company credit on your filmmaker CV will also look impressive. With this in mind, I always mention well-known production companies on my CV. If you are interested in a particular area in film, for example, post-production or commercials.
Find large companies that specialise in these areas and ask if they can offer work experience. Some work experience in film and tv will even be fully paid work.
Regardless, keep in mind that a week’s unpaid work experience for a major company may be worthwhile.
- Working Title’s Action Internship
- Channel 4 Talent Apprenticeships
- Tiger Aspect Runner and Trainee Scheme
- Pro Cam Training Programme
2. Local Companies
There are hundreds of production companies in the UK. Not to mention finding a placement at a large company is very competitive.
Additionally, smaller companies could also be able to offer more practical production training.
To find these companies have a search on Google maps for independent film and media companies located close to you.
Smaller companies are generally less likely to offer official experience as such you may need to ask them directly.
This is how I had my very first film work experience placement at the age of 16. A teacher at my school asked a small local production company if they can offer a week’s experience. It was unpaid but significantly that week turned into two and ignited my passion for film.
3. Film Councils
Don’t overlook this way of finding work experience in film and tv.
Every region in the UK has a dedicated film council that could help you find a company placement.
Many of us filmmakers undoubtedly fail to take advantage of our local opportunities.
The main council in the UK is Creative England but make sure to search and find your local council too.
These film councils might also have a film crew database where you can input your personal details.
Better still producers occasionally use these databases to hire a local crew. This brings us to the next step film charities.
4. Film Charities
In the UK we are lucky to have several film education charities.
Firstly the major film education company is ScreenSkills. If you are new to the industry check out these guys straight away.
Film charities are either local or focused on helping marginalised groups.
For example, the Mama Youth Project helps under-represented young people based in London.
In any case, if you are unsure if a charity can help you, contact Screen Skills for advice.
Furthermore, your local film council might also have a list of training schemes that could help you.
5. Film Job Sites
As you might know, there are many film-specific job sites online. We also have our own film jobs board that includes internships as well as entry-level jobs.
Major companies might also use job boards to advertise paid work experience.
Unfortunately, due to the competitive nature of film, you might not be able to obtain a professional placement. Even so, you can still apply to entry-level job roles at major companies.
Even if you have no previous experience there is still a chance that you will be hired.
In fact, I know someone who was hired by ITV and went on to work as a project manager.
6. Social Media
Lastly, social media can also help you find work experience in film and tv. Facebook groups are becoming increasingly popular with new producers.
Recently I found runner jobs being advertised by Netflix on LinkedIn.
Any social media can be used to advertise work, simply use the search bar to look for job roles.
Previously I even found a paid job off Twitter, a producer had put a tweet up looking for local crew.
To sum up, you never know what opportunities are out there unless you put in the time to search.
Work Experience In Film & TV – Wrapping Up
If you are looking for work experience in film and TV try out some of the techniques listed above.
We are lucky to be living in a time when there are plenty of opportunities for upcoming filmmakers. Remember you don’t have to do it alone. Join a local Facebook group, apply for an apprenticeship or see what your local film council has to offer.