How to get into the TV and film industries
I often get emails from people asking for advice on how to get into the TV and film industry, usually from people who seem a little disappointed that their degree in Film Studies didn't lead directly to a Hollywood directing gig.
From the graduate's perspective, it probably does seem impossibly competitive, yet at the same time I hear of skills shortages in the film and television industries, so my advice is always roughly the same. This is my latest reply to someone who had some who was asking about the 'correct' way to get into the industry:
I can only give you a quick piece of advice and that is to think of it from an employer's perspective. There are thousands of people who have some vague notion of getting into the film or TV industries but, frankly, this is of no interest to an employer. They simply don't have time to sift through CVs of people to pick out who may or may not have some talent.
The best way to get in is to think about how you can make yourself useful. Learn a skill - camera, editing, motion graphics, maybe with your background CGI and visual effects. If you only want to work in film (ie not TV or corporate) then you will have to think harder about your strategy. Then offer your skills for free in return for useful experience. Say yes to everything but don't let anyone exploit you. Then start charging for your services. Then, once you've got a taste of what different roles are like, try to steer your career in the directions that appeal to you. You can make the transition from editor to producer/director, for example, if that's what you want to do.
I wouldn't worry about your degree. I think most people in the industry would rather you had a degree in anything other than film or media studies. It's about experience, passion and talent, not degrees.
Hope this helps. Good luck.
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