How To Find Work with a Film School Degree

There are so many career opportunities that a student has upon graduating from a film academy, a film institute or any school that offers a film course. So if you have a film school degree and you're wondering what to do next, here are some ways to help you get started in finding the perfect job for you:

  1. Know of the different jobs you can have. Be encouraged by the fact that there is such a wide range of jobs that call for graduates of film courses. Here are just some of the examples: assistant producer, casting director, camera operator, director (of photography; of a radio, TV program or film), script writer, production designer, line producer, sound editor, film editor, special effects specialist, and the list goes on. Media is such a powerful force and is such a large industry that you could surely find your niche if you're really willing to. Be advised, however, that some of the jobs in this industry require you to have previous experience or relevant further studies (see number 4). Also, decide at the onset which particular aspect of the film industry you would like to pursue a career in, so that you can be consistent in honing  particular skills and building the specific network of contacts (see number 2) that you would require.
  2. Network. In the film industry it's very important that you build a network of connections to help you find more opportunities and job referrals. You may approach your university or college professor and ask to be recommended to his own contacts. You may also approach professional organizations (such as the American Society of Cinematographers, Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers, National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians, etc) to ask for tips on how to get started in the industry.
  3. Go to different relevant companies. Take your time to go to different companies to submit your resume. Companies you may go to include advertising agencies, broadcasting groups, film production companies, studio facilities, talent management firms, television stations and web production companies. You may also opt to submit your resume online and to learn about particular companies further by visiting their websites.
  4. Gain further education or relevant experience. Once you've determined your preferred specific career path, you may pursue further studies in that field by enrolling in graduate courses or by taking refresher courses online. The scenario really depends on which field you want to focus on-if you've decided to have a career in acting, you may enroll in a good acting school; if you want to be a scriptwriter, you could attend workshops and seminars about it. Your additional specialized courses would definitely give you an edge over other potential employees. You could also opt to gain some freelance experience first before you apply. For example, you could interview an upcoming band and write an article about them for your blog or a small, local newspaper; or you could make a short film and upload it to YouTube. You could add your work to your portfolio. Also, once you're in a job you want, you shouldn't expect to have a high salary at the outset; take about one or two years concentrating on gaining relevant job experience where you would gain the basic hands-on training for the job.
  5. Adopt a positive attitude. As with any job hunt, it's very important that you be positive. Expect to get a lot of rejections when applying for your dream jobs; take that rejection easily and move on to the next opportunity.

There you have it! Hopefully this has encouraged you about the possibilities for your career if you are a film major. However, if you're in the process of considering whether film school is for you, you could do further research by reading related books such as "Film School Confidential" which gives you an insider look on how to get into film schools, and gives rankings on the best film schools out there. Good luck!


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