How to make it in the movie/film/ TV industry Monell S.
gr a to em r nCi he ap movie/film/ TV industryThere are so m any areas of the m ovie and TV business that there is alm ostsom ething for everyone. C inematographers work on set all d ay surround ed by hund red s of peoplewhile ed itors work largely alone in a d ark room long after the prod uction has"wrapped ."From pre- to post-prod uction there is a job to fit alm ost every personality andskill set. K now what youre good at and where you fit in. If youve stud ied art, then you m ight consid er prod uction d esign. If youvespent hours splicing together your own vid eos on your hom e com puter, thengo for ed iting. But in the beginning, you should get whatever you can.
Be aware Be aware that while a few positions in the ind ustry are extrem ely lucrative, m any m ore are less so. Writers, actors and d irectors are som etim es paid obscene am ounts of m oney while grips, ed itors, and the m any people who fill out the various d epartm ents on a film or TV series such as costum e, props, art, photography, etc. G et paid m uch m ore m od estly and work very hard . H ours on the set are long and grueling. People d o the work because they love it and can im agine d oing nothing else.
Prepare When it com es d own to it, the tim e were you finally have the opportunity to show what you have to som eone really im portant in the m ovie ind ustry your going to want to have everything on hand so your prepared and you d on`t waist there tim e which leaves a bad im pression. Be organized and have best work on hand . For exam ple if you want to be a top m ake up artist , you will want photos and want good quality in those photos to im press them If you want to be a m ovie d irector you want to have a professional and again organized way of showing what you know about cam era angles and have a strong story to go with it.
Business The business is truly all about who you know. M ost ind ustry jobs are freelance, therefore, the m ost im portant aspect of getting a job, be it your first or your hund red and first, is who you know. G et noticed to be in this ind ustry you can not be quite and shy you need to be d eterm ined and well d riven to get to your goal.
Work Your ego is not your friend . While it is certainly ad visable to get as m uch training as you can before you go looking for work, the best way to learn is in on the job. In the beginning, get any job you can. AN Y JO B. It will be lousy pay and long hours, but this is how you start learning and m eeting people. A fam ous m ovie prod ucer started out as a prod uction assistant on horror m ovies. He spent his tim e on the set working hard and asking sm art questions. H e then prod uced his first low-bud get horror m ovie and prom ptly got a job on another m ovie as a d olly grip for pennies a d ay. H e d id nt turn d own the job because it was beneath him . H e took whatever jobs he could find and it paid off.
Jobs/internships Find out what types of jobs exist in the ind ustry and which ones you are best suited for. If you d o not live in L os Angeles, N ew York, Vancouver or Toronto, get a sense of what kind of ind ustry exists in your area. If there is none, consid er relocating. production assistants are not paid m uch but it is a great way to learn m any aspects of the way a production works. You m ight be asked to run from props to hair to ed iting to an actors trailer all within a days work also interning is a good way to get a sense of what the job is like before you fallow through with it as a career. Write a strong resum e that prom otes your strengths without being unrealistic. There are m any crossover skills from other field s so be honest about your past experience.
contacts If you get an im portant num ber that can help you reach your goal in the ind ustry your going to want to have that num ber in 2 d ifferent places. The possibility that you loose your phone and you would n’t get the num ber back right away can be trouble som e . H ave a notebook with nam es and num bers of contacts and m ake sure to keep track of these item s. When you go on interviews, keep track of the answers to your questions and if your being interviewed keep track of what there looking for.
Follow Up Know the business. Go to m ovies. Watch TV. Read the trad es. L earn as m uch as you can about the workings of film and TV prod uction before you arrive on set for your first d ay of work. K now the d ifference between a D irector of Photography and an Assistant D irector. Take classes at your local continuing stud ies program . You can m eet people this way and begin to build up a network. •Be professional and presentable. The m ovie business tend s to be m ore casual than m ost, but that d oesnt m ean you can be sloppy. D ress to im press . T he only one who gets to be the worst d ressed person in the room is the d irector. •Be nice to EVERYBO D Y . M ore than in other ind ustries, tod ays lackey is tom orrows show runner or O scar-nom inated d irector. Sucking up d oesnt help. K eep your d ignity and self-respect. Be helpful and d eterm ined , without groveling or begging. Your boundaries might be tested but in the end they will be respected.
Acting If your jum ping straight into the ind ustry yet you’ve never been in front of a real cam era or on a film ing site your going to want practice. For exam ple, I took a year of acting at John Robert powers acting school ,were you get the opportunity to read scripts, learn about if you m ess up while film ing d on’t say sorry. K eep read ing and following the scene norm ally have the tim e no one notices the m istake. Talk into a cam era and act out scenes in front of other stud ents. Also tongue twisters is a great thing to practice “sally sells sea shells by the sea shore” the faster you can say tongue twister with out m essing up the easier it gets to read a script. While taking this program you get opportunitys to perform in front of huge d irectors and talent agents like, IPO P, D isney channel and nickelod eon. O ften tim es even agents looking for actors from up com ing m ovies
Trends Study trend s, whats hot the coolest places to eat ,what to were and hairstyles. This gives you and opportunity to be up to d ate and m any tim es you can be in the sam e place as a celebrity because trend s are everything. Your not going to want to show up in shoes with holes or stains on your shirt this is not im pressive and it m akes you look unapproachable. If m oney is an issue ,were going to go back to one of the first steps . GET A JO B! AN Y JO B! Do not wear tons of jewelry. If you’re an assistant or who ever you work for has you m oving around a lot your not going to want all that extra weight on your bod y to slow you d own and wearing a lot of jewelry can look to flashy. Instead try wearing flashy shoes this is a great way to be d iscreet while still rocking hot trend s.
Sleep & health The m ovie ind ustry is fast paced and your going to want all the sleep you can get. A lot of the tim es youll have to work late and / stud y late or so if you d on’t get the opportunity to sleep m uch m ost the tim e your going to want to grab a coffee or energy d rink to keep you up. I would recom m end eating healthy instead of d rinking over 3 energy d rinks a d ay, try eating a healthy m eal. Vegetables and fruit have vitam ins which keep your energy up and your im m une system . Your not going to want to be slow , groggy or call in sick while working. To m any sick d ays can lead to getting fired and that is never a good thing so try to keep your health and working balanced while having a busy sched ule.
Equipment K now the equipm ent and what it d ose, how the pieces contrast. You want to research about cam era and lighting filters and want to know what each m ood light gives off and how to m ake a scene intense to get your point across. In a d ram a you would want L ight that is d im and m akes a scene look d ark this gives it a d ram atic effect. If it is a scene of love you want to have a lot of light and often tim es this will m ake the actor look like there glowing this showing a scene of harm ony.
Music Pay attention to what type of m usic each film category uses. L ighting, acting, equipm ent and m usic is what m akes a film . Som e tim es there are silent film . Silent film s often intensify one of the other 3 things for exam ple no m usic in a silent d ram atic film you would want to have intense light and em otion in your actor. You d o not want to put the wrong m usic in the wrong m ovie for exam ple if it was a happy m ovie you would not want the “Jaws” sound track playing the hole tim e.
How to make it in the movie/film/ TV industry.