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FILM INDUSTRY JOBS
Because of the closed nature of the film business, job placement services don't work well and you will rarely find a job that way. Furthermore, want ads are practically unheard of, so don't waste your time perusing the local classifieds.
To get a job in the film industry, you must win the confidence of the person who has the ability to hire you. In short, this is done through your work (credits, awards) and your personality (networking).
At the start of your career, you obviously don't have screen credits to showcase yourself. For this reason, many aspiring filmmakers try to win awards (or work on films that win awards). Often, just getting your movie distributed in some fashion is enough to open doors.
The other way to gain entrance is to make contact directly with the people in charge--producers, production managers, assistant directors. Trade papers like the Hollywood Reporter list movies that are in pre-production. Some cities have local filmmaking organizations and publications that list "crew calls." These sources allow you to track down the production company and, in turn, the production manager or producer.
When you find the right person, remember that traditional techniques don't work in this business. For example, mailing a resume to the production company isn't going to get you an interview. Phone calls are the best way to go. Get on the phone and make contact with these people. Let them know that you are interested and stay in contact with them. If you can talk to them in person, even better. Perhaps you can drop by the production office or arrange a "chance" meeting with someone in charge.
It is a very "people" oriented business and very tightly knit, so you must inch your way in. Don't underestimate the people on the front lines (secretaries, production assistants) either, because they are the gateway to the people in charge. You will face rejection but keep a positive outlook and be persistent!
The most famous networking story involves Steven Spielberg, who never went to film school. He simple walked onto the Universal lot (by waving to a guard, no less!) and occupied an empty office. He learned the business by watching productions in progress. He got to know so many people that by the time management figured out who he really was, he had already won them over and they gave him a chance to direct. True story!
The point is that you must develop a strategy. First decide on the craft you want to specialize and then decide on the best route to take (network, earn membership in a craft guild, or make your own movie). We hope this was helpful! -Lou LaVolpe
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