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Old 07-04-2018, 06:08 AM   #1
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How do I get an entry level position?

Hi all,

I have just completed my first project, a documentary, which was a solo project on a very small budget. I really enjoyed the experience and can now appreciate the hard work and dedication it takes to get an idea from paper to production.

I need some more experience in TV and film and would absolutely love an entry level position: runner, locations marshal, receptionist, anything really! I'm willing to work for free because I have no prior experience and I just want to get some experiences behind me to put on my CV.

The problem is I have no contacts in the industry, and I don't live in a major city where lots of productions are taking place. I have tried looking into local universities to see if their media departments need anything, and have trawled student film makers websites, but I just cant seem to find anything. The Facebook groups all seem to be offering paid positions which experience is needed for.

So basically, my question is, how do I get into this? I'm enthusiastic, motivated and willing to work for free, but where do I find someone willing to give me a chance?
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:06 AM   #2
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Not sure how it works in the UK, but in the US, the short answer would be "apply for production assistant and/or join the union (probably IATSE or the Director's guild)". You do have to be in a locale where SOME production is taking place for this to work.
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:26 AM   #3
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Could you post your doc or the trailer? By completing a project it sounds like you have some experience.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:33 AM   #4
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in Washington DC there is a mailing list I subscribe to for people looking to recruit actors
just independent stuff ya know, it's hit or miss if it's high quality

I never recruit on there for crew because I can't pay them, but if someone emailed me looking to help for free I would absolutely take them up on it!
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:44 AM   #5
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Maybe this applies to you, maybe it doesn't. Check it out, I guess... https://www.bectu.org.uk/home
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Old 07-04-2018, 06:12 PM   #6
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Call up productions companies every day. Find out what’s shooting and send emails every day. Find out who makes commercials near you and call them up if that’s all you can find locally. Find people on LinkedIn and message them on there.

If you’re serious about pursuing a career in the film industry, you may need to move to where the industry is... Whilst you can write wherever you want, and you could make a short film wherever you want - getting onto larger sets as an intern or volunteer or runner or whatever kinda requires you to be where the larger sets are, or at the very least willing to travel every day(which may or may not be possible depending on where you are).

Last edited by jax_rox; 07-04-2018 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 10-24-2018, 07:23 PM   #7
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Hustle. Hustle. Hustle. Send emails. Offer to work for free. Reach out to friends. Usually jobs / lower jobs are given by relationships. Then work your butt off on every set your on!
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Old 10-28-2018, 10:35 AM   #8
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How I would do it, finances permitting, is to learn a trade like being a grip or other technician, and get a job. Most trades, as far as I know, are always in demand, and, if you're good, you can get a job.
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:33 AM   #9
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If your city has any production companies at all, call them a lot, and ask to be a production assistant or intern. If you are thinking about moving to a city where there is more production, same thing. Research every production company you are interested in, and call/email them asking if you can intern or PA.

Also, you can purchase production listings from websites like http://www.findfilmwork.com/
and google other sites that have production listings or production directories. Then email/call shows you are interested in, and ask to PA or intern. You could also call service based companies like camera houses, special FX houses, or any other equipment rental type place that serves the production world, work for them on entry level, then meet crews that do business with them.

Most of the time, it's all about meeting another production assistant, and becoming friends with them, or even better, becoming friends with the production coordinator or production manager, and then figuring out who you have to know to get into the department you want.

Don't let anyone fool you: in order to get into a union, you have to know someone already in the union, and get them to take you under their wing. That's when the finagling starts: getting you on union jobs, in the department, while you are not union yet, so you can get union days built up, etc. It's a big catch 22, and unless you court a union person to help you....good luck.

One thing that's cool though, if you become a good enough director, you can direct up to 9 commercials (maybe 6 or so) before you have to join the DGA, and it's similar with TV and film, different limits, but basically you get grandfathered in, if someone hires you on a union job as a director.
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