How to Pursue a Career in Film Production

When it comes to your future career path, there aren’t many fields that can offer the excitement, creative expression and variety of work that film production does. Being involved in the artistry and magic that goes on behind the scenes of the movie screen is highly sought after by many aspiring film directors, screenwriters and producers, to name but a few of the career paths offered in this industry.

The sheer amount of work and resources that go into creating the films we all enjoy watching is often underestimated by audiences. From the inception of the idea to the financing of the production, through to the directing and filming of the picture itself, there are numerous steps involved, with each one as important as the next.

The skill and expertise required at each stage of film production also provide ample opportunity for people to enter the industry. The U.S. Film Industry employs around 2.5 million people, spanning across 93,000 businesses. The industry is responsible for paying out approximately $188 billion per year in wages. In this article, we will explore some of the things you can do to pursue a career in film production.

Table of Contents

Study Filmmaking

Before entering the world of film, it is invaluable to have a solid understanding of this industry. Here you will learn the ins and outs of film production from operating a camera to seeing your ideas and vision come to life by producing or directing your own films.

You can also broaden your depth and knowledge of this field through exposure to different forms of cinema and alternative themes and genres. If you are interested in directing or filming you will be taught about innovative and lesser-known techniques and uses of color, camera angles, and filters thereby developing and expanding your knowledge base.

Programs and courses such as the ones offered by American International College are a great place to learn the fundamentals of the film production process and acquire a well-rounded understanding of this art form.

Join Groups and Forums 

As part of your extra-curricular studies, it can benefit you to join groups and forums about film production and all things related to the industry. With the internet and social media, you can easily find such information online as well as relevant events in your local area such as talks or lectures on film production. 

The film industry is known for its networking and connection-based reputation. By joining such groups and forums you can develop contacts in the field and be the first to know about interesting events, work experience and job opportunities. 

Volunteer or Intern 

There’s no better way to get hands-on experience in the film production world than by gaining work experience through volunteering or an internship. The film business is a notoriously competitive field to enter, and being able to demonstrate you have some experience in this area will work to your advantage. 

Paid or unpaid work experience can help you get a foot in the door and give you real-world insight into the mechanics of filmmaking, taking you beyond just the theory. It can also stand you in good stead for repeat work or being hired for an entry-level position, which is highly-sought after by other candidates that do not have the experience or contacts you do.

Through gaining experience in different areas of the industry ranging from being a runner on a film set, an extra in an ad or a camera production assistant you can build up your portfolio of skills and experience, not only gaining a more rounded understanding of film making and expand your network but you will also be able to demonstrate your passion and commitment to working in this field when it comes to being hired.

Understand the Roles Involved 

When deciding to pursue a career in film production is it important to have an understanding of the various roles and responsibilities involved in creating a film. This will allow you to narrow your search when it comes to study and relevant work experience. The main roles include the following: 

·     Screenwriting: Screenwriters write the story of a film script in a way that communicates the actions, expressions and movements of the characters allowing the audience to envision the setting and emotion of characters and the way the script translates to screen. They work closely with film producers, actors and directors to draft and revise their script and often adapt their ideas from another medium such as a book or play.

·   Financing: This aspect of film production happens during the development or pre-production stage and involves finding the production of a film. This funding is usually raised by film producers who estimate the budget and arrange financing from various sources such as loans, investors and grants.

·     Casting: Film production also involves finding a suitable cast to convey the script or story to the audience. As well as finding the right actors, casting also involves overseeing the auditioning process, arranging screen tests and matching actors to the right role.

·    Hiring the Crew:  Along with the actors and director there are a whole host of other people involved in the production of a film such as stunt people, makeup artists, editors, choreographers and marketers.

·    Pre-Production: Before filming can begin there are many logistical matters that need to be decided such as the film locations, film equipment, the schedule for shooting, arranging the props, wardrobe and special effects.

·   Production: The production stage is where filming begins. Film production aspects involve managing the cast and crew and ensuring filming continues on time and within budget.

·    Post-Production: Here the audio and visual elements of the film are edited and technical matters such as special effects, music, and footage is assembled to weave together a film that is ready for release.

·   Release: This is where the marketing aspects of the film are handled. Aspects include managing the release date and screenings and coordinating the public relations and advertising elements of the film.

With such vast and wide-ranging opportunities available the scope of work within film production is exciting and limitless. Now that you have a greater understanding of the main aspect of film production, you can make informed choices about pursuing a career in this area.

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Todd VanDuzer

Co-Founder & CEO at Student-Tutor
Hello! My name is Todd. I help students design the life of their dreams by ensuring college, scholarship, and career success! I am a former tutor for seven years, $85,000 scholarship recipient, Huffington Post contributor, lead SAT & ACT course developer, host of a career exploration podcast for teens, and have worked with thousands of students and parents to ensure a brighter future for the next generation. I invite you to join my next webinar to learn how to save thousands + set your teenager up for college, scholarship, and career success!
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