July 8, 2010

Unique Jobs in the Film Industry

This morning, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the nominations for the 2010 Emmy Awards, which will air on August 29.

Many of us would love the chance to walk the red carpet at this or another event, getting those 15 minutes of fame and the chance to meet some of our favorite stars. Short of quitting your job and jumping on a bus to Los Angeles, what can you do to start working in the film industry?

Even if you’re not interested in acting or directing, there are a variety of jobs you can do on the set of a television show or movie. Unique jobs in the film industry include prop builder, makeup artist, camera operator, costume designer, stagehand, and grip. These jobs don’t require you to memorize lines, but they do require other skills that could be related to the job you have now. For example, if you work in the construction industry, you have work experience that could help work in prop building or working as a grip, where you’ll be responsible for setting up and tearing down sets. You can also work in script writing, photography, film sound, and production. Although you may not be a household name if you work in one of these fields, you can definitely still win an Emmy Award, and the work you do on a television show or movie is part of the puzzle that creates sometime people really want to watch.

One of the best ways to get into the film industry in any career area is to apply to internships with a television show or film production company. Film industry internships are typically unpaid, but by working for free for a few months gives you valuable experience that you couldn’t get otherwise. You’re able to get your foot in the door with an internship, as well as network with people who are important in the industry. Through networking and building your resume, you can find a paying job in the future.

You should also consider going back to school to study film. Some people have a natural talent for certain film-related skills, like photography, but a solid education is necessary to boost these skills and give you a better chance at being hired. Workers are a dime a dozen in Hollywood, so you need to stand out from the crowd as much as possible.

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