Becoming a Hollywood superstar is likely one of the most ‘sought after’ jobs in the world. Of course, being highly sought after doesn’t mean that many people end up accomplishing their dreams. Finding jobs in entertainment can be incredibly difficult, especially when people don’t know what they are doing. For many aspiring filmmakers, their careers end up getting derailed after film school. After all, film school offers a structured and organized environment where there is always work to do. If you’ve ever been in the entertainment field, you know that life isn’t structured or organized. So, how can film school graduates better prepare to enter into their chosen field?
1) Build a Support Group – Pursuing a career in the entertainment world is all about outlasting your competition. Filmmaking jobs are extremely competitive at the beginning of your career. Why is this the case? Well, you are competing with EVERYONE that wants to enter into the field. Once you’ve racked up some credits, you begin to compete only with other experienced filmmakers. In the beginning, your patience and confidence will be tested. To keep your sanity and confidence, make sure that you have a support group to lean on. Finding emotional and financial support in times of need can be hard, but having a group of trustworthy loved ones can make all the difference.
2) Behave Like a Professional – The entertainment business is so glamorized that most newcomers treat it like a nonstop party. Believe it or not, a sizable portion of aspiring filmmakers will go off of the rails due to their lack of professional behavior. From showing up late to set to missing meetings altogether, a lack of professional behavior can destroy an otherwise promising career. Treat your filmmaking pursuit like any other office job. Show up dressed for work, on time, and ready to be a team player. When you behave like a professional, you instantly set yourself apart from a large portion of your competition.
3) Read the Fine Print – If you are going to work as a filmmaker, you better get used to signing contracts. You won’t have one single boss signing off on all of your checks. Instead, you’ll operate as a freelancer, and you’ll need to pay attention to everything that you sign. From confidentiality agreements to payment agreements, have a lawyer on hand to ensure that you are not being raked over the coals. Even if you are working with a close friend, make sure that you have your legal documentation in order.
4) Network 24/7 – Networking is probably the most important skill that you can develop as a filmmaker. Work on as many sets as possible, be liberal when handing out your business card, and add EVERYONE to your public social media accounts. Jobs beget jobs. When you work hard and stay connected, people remember you. Network in person at meetings and conventions, also, as those are hotbeds for creative productions looking to acquire new talent for their teams.