The Film and Television Industry: Getting Your Foot in the Door

We all know that the film industry is a tough career to get started in. There is no set guide for one to follow in the industry. Whether you get lucky and meet the right person with connections, or your talent drives you in the right direction. There seems to be this overwhelming anxiety for individuals, like myself, that makes us wonder how and when we will get our foot in the door? You will apply for jobs and likely not hear back from them. Don’t get discouraged. Keep applying and before you know it someone will reach out and it will be because they see something on your resume that grabs their attention.

You may also find yourself with much anxiety being on set the first couple of times. In your first PA position, look up set etiquette and study the Do’s and Don’ts for PA’s. Also, keep in mind that you are there to not only to do your job but sell yourself. Do your job to the best of your abilities and sure enough that anxiety will diminish.

A great way to start your career path is to figure out what you want to do in the industry. Ask yourself, what are you passionate about? Career paths do change and manifest overtime; you may find yourself doing a job you never thought would interest you. Try not to shy away from unpredictable paths and opportunities. You never know what door may open up the next.

Getting started is one of the biggest challenges. Many overwhelming questions may ponder in your mind. Who’s going to hire me with no experience ? How did everyone else get their foot in the door ? You may also find yourself considering not applying for particular jobs because there's always a better candidate. This is where hard work and dedication comes in. The film industry is an endless cycle of looking for your next gig or job.

Big production companies such as Turner Broadcasting, post an array of job opportunities that include internships and entry level positions. Try checking out local production companies in you’re area. Companies love to hire interns and the hands on experience would look great on your resume. A couple of ways to get your foot in the door is too apply to internships and Production assistant jobs. Make sure to stay connected by attending events, volunteering and social media.

Need some suggestions? Try exploring GA hotline, The PA Academy and many others. These companies are great at listing job postings and providing educational PA boot camps. By checking out The PA Academy website you will see where they list their feature classes that cover hands on equipment training, set etiquette, walkie protocol, terminology, paperwork etc. Once again, you never know which opportunity make lead you on the right track to your ultimate goal.

It’s important to build your resume . Like me, if you didn’t have the chance during college to find work or internship opportunities, start now. However you get started, just make sure you do it.

Look at it like this, a vast majority of people who work in the film and television industry had no prior experience. They were once just like you! Most people approached their entertainment career the same way you are, one day at a time. Everyone’s path is unique and recognition may come when you least expect it. Remember the three P's of just about any film or television career: stay passionate, persistent, and patient, and you will dramatically increase your odds of succeeding in the entertainment industry.

Anjelica Newkirk,