Making the decision to leave your survival job for a film career

Making the decision to leave your survival job and prioritize your film career can be stressful. There’s probably a lot of unknowns there, and that uncertainty can be paralyzing. There are two things that can settle your mind in making this transition: developing a mental image of who and where you want to be in life, and having a plan in how to get there. If you knew a path into the film industry, would you take the leap? This industry is filled with vibrant people doing exciting work that pays really, really well. I can guarantee you that this life is worth the struggle in the beginning. Breaking away from a 9-5, a corporate job, a bad situation in your life, whatever it is, is worth it. You don’t…

How To Become An Editors, Writer, or Producer

An extremely common and unfortunately ineffective strategy to break into the production side is to contact production houses cold, without ever having worked on professional sets, and offering to work for free. There are a ton of people doing this and I never hear of this getting someone connections or work. One issue is that there isn’t a lot of overturn in editing. Once people are in those jobs they are locked in for the long haul, so you need a way to get inside and get referred. You know where this is going: get inside a production assistant. Learn the set and the industry, make professional connections, and make your goals known. That conversation will happen naturally; you don’t need to force it. Professionals know you don’t want to…

Vector UP in the Film Industry | Talk to the right people about the right things

A really common problem I see is people getting stuck as a production assistant for years. Nobody gets into the film industry to be a PA, and yet so many get trapped in that space. They know they want to write, or work camera, or direct, but they don’t know how to move from the free shoots to the small budget shoots, from there to mid-sized projects, and then onto the biggest stuff in the industry where they’re making $650-$1000 a day or more. The solution is both simple and complex: you need to be making good connections and you need to be working alongside professionals. You need to have the right kinds of conversations with the right people. The good (paid) work is rarely, if ever, posted. It all…

It’s that easy? Get on set, and acting opportunities will find you!

If you’ve been with us a while, you’ll hear me and the A-list mentors talk about how the traditional method to get on camera and get speaking roles doesn’t work well in the modern industry. You can do hundreds of auditions but the people deciding who gets the role don’t know you, don’t have any familiarity with how you are to work with. There will be tons of actors auditioning for that same role that are in that same boat. There is a better way. By getting on set through production, you will make critical connections with the people involved in casting. This includes the casting director, the director, and sometimes the producer. You can leverage those connections to get into the audition room more easily, and once there, they will…

Becoming Successful: The Growth Mindset that will net you success in life and the film indsutry

If you want to get into the film industry, you’ll have to do some growing. It’s not hard, but you have to start believing that you are this go-getter, all-in personality. You have to become that person.   Simply being handed jobs in the film will not get you a career in it. Getting on set by the merit of your own efforts is what will give you the kind of reputation with professionals that will net you consistent work. They respect the people that are self-made and that image they have is where your success comes from. I can teach you how to get on set and get mentors once you’re there. That’s the hard part. Once you’re on set you only need to be your best self, the…

Get on Shoots & Build Your Confidence

If you’ve done our free training, you know that the fastest pathway into the industry is to volunteer on smaller shoots like student films, music videos, and indie projects. These are non-union projects which means you can get your hands on equipment and get a feel for set, build up your confidence, BEFORE you end up on paid shoots where your and everyone’s reputation is at stake. Two of our A-listers having been using what we call The 20 Shoots Method to build up their network and experience and recently ended up on the same shoot! Here’s what one of them had to say: Just wrapped a day on set as a Production Assistant! I was pretty nervous as I was waiting in my car to get started but the…

An Honest Look at an A-list Before & After

  Melissa is a mentor in our A-list Work Study Program. I wanted to get the full story of why she joined the program, what her first shoots were like, and where she is now!    Do you remember what happened for you? When you started A-list, what was your first paid shoot?   I got my first paid shoot in April 2019. I had been scrolling through Craigslist looking for any indication of shoots happening and I found one that was looking for a camera person. It was happening in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is about a 3 hour drive from where I live. I was hesitant to send a want to work email because I couldn’t really afford to put myself up in a hotel at the time, so…

How to Attract Mentors and Work

  When you’re new to the industry, you want to be, at all times, attracting opportunities. You need to attract work, relationships, and mentors that altogether will propel you from the free shoots into the paid professional world. It is on those first shoots where you’ll build the confidence and industry street-smarts that will net you those opportunities. Professionals want to help people who help themselves. Given how hectic their jobs are, they want to know they’re helping out someone who deserves and will appreciate being mentored. The question becomes how you transform into someone professionals want to take under their wing and eventually pass work to when they themselves move up into the next tier of work. Confidence will be key. Get yourself into a confident state by recalling…

How do you get people to like you?

How do you make people like you, so they want to work with you again? In our industry, it’s especially tricky. Film professionals are used to people in their lives trying to get something out of them, and this sometimes makes them wary of people they don’t know very well. Let’s establish something right away: If people like you, you are going to work a whole lot more. But in the film industry, it seems like everyone is so focused on what they have going on… it’s hard to find or create that moment to connect with them in a real way. So, in this post, I want to give you some ideas that you can try on, and see if your interactions change. Consider this… Everyone is trying to…

Booking the Room | How FIF methods work for new actors

At the time of this call, Allyson had only been in the program for a few months. Through getting inside and standing out as a dedicated, burgeoning professional, she made some incredible connections immediately, getting pulled onto shoots – and acting roles – by the DP of Fox’s Empire. It’s better to take the road less travelled. There are tens of thousands of actors trying to get roles right now. If you want to succeed as a new actor you could do what other actors are doing and compete for the same auditions as everyone else through the same path as everyone else. The vast majority of actors doing this get one or two roles a year at most on low, sometimes medium sized shoots. It’s extremely difficult for them…