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 very first person I met and walked with to the location couldn’t have been nicer! That really helped set my confidence for the rest of the day. Everyone else was so friendly as well! We networked with each other at lunch and I passed out some business cards. The DP was very shy and didn’t talk too much with anyone and I kept thinking how she was missing out on the opportunity to connect with us all also. Funny all the things I keep in mind after going through the modules!
I’m currently doing the Get On 20 Shoots Method. I can see why that’s so important to build confidence while getting started. I found this opportunity in a Facebook group and it was perfect because it was a 2-day shoot. I’m reaching out to as many people as I can to volunteer for projects as a Production Assistant to gain knowledge, experience and confidence. I have another shoot scheduled this week which is a much larger production that I also found in a Facebook group. Those have been my best way of finding projects to help out with. On Tuesday I’ll be getting certified as a CCO [Covid Compliance Officer] so will be helping out on the project this week in that role as well. Basically whatever shoots need, I’m ready to help with! I’m currently only focusing on PA work at the moment so fortunately my schedule is very flexible.
A very common mistake made by people trying to break into the film industry is to start with PA jobs on medium sized shoots. The problem is that if you’re brand new, you won’t have the experience or the confidence to stand out, making it difficult to network and vector into a craft.
On the small shoots you’ll get to do more, build familiarity with set culture, and have more opportunities to work in departments because the crews are smaller and less specialized. Since most people will be newer, everyone is more forgiving.
Starting off the right way has a huge impact on how quickly you move up onto the big stuff, and that’s where our methods aim to get you!