My Story: Breaking into a who-you-know industry

My story: Breaking into a who-you-know industry. I never attended film school, and I am at the top of my field. There is a different way than film school to get into the film industry. Getting on set is a matter of networking with the right people.

Most people approach the film industry the same way they do the corporate world. The problem with this is that there are tons of people who want to get inside. They send resumes cold or ask for coffee, which usually doesn’t work. Film professionals easily get hundreds of resumes a week and they often don’t bother to look at them.

The reality is that most insiders already have their people. They are working in a fast paced environment. They want to be assured that the people they work with are capable of doing the job. They usually hire two kinds of people for craft jobs. Either they’ve already worked with the people before, or they hire those who have been referred to them by people they trust.

There are ways of getting on set and working with insiders without experience. People do it often. They start out as production assistants. As a production assistant, you’ll have the opportunity to be on set and meet professionals.

Do things that other people won’t do and you can have different results.

I started my career with my experiences and my interests. I had conversations with film professionals about their work. I wasn’t about ‘breaking in’. I was about making relationships.

I made my connections by developing real friendships that have lasted a lifetime. I cherish the bonds I’ve made over the years. My friends in film are a loving family of support.

Be authentic with professionals. Film professionals are people just like you.

When you’re networking with film industry professionals, you want to be genuine with them. Know their work. Be excited for them. You’re sure to get a positive response.

Janet's signature