In the film industry, your success depends on reaching out and following up. It’s a relationships business, so you need to know how to make and maintain connections. In many ways this network will literally become your career.
Many film professionals get stuck doing the same job for a long time. It’s not uncommon to hear about people who were production assistants for five, even ten years. They had aspirations of moving into a craft but instead found themselves stuck doing the same thing. They were trapped because they didn’t know how to make the connections that could have moved them forward. If they’re lucky, they at some point have an opportunity to progress randomly land in front of them. That isn’t at all what we want for you.
The entry level position in the film industry is the production assistant. This job can provide you with the opportunity to work on a large number of shoots in a short amount of time, all the while meeting a large number of professionals and interacting with many of the departments firsthand. You might know already what kind of job you want to do on set, or you might not be entirely sure. Either way, working as a PA will give you the opportunity to get close to professionals in your craft and gain valuable familiarity with every aspect of the film industry.
Be thinking about skills you have now from your work or life that could potentially be applied on set. They can provide you with some confidence and allow you to demonstrate some aptitude that will help you attract mentors quickly. If you can’t think of any, don’t worry— I knew next to nothing about my craft before I got into the industry. I simply became obsessed with everything related to sound, and that enthusiasm got me noticed and helped me build the connections I needed to move forward.
A-list Mentors Alex and Goran moved fast into their crafts because they worked their butts off and made it next to impossible to dislike them. If you want to move into the kind of job you only dreamt of before, be someone that people love and remember.