The Correct Approach for Breaking Into Film

Isabel works as a digital producer and is a mentor in our FIF Into The Industry Certification program. Digital producers are the people who decide what shows get made and coordinate both the production of media and how/when/where it’s presented. She’s worked for big companies like CNN, the BBC, and AMC.

The film industry is in many ways a “who-you-know” industry. If you approach it the right way, this can be a huge benefit.

It’s not about being the best right away or coming in already knowing everything about the work or the business. What you must do is get on set, get to know some key people, and learn everything you can about what they do. Show these people you have the drive to make it, because they can be mentors to you.

When trying to break into the film, a lot of people do things that don’t serve their career best. They start getting PA work on union shoots where they aren’t allowed to handle equipment or do anything outside the most scope of their role. Professionals on these sets are laser focused on their own job because the stakes are high; they don’t have the time or attention to help people out.

Isabel, like everyone in our program, went about it a better way. Starting on smaller shoots gave her the opportunity to learn about more of the niche jobs, knowledge that is impressive to professionals. People want to know that you know how important everyone on set is. They will see that initiative and that extra effort and want to help you out because of it.

Isabel has a lot to share, things you wouldn’t learn in film school. In the same amount of time you could spend getting a degree, you could reach a position just like hers :)

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