Thousands of movies are made every year in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. (See Reference 1) That means there are thousands of opportunities to work on movie sets. But you're not the only one who's looking for a job. Work in the film industry is very competitive. It requires unusual hours with sometimes little or no pay. But if you persevere, you may end up with a job on a movie set.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
Search for jobs on websites like Crewnet.com. (See Resources) Production companies, studios and independent filmmakers advertise their need for film crews on Crewnet.com. Some positions require that you have previous experience or technical expertise, but other positions have minimal requirements. Crewnet.com allows you to search for jobs by location and position. In order to send in your resume, you must be registered with Crewnet. Registration is free.
Do temporary work. Temp agents, like Leslie Comar of the Comar Agency, connect prospective employees with entertainment companies looking to fill a position. Tell the temp agent that your goal is to work on a movie set and she will help you find a job that will help you to reach that goal. Work at production companies is optimal because they oversee everything regarding filming. You will have the chance to meet directors and other film crew members who may give you the opportunity to work with them on the movie set.
Move. Most U.S. films are made in Los Angeles, so most production companies are based there. If you don't live near Los Angeles, your chance of getting a job on a film set is much lower. Often, entry-level crew is needed immediately and the production company will not wait for you to travel to California. You have fierce competition for movie-set work and you need to be able to work at a moment's notice, or someone else will beat you to it. In addition, some temp agencies do not accept applicants who don't live nearby.
Tips and warnings
- Working on a movie set is hard work. If you cannot work long hours, then working on set is not for you.
- You should also be able to take orders and do it well. Because of budgets and shooting schedules, tensions are high on set. Complaining will only get you fired.
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