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Media careers

Film

Why get into film?

As film director, Stanley Kubrick, so fittingly put it, “if it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed.” There’s plenty of truth in this and the same principle can also apply to the career options available in this field.

The film industry is full of possibilities. It’s so broad. After all, it’s not as simple as just getting behind a video camera and seeing what happens. There’s a whole process and a wide range of people involved.

Generations have been defined by the films they’ve seen, from Casablanca and Easy Rider, to more modern classics like Fight Club and Hey Arnold! The Movie.

That’s the thing with films; they live forever. They have an everlasting appeal and can stir up a vast array of emotions in people from all walks of life. People have favourite films for when they’re happy, when they’re sad, or when they just want to be scared to the point where they’re literally hiding behind their couch, with their hooded top tight over their head, a cushion over their eyes and their fingers in their ears.

How can I get into the film industry?

It’s important, but not essential, to study film. This might give you the edge that you need to enter this field of work. It may sound obvious, but watching films is also essential. It’s important that you get an understanding of what makes a good film and how much work goes into making one single scene.

Very few people make it as a successful director straight away. It’s more common for people to work their way up in the industry. That’s why getting work experience will help your cause. You’ll learn how everything is done and the way that different processes and activities are carried out. 

What can I do in a film career?

The film industry relies on an army of people. Behind the final cut of every flick on the big screen is a dedicated team of people who  must work incredibly hard throughout the entire process of creating the motion picture.

A ton of opportunities are available to you in the exciting world of film. You might be part of the cast, acting your heart out and immortalising timeless characters.

You might be a scriptwriter, meticulously editing each scene, or making sure actors look just right in the wardrobe and make-up departments.

You might be part of the technical production crew, making sure that the lighting and sound is perfect as a lighting technician or a sound technician.

Alternatively, you might work as a film director or film producer and be in charge of everything.

However, these roles are just the tip of the iceberg. You could work within the music department, become a stunt professional or work as a special effects expert, just to make it all that extra bit magical. After all, if you think Face/Off could have been made without a special effects team, then think again! 

Additionally, there are the roles that only really come into play after the film has been made. These are usually more marketing and PR-based roles, where people are responsible for promoting films, getting them shown at film festivals and basically making sure people go and watch them at the cinema.

What's a good place to start in the film industry?

The less glamorous, yet massively appreciated, role in the world is that of a ‘runner’. Runners deal with requests. This could be as simple as making sure actors always have a bottle of water by their side, or as ridiculous as going out and buying twenty three white towels from John Lewis for a particularly picky actor. A lot of aspiring film directors or producers start off as runners, so it’s not such a bad place to be.

Every single person who works in the film industry has a huge influence on the final product that we experience when we’re munching on our popcorn and slurping our ice blasts. All you have to do is find out what appeals to you the most.

Then it’s all about harnessing the power of your ambition and determination to make things happen for yourself. The highly-competitive nature of the industry means that you might need a little bit of luck to get your first opportunity, but if you get some experience and make some contacts you will certainly have a great chance of succeeding. You never know, you could be the next Steven Spielberg!