So you’ve graduated film school and the future is exciting but intimidating. You’re not sure where to start. What’s next? What’s the job market like? How do you find work in the film industry?
Optimizing Your Resume & Portfolio
Before you start sending out your resume and demo reel, consider tailoring your portfolio to reflect a specialization. Ideally, you’ll have gravitated towards a certain field during your time in school. By tailoring your portfolio, you’ll be cutting out irrelevancies and emphasizing your expertise in your chosen specialization.
The Job Market
British Columbia is one of the top places to be for anyone looking to work in the film industry.
The Vancouver Economic Commission estimates over 40,000 people work in film, full and part-time, in BC. Known as Hollywood North, BC is the third largest production centre in North America, with a constant flow of work from American studios and networks due to tax credits and the favourable Canadian dollar.
Where to Look
If BC is a film production haven, where do you find work? Some production jobs are listed, but many aren’t. Here are some places to look:
- Facebook pages
- There are many Facebook pages dedicated to hiring independent filmmakers. Filmmakers will create their own community for hiring purposes.
- Introverts, strap on your social face! Filmmakers network intensely. Take a look at Women in Film and Television in Vancouver, DOC BC, Celluloid Social Club, Cold Reading Club, etc. Projects often arise from like minds finding a mutual passion. These jobs may never be advertised.
- Check out the Gigs and Production Jobs sections on Craigslist. These jobs are well paid, but beware of listings that ask if you are “adventurous”—it might be the porn industry!
- Job Boards
- One search on job boards like Indeed.com will bring up many listings for compositors and other VFX positions.
- The Union Department
- The Union department is the pool of eligible labour that big feature films and TV series will pull from. The unions control access to these jobs to ensure large producers have trained and qualified crew members. Once a student has met the union criteria, they’re often placed in a “hiring hall system.” This is why you don’t see these jobs advertised.