Looking to break into the film industry? Here are five benefits of film production training.
By: Sophia Lin
As they say, the hardest part about getting started… is getting started. While it this may be true, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. As a beginner in the field, there are some critical steps you can take to give you a running start. Continue reading and set yourself on the path of success.
That’s exactly what we’re here to get to the bottom of. What are those steps? How should you approach them? What should you be focusing on? These questions, and many more, form the basis of the list below. All the way from choosing film production training courses to getting acquainted with the job market, this list will cover all the bases when it comes to taking your first step in the field of film production.
1. Paths in the Industry
Before you even dip your toe into the industry, your first step should be to know your options. In this case, it would entail researching and getting to know all the different, diverse paths in the film industry. Don’t forget that researching extends to initiating informational interviews, attending Q&As, and the like. Consider each of your possible directions. Additionally, assess these paths in terms of your interests, strengths, weaknesses, and your level of experience as well.
As someone new to film production training, chances are there are some niche positions in film that you may not have been aware of. This is your chance to search them all out. The more thoroughly you conduct your research, the more well-informed your career decisions will be. Start with the more prominent roles like directors and producers, then work your way towards the lesser-known elements of the production team, like the editors, production designers, and music supervisors.
2. The Job Market
It certainly doesn’t end there. The next component of your initial research should involve the job market. This should include current job opportunities, future outlook, and even past changes. Additionally, be sure to look at the various ways of entering the industry. Each of the many possible paths have slightly dissimilar structures when it comes to getting hired. While those working as producers may need to apply to a production company, those working as directors may have to tackle the film festival circuit. Not to mention, most positions will have differing requirements when it comes to the level of film production training required.
At the moment, a significant consideration is the rise of streaming services. In both the film and TV world, this has caused jobs to multiply — and spawned countless new positions as well. Increased demand for content has undoubtedly changed the landscape, with the industry continually welcoming more diverse stories and perspectives. The advancement of technology and the unprecedented accessibility to filmmaking are also key factors impacting the job market today.
3. Courses & Film Production Training
One tried and true move known to pay dividends is taking courses and obtaining formal film production training. Most often, this is done at a film school, where students can be surrounded by industry-experienced professors and top-of-the-line filmmaking resources. For those looking to jump right into the industry, film school doesn’t have to be the hefty commitment it appears to be. In fact, there is a wide range of programs that are able to cover all you’ll need to know. You will learn technical, creative, and analytical skills needed to excel in the film industry in just one year.
Similarly, other short online courses or week-long boot camps can also be fantastic options. Aside from the benefits of high-quality film education, courses and training can equip you with soft skills as well. These can take years to develop and feel out on your own, including assets like effective leadership, productive collaboration, and clear communication. Often, it is these skills, not the technical know-how, that will make or break a career in film.
4. Gear & Equipment
Getting your hands on the right cameras and gear may seem somewhat self-evident. The reality, however, isn’t necessarily so easy. To begin, it is integral to note what the industry standard is for your field. For instance, when it comes to cameras, ARRI, RED, and Panavision are some of the main ones — be aware that there often only isn’t just one standard brand.
For beginners in the field, however, professional gear is almost always too expensive. The key here is to instead focus on mastering the craft of filmmaking. Student films are typically made on a small budget, so learning to make the most out of what you have is the best way to go. These days, a good starting point would be phones — which now boast quality cameras — and a cheaper lighting set-up. The exception would be if you were enrolled in film school or film production training courses; this would automatically give you easy access to a host of professional equipment.
5. Professional Networking
Finally, no list could be complete without mentioning the element at the centre of the film industry, networking. Job opportunities often travel through word of mouth and every film project being a team effort. Thus, the necessity of an expansive professional network is a no-brainer. Luckily, there are tons of places to start! Volunteering on sets, helping out at local film festivals, and attending filmmaking events require little to no experience, which make it perfect for those starting out to meet new people.
Beyond that, the options are plentiful as well. Enrolling in film school, for example, would immediately situate you within a community of like-minded, hard-working filmmakers. Similarly, joining online forums and social media groups is a great idea. Local forums and groups gets your name out there and puts you right in the film scene. Ultimately, the goal here is to meet future collaborators and find interesting projects and positions to sign onto. As your network grows, so will your filmmaking experience and skill.