Studying at film school has a huge number of benefits; getting to use really expensive equipment, getting to experiment with various styles and techniques on a myriad of projects, and at JMC Academy, getting to collaborate and integrate with a number of different courses to build connections. So, when it’s over, what happens?
The film industry can be a difficult one to break into, so here are our next steps for all you film graduates.
Make sure your show reel is strong
One of the first things to do (it should be done BEFORE graduating really) is to create a strong show reel. During your time in JMC’s Film & TV Production course, you will get to work on a number of productions creating top quality pieces of work, and these need to be showcased. Have a read of our top tips for creating the perfect showreel here.
As with most jobs, it is important to start from the bottom and build your way up. Go for entry-level jobs and learn the ropes. Carry out work placements and gain the experience you need to work your way up the ladder and build connections. Most entry-level jobs entail administrative tasks, such as setting appointments, ordering supplies or even getting coffee as a production assistant, runner or personal assistant. These jobs are perfect for providing a foot in the door to see how all the roles on a film come together.
In such a competitive industry you need to take every chance you can get to expand your network of contacts and to build your portfolio. Don’t be afraid to freelance; it’s a great way to work on a variety of different projects in different roles. Don’t always expect to get paid a heap for your work at the beginning – don’t forget you need to build a business portfolio and a good name for yourself.
The film industry is very much about who you know as well as what you know. It is using the ‘what’ you know to make contacts and connections that is important. Attend film festivals and meet as many people as you can, keep in contact with people you meet on shoots or at film school and use any means possible to meet new people already established or working in the industry. Any of these connections could lead to the next important introduction, the next meeting for a project, and maybe even the next job.
Keep reading and studying
Technology is constantly changing, with new innovative ideas shifting the way we think and the way we work – and the film industry is no exception. Although this new technology is intended to give filmmakers more freedom and flexibility to explore new creative ideas, it is also easy to fall behind with the introduction of such technological advances. Over the last few decades, we have seen technology and techniques in the film industry become obsolete just as quickly as they are introduced, but there are plenty of ways to ensure you keep yourself ‘current’. Taking short courses and actually gaining hands-on experience with new, innovative gear is the best way to keep up to date with new technology, but subscribing to magazines, websites and even social media pages which focus on new and emerging technology is just as important. Although JMC Academy can prepare you with the most current industry professional equipment at the time of your study, it’s important that you continue to learn and understand the technological advances in such a fast-changing industry.
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