If you are a creative person who loves the idea of bringing images to life on video, you may be well suited for one of the many different types of film production careers.
Career Opportunities in Film Production
There are several different types of job opportunities for people with expertise in film production.
Movie and Television Production
Many people who plan to pursue film production careers find the idea of working on movie or television production crews to be very appealing. Most movie and television production houses have fairly large film production crews, employing several camera operators, lighting professionals, sound experts, and post-production editors.
- Movie: While movie work is perceived by many people to be very glamorous, it can actually be difficult and exhausting. Many movies are filmed in remote locations, and crew members are required to be away from home for months at a time. It's common for everyone involved in movie production, including cast and crew members, to work as much as 16 hours per day.
- Television: Some television production jobs involve filming before a live studio audience, but television film crews produce programming that will be broadcast at a later date. Television production work can be more predictable than movie production. TV shows are typically filmed in studios, which means that crew members don't have to be away from home while working. Working hours for TV crews are more predictable than for movie crews, because studio time is reserved for use during specific blocks of time.
Every television station that offers locally produced programming employs individuals for camera crew positions. The most common broadcasting jobs involve working on television news crews, operating the cameras during live broadcasts, filming news stories in the field, or a combination of both.
There are opportunities for people with video production skills to create TV ads. Large advertising agencies sometimes employ in-house film producers, while smaller agencies often subcontract with individuals or companies that specialize in commercial production.
Training for Film Production Careers
Competition can be fierce for jobs in film production. If you want to pursue a career in this field, it's a good idea to complete a formal training program that includes an internship with a television station or production company.
Many colleges and universities offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in film or video production. You don't necessarily have to major in film production to enter this field, but your program of study should include training in areas relevant to the field.
Individuals interested in working in film production often major in:
- Broadcast journalism
- Film production
- Graphic design
- Mass communication
- Video production
Jobs in Video Production
Many people start out working for television or production companies in their local area, and others decide to relocate to areas such as Los Angeles and Chicago where there are more opportunities to pursue film production careers.
Research Local Opportunities
If you're new to the field, it's a good idea to research employment opportunities with local television stations and video production companies. The most effective way to learn about job openings in your area, or in other areas where you would like to live, is often identifying potential employers and checking their websites for job postings. You can also contact each company's human resources department to inquire about application procedures.
Online Job Boards
There are a number of specialized job boards that list job openings in film production and related fields. These resources offer an excellent opportunity to learn about job opportunities across a broad geographic area.
- Media Match: This site lists film and television production jobs from across the country.
- MIDI Manufacturers Association Job Board: This is a great free online employment resource for people interested in working in sound production or editing.
- Simply Partnered: This job board features postings for a variety of different types of jobs in production and broadcasting.
- Variety Careers: You'll find numerous postings for employment in the media entertainment industries in this job board, published by Variety Magazine.
Are You Ready to Start Working in Film Production?
If you are ready to pursue a career in film production, the first thing you need to do is find a training program that will prepare you for the type of job that appeals to you most. Once you have the skills you need to gain entry-level employment in the field, it will be time for you to start applying for jobs.