Friday, March 11, 2011

How To Break Into Filmmaking By Guest Blogger, Joseph Raditch

Pic: NYTimes.com

"It's all about who you know in the entertainment industry!"

"They only hire their friends and family, that's why it's so hard to find work."

"If you don't live there, you won't be taken seriously. You'll have to move."

Yes, people complain all the time how hard it is to break into the industry of television and film. And for many, it is a valid complaint. But obviously, it can be done. You're reading the blog of someone who did it and is willing to share all the good, some of the bad, and glimpses of the ugly.

While on LinkedIn recently a fellow group member, Joseph Raditch, raised the discussion about how to break into the film industry. Even with film production experience, he'd experienced what most of have...a lot of closed doors. So he reached out to fellow industry peers for some insightful advice and what he received was helpful.

"This is information I wished I had when I graduated from film school. I was asked to share some of that information with you," wrote Raditch to me in an email.

After sharing my experience with him on LinkedIn, I asked Raditch to share some of the comments and tips he received on the social network here on Hollywood As I Live & Work. Hopefully, these tips will help those of you still bruising your nose on closed doors, chasing mirages of opportunity, and feeling defeated in your efforts to break into the entertainment world, especially as a filmmaker. So take Raditch's helpful tips and work them!

1. GO TO SCHOOL: There are two schools of thought in the independent film world that boil down to this; go to film school or make a movie. My advice? Go to film school. Both endeavors require money, however, most state colleges have a film department. Go there and make friends, partners, crew-members, and even investors.

2. MAKE THAT MOVE OR PRETEND TO: If you’re looking for a job with a production company in LA or NY, either move there or get a P.O. box within the city. While it is most unfair, production companies are known to toss out résumés from people who do not live within the state. If you can’t afford to make the move, pretend.

3. INTERN: Internships are rare, treat them with respect if you get one. Most jobs require experience, experience is gained through internships. Sadly, most internships within the business are given out as favors to high rollers.

4. PRO BONO: Work for nothing, at least once. There are opportunities out there, they just don’t pay upfront. However, you’re looking at a business that doesn’t pay upfront without a clause within a contract. In this case, the clause is networking and showing off your skills. People will want to work with you if they know you have the skills.

Many of you have paid your dues already and have become producers, directors, etc. But remember the time when YOU delivered the doughnuts, walked the executive's overly energetic dog down Sunset Blvd, cleaned the production office refrigerators...YOU were in, but it didn't feel like it. It wasn't where you, and experienced professional, wanted to be, but it was at least a start.

So pass this blog post on to those trying to get where you once were. Somebody helped you break in long ago. Return the favor! Thanks Joseph!

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