How to Get Started in a Film or Television Career

Getting Started:


One of the hardest things about starting a film or television career is getting that first job. But, it doesn’t have to be that difficult, especially if you’re armed with the right information. What follows below is a list of various articles and reference materials that will help you navigate your way toward getting your entertainment career off the ground.

What Type of Career Are You Looking For?


Start by narrowing down the selection of career choices. There are literally hundreds of entertainment careers. Many of which can be quite lucrative and fulfilling. But you should know what you’re looking for before you start looking. Here are some career profiles of some of the more popular film and television career choices:


Make Up Artist

Casting Director



Film Director

More Film and Television Career Profiles

Assessing Your Skills:


What type of schooling does your particular career choice require? What types of things are you good at? You’ll be surprised (and maybe happy) to know that most people in the entertainment field do NOT have any sort of specialized training. Most of the training they received was while working on the job for which I strongly believe there is no real substitute. But, here are a few pieces that will help you figure out which careers best match your abilities as well as helping you to get over the fears of not having enough experience, or figuring out whether or not film school is for you:

Assess Your Skills: You want to find out what you’re good at. What innate skills do you have that you can immediately apply to a film or television career?



Valuable Skills You Might Not Know You Have: You probably took a number of classes that at the time you thought were useless. You might be surprised to know that many of these skills will come in quite handy as you hone in on your entertainment career path.

This is a question most people entering the entertainment realm ask and this article helps to provide an answer to that age old question.

Where do You Start Looking For Jobs?:


With the advent of the internet, finding jobs in the entertainment business became quite a bit easier. It used to be that the only way to find a job in the biz was through word of mouth. Now, most production companies have more work than they can handle and try to fill these positions with the most talented people they can find. Here are a few resources you may want to check out to see if you can find an entry level job that’s right for you:

Variety Job Classifieds: Variety is one of the two biggest trade mags and has a great jobs section each day.



The Hollywood Reporter Jobs Classifieds: The Hollywood Reporter is another great resource for finding entry level work. Be sure to check their production listings for phone numbers of the production offices. You can often contact them directly to see if they’re in the market for someone with your particular skill set.



Major Media Company Job Boards: Most of the major media companies (Disney, NBC-Universal, Warner Brothers, etc.) have pretty thorough job boards as well as a list of available internships.

How do I Write a Resume?


When looking for your first job in the entertainment field, you will often be required to provide some form of resume. Even if the only other job you’ve had was a part time gig at the local fast food restaurant, you can build a solid resume that will help you get your foot in the door. Here are a few resources to help you build a high quality resume that will get results:

Don’t Lie on Your Resume! One of the worst things you can do is lie on a resume, so don’t.



Writing Your Resume Resources: Fellow Guide, Dawn Rosenberg McKay gives some great tips on how to go about writing a truly effective resume.

They All Started Somewhere:


Here’s some good news — the vast majority of people who work in the film and television industry had no prior experience, no prodigy-like talent, and even fewer had an uncle with the last name of Coppola or Spielberg. Most people approached their entertainment career the same way you are — one day at a time. So, don’t worry if the “big break” doesn’t come in your first day, month or even year. Remember the three P’s of just about any film or television career — stay passionate, persistent and patient and you will dramatically increase your odds of succeeding in the entertainment industry.


Video Editing: 5 Steps to Becoming a Video Editor

Ever want to work in the making of a movie or television show? Editors are responsible for creating the final cut of a film, commercial, television show or other type of video. They work with the directors to arrange the film and cut scenes together.

What Is a Video Editor?


As a video editor, you could work with many different media forms, such as television, motion picture or Internet-based entertainment. Primarily, you would take the raw footage provided by the cinematographer, and edit and combine it with sounds to produce the final version. This final cut would encompass specific concepts and ideas from both the director and your own editing suggestions.


Step One: Join an Audio Visual Club


Many video editors have some basic understanding of video production even before they reach college. Becoming involved in your high school’s audio visual (AV) club can help you learn the basic editing techniques that you will build on later into the career. Additionally, AV organizations often provide you a chance to encounter editing tools and software for the first time.


Step Two: Take Computer Classes


Gone are the days when the only way to edit film was by cutting it and taping the pieces together. Today, many cinematographers and editors use digital computer-aided software to bring video to life. Learning computer basics is important for you to understand the editing software needed later on in your career.


Step Three: Graduate With a Bachelor’s Degree


A bachelor’s degree is the primary method of obtaining the education and skills needed as an editor. A Bachelor of Arts in Film and Video Production program trains you to use the equipment that video editors rely upon in their profession. Examples of coursework would include film theory, script analysis, media ethics, production, feature screenwriting and post-production.


Step Four: Complete an Internship


You will begin your career through an internship during or after college. Completing an internship as a video editor provides you with the opportunity to apply skills, build a resume and obtain professional recommendations. Internships vary in their requirements and job duties. If you were to apply for an internship after college, you may be required to show a portfolio of work, references and understanding of editing software.


Step Five: Become a Video Editor


Becoming a video editor requires current knowledge of the trends in film and video technology. Many video editors move directly into their first salaried position from an internship. As you gain more experience in the field, you may receive recommendations for your previous work, which can lead to more job opportunities.

Career in Media Sector

An Overview of Media Industry            

• Most exciting and versatile industry

(What makes it exciting and versatile?)

* One of the most influential industries directly connected with the mass audience

What is media industry?

• First started with the mass distribution of newspapers and magazines. Today, the definition of media has changed and media has many sub forms like Broadcasting with the help of TV and radio, Entertainment with use of audio visuals: films and videos, internet that includes blogs, forums, music, news, then publishing of books, papers, magazines, and other interactive media.

Purpose of media

• Provide information and generate public opinion

• Provide entertainment, education, advocacy among others.

• Thus the scope of a Career in media industry is vast.

Market Watch

• Market analysis and research shows, Indian media industry has projected size of 7.7 billion US$. Moreover, it is estimated to be over 18 billion US$ by 2012.

• The television sector has a 42 % share and print media has 30 % share.

• The Indian entertainment industry is one of the fastest growing in the world giving 1000 films per year. It is the largest output by any media industry in the world.

Media Group in India

• Some of the reputed media companies in India are- Times Group which owns Indiatimes, Filmfare, Planet M, Times of India and many other brands, Adlabs, Zeetelefilms, UTV, Nimbus Communications, Sahara Group, Mukta Arts, Shrinagar Group, News Corporation, Sony, Walt Disney, Sun Network, BMG, Universal, Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, Manorama etc

Influx of foreign publications in India

• Maxim

• Marie Claire

• Cosmopolitan

• Elle

• Conde Nast

• Vogue

• Currently the marketing and distribution of facsimile editions of Fortune and Time magazine is done by India Today group.

• On the newspaper front, Mint, a business news paper of Hindustan Times Group, has exclusive partnership with Wall Street Journal.

• Deccan Chronicle Ltd. has ventured with The New York Time Co. to distribute the fax edition of The International Herald Tribune.

Print and electronic media

• Print Media: Newspapers, magazines, journals etc. Career option are artists, editors, graphic designers, visualisers, photographers, cartoonists and many more.

• Candidates with exceptional skills in designing, photography and writing along with a good academic background face no difficulty in acquiring a good job in this field.

• Electronic Media:

Television and the radio.

• Career options: News reader, anchor/television host, presenter, producer, programmer, script writer, videographer, stylists, RJs or radio jockeys, production assistant, broadcasters, editors, animation experts, computer graphic designers, set designers and many more.

Career Opportunities

Due to a boom in India’s media industry, the nature of jobs in the sector has been transformed.

Radio jockeys, actors, musicians, dancers, journalists, video technology creators and managers to accounts planning, cameramen, editors, soundmen and public relations managers, this sector offers career opportunities for all.

Career Opportunities in Mass Communications: journalism and editing jobs for television as well as print media.

Career Opportunities in Television, Film and Multimedia: Creating new ideas for stories and concepts to graphics and animation, etc.

Career Opportunities for Writers: Political writers, writers for travel, history, places, food etc.


Career Opportunities in Other Segments Like Live Entertainment: Event management professionals

Types of jobs

• Job opportunities are available with:

• Film and television production companies, distribution companies,

• Publishing houses,

• Radio channels,

• News channels,

• Event management companies, etc.

Required Trait and Skill

• Creativity and innovative capabilities.

• A combination of skills and traits like confidence and pleasing personality, patience, teamwork and excellent communication skills

• A career in publishing industry, especially editing, requires extraordinary command over language, attention to grammar and an eye for detail.

• Physical stamina for journalists. And work hard to distinguish oneself from the average performer in the industry.


The presidential election campaign has stirred debate over the role of government, including taxpayer support for public service media. Much coverage has focused on possible cuts to shows like Sesame Street, and its iconic Big Bird. Long-time public broadcaster and executive Bryon Knight reminds us that funding for public media buys us more than Big Bird. It supports a locally based system of public service that is accountable not to advertisers and shareholders. It supports a service accountable to all citizens.


It’s not entirely about the money.  It’s also about accountability.


During the first Presidential debate, Governor Mitt Romney said “I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS, I like PBS, I love Big Bird. I actually like you too (Jim Lehrer).  But I am not going to borrow money from China to pay for it.”


And so the headlines read:


“Big Bird becomes a big deal in the political fray.”


“It’s not Wall Street you have to worry about it’s Sesame Street.”


“Million Muppet march in Washington D.C.”


No matter who wins the debates or the election the importance of public support for public broadcasting is about much more than federal tax money.

The Money


Public Broadcasting has long been a target of conservative politics.  They see it as wasteful spending, supporting the “liberal bias” of public television and public radio programming.  In the past twenty years many pieces of legislation have been introduced to reduce or eliminate federal funding for public broadcasting.  Each time members of Congress, including Republicans, have voted to continue the one – 100th of one percent of the federal budget which supports local public broadcasting through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  This year CPB received $444 million dollars from Congress, for non-commercial educational broadcast stations, less than a dollar and a half per person per year.


Depending on the size of a station’s budget the amount of federal support a local station receives ranges from less than 10% to more than 30% of the station’s financial support.  Sesame Street is produced by Sesame Workshop which is a non-profit organization, receiving funding from public television stations.  Public Television stations purchase the rights to broadcast Sesame Street through the PBS National Program Service.  Sesame Street could survive without federal funding, even though it would be a struggle, so could public broadcasting.  But, it is not just about the money, it is about public ownership of the service of public broadcasting.


Accountability and Service


Public Television and Public Radio receive most of their funding directly from you, “the public” in the form of viewer and listener support.  You are very generous because you value the service of non- commercial, educational broadcasting.  Even if you are not a contributor you have a stake in public broadcasting because you are a tax-payer.  It is all part of public support for public media.


Much more important than the amount of money which public broadcasting receives from Congress, is the public ownership and accountability which comes with it. It is the ingredient which sets public broadcasting apart from all other media.  Tax support makes public broadcasting non-profit, accountable to the public, and defines public broadcasting’s mission as a service not a business.  Tax support is a wise investment.   It makes public broadcasting accountable to you.


Service, not profit, is the motivator for the 1300 local public radio and television stations in America.  Public broadcasting’s product is quality, informative programming.  Public broadcasting doesn’t have to attract the largest audience possible to sell advertising; its product is quality programming.  Take away the tax support and Congress takes away more than the money.  A privatized public broadcasting service will have less incentive to operate as a public service and more incentive to adopt new business plans which will look more like commercial broadcasting.  Public broadcasting’s success will depend more on its ability to compete for audience and attract corporate support.  The change will be gradual but noticeable.


As a tax supported institution, public broadcasting is accountable to you.  It measures its success by the service it provides you.  The small federal investment in public broadcasting ensures its accountability to the public and ensures the continuation of its core value of public service.


Public Trust


Public broadcasters know that their most important asset is public trust.  There are some services which tax payers feel good about supporting; public broadcasting is one of them. The service of public broadcasting is one of the most valued by the American public.  In survey after survey public broadcasting ranks high in value returned for tax dollars.  It is a trusted source for news, public affairs, education, information and children’s programming.  It is a valued return for a small tax investment that sets public broadcasting apart from commercial and cable broadcasting.


The bottom line is federal support buys much more than support for Big Bird. Federal support buys an entire locally based system of public service media that is accountable not to advertisers or share holders, it is accountable to you.



Photographing everyday life is one of my biggest creative passions! There is just something so special about capturing the things that make today wonderful. I’ve been photographing my daily life for nearly ten years and I love looking back on random moments from years past. In the days of film photography people were afraid to “waste” film. They chose to take more posed photos of groups of people and less small memories of each day. We’re so lucky to live in the digital age where you can literally take 100 photos on your phone today and only keep your 3 favorites. I always think back to my high school self (who spent a lot of allowance money on packs of film) and imagine how blown away I would be if someone would have told me that in just 10 years time I’d have a phone that took better photos than my camera. The resources we have at our fingertips are truly incredible! Here are 5 tips for capturing your everyday life…

1. When In Doubt, Bring Your Camera.


I try to bring my digital SLR with me as much as possible. There are so many random photos that I would have missed if I hadn’t been lugging my Canon with me everywhere I go. I have quite a few camera bags to switch out (some that double as purses) and that’s super helpful! It’s always easier to leave it at home, but I’m determined not to let any dust collect on my camera. I never regret bringing it along!

Here’s a photo that I captured this week while at lunch with my sister. I loved the way the light was coming through the blinds. It’s always worth it to bring your camera and when that’s not possible, rely on your phone camera!

2. Zoom In


Instead of focusing only on wide shots of people, take time to zoom in and capture little details! Each day there are countless expressions, moments and pretty vignettes in your life that you might not remember if you don’t caputure them. Always remember to zoom in and photograph the little things you love in life!

3. Be Weird

There are little things that make you unique. Be sure to document these quirks and special qualities! The photo above was taken the morning after Jeremy proposed to me. We get coffee together almost every morning, but this morning was extra special! I am glad I have this photo and it means more to me than most of the posed photos we took that day. One of my family members even commented that it was “kinda weird”, but what matters is that it tells a little piece of our story!

4. Cell Phone Photos Are A-O.K.!


Cell phone photos have completely changed the photography world in the past five years. The quality has quickly gone from something you couldn’t really print to something that, at times, rivals traditional photography. It’s pretty exciting! I often post cell phone photos on my blog and have a basket of them printed out on my coffee table (I shared about ways I display iPhone photos in my home here). There is nothing wrong with using your phone as your secondary, or even primary, camera! It’s a great way to capture everyday life because it’s always with you.

5. There Is No Such Thing as a “Wasted” Photo


When in doubt, snap the photo! The above photo was taken in an airport while we waited for a flight. I asked Jeremy to hold up his coffee because it said “Jerry”. To my delight the photo that resulted is one of my favorite random photos of him. Sometimes the most unlikely moments can produce the most special images!

I hope you’ve picked up a few helpful hints from this article. Taking everyday life photos is one of the healthiest creative habits to excercise. If you’re not currently in this routine, why not try some today? 

Entertainment Journalist

The process of news writing begins with an assignment from the editor or a pitch from the writer that is accepted and approved. The assignment is a general outline that the writer will adhere to while investigating the story, which could be a brief interview with a recording artist about the start of their summer tour or an in-depth look at the complicated financial affects of streaming services on cable television subscriptions. Based on the outline, the journalist researches the topic to gather background information and decides on appropriate contacts to include as sources for the article. The rule is that a credible article needs at least three sources, or quoted individuals, and at least two differing opinions represented beside the evidentiary facts. As we have been taught in grade school, all informative articles must explain who, what, where, when, why, and how. Beyond that, the journalist makes decisions about how best to frame the article to make it compelling and interesting. A categorical listing of facts is not terribly interesting to read; it is the writer’s job to breath life and creativity into the story.

After collecting background information and speaking with sources, the journalist formulates a first draft. This is only a rough version of the article. Every writer is different, but most iterate the copy at least twice before sending it to the editor. It is the editor’s job to review the article for spelling, grammar, and style and then to work with the writer to trim the article and perfect the content. At this stage, it may even be necessary for the writer to gather new background information and contact additional sources. Again, the writer makes necessary changes and submits the draft to the editor. When he or she is satisfied with the story, the editor will approve the story for publication.

Skills & Education

A college degree in journalism, English, or creative writing is recommended for this career and should include courses in non-fiction writing, reporting, new media journalism, editing, and mass communication law. Writers must have a strong command of the English language and the fundamentals of constructing a compelling article. Familiarity with basic HTML and CSS is encouraged. As the news media makes the next evolutionary leap to a web-focused model, contributors should be familiar with content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, and Tumblr and be knowledgeable about embedding rich media content like videos and podcasts. Excellent computer skills are necessary. Experience within a particular segment of the entertainment industry is beneficial, such as previous employment in film, television, music, live production, or video game development.

What to Expect

Like most jobs worth having, the career field for entertainment journalists is highly competitive. The traditional print media is shrinking, as established publications struggle to stay profitable against free online news outlets. Salaries for print journalists have seen a decline in recent years, but pay is based on experience and the size of the company. On the flip side, numerous opportunities exist with online publications covering general news and specific entertainment industries. Of course, the most appealing perk of being an entertainment journalist is the press pass and behind-the-scenes access to events. Most publications will consider applications submitted via email with resumes accompanied by a cover letter and examples of written work. Generally, you do not need to wait to find a specific job opening, simply contact the editor or human resources department.

Once hired, writers can expect to work erratic hours, possibly requiring significant travel. Though a typical workweek is nine to five and Monday through Friday, a certain story may have you out late at night or well before the sun rises in the morning. To gain experience and begin to compile work samples, volunteer for your high school or college newspaper and maintain a professional blog. Freelance writing opportunities are also available, allowing the writer to work for numerous publications on contract.

How to Make a Short Film     

Anyone can now make a short film—but if you want to make a good film it will take time, preparation, and some expense. But if this is something you really want to do, putting the time in now will make all the difference later.

Do not trust what you see in the view finder.

1. Remember: Anyone can record an image, but that is not making a film.

2. Look for people who have the equipment below and see if you can borrow or rent it if you can’t afford to buy it. See if they’ll help you with your movie.

3. Learn the following features of your camera

Focus ring

White balance


4. Get yourself a copy of the Filmmaker’s Handbook by Steven Ascher and Edward Pincus. Read it—they explain everything you will need to know.

5. Narrative or Documentary? Download a free script-writing program. A good one is Celtx.

If you are planning to make a fiction film, then it’s narrative. Think of a basic story idea. You can get ideas for films from things you read in daily life, short stories, newspapers, etc.

6. Outline your idea. Write out your script, using Celtx; if you have never written a script before, pick up a book that explains script writing and character development, and that—along with the Celtx program—will be all you will need.

7. Write out your script:

8. Consider the following points when writing your script:

Character development

Plot development

Inciting incident

Character arc

9.Story-board each shot in the film. Decide what each shot in the movie is going to be. For example, wide shot, over the shoulder, tracking shot, close up, extreme close up, medium wide shot. crane shot, dolly shot, etc.

10. Decide what you need for each scene. This is called a breakdown sheet.

11. Determine the setting of the scene. Is it external(EXT) or internal(INT)?

12. Determine the equipment you are going to need.

13. Determine the actors and crew.

14. Determine what props, make-up costumes, etc., will be used.

15. Start casting for cast and crew for the movie.

For crew you are going to need as many people as possible, but at least the following

Camera Man

Director of photography

Sound recorder

Costume and makeup person.

Craft service

Someone who knows something about lighting


16. Provide food for your crew and expense money and a copy of the film.

17. Complete principle photography.

18. Edit the film; you do not need to use an expensive program at all. With the right skills, a free program that came with the computer can make stunning films. Do not think you need to use the most expensive program out there!

19. Show the film to friends and family and/or post it to YouTube. If you are serious about filmmaking, submit it to film festivals and send it to film agencies.

20. Have a good time!