Tips and AdviceThe Popular Entry-Level Positions in the Film Industry

The Popular Entry-Level Positions in the Film Industry


The Most Popular Entry-Level Positions in Film Production

For individuals looking for work on a film or television set trying to figure out the best entry-level employment opportunities or how to get their foot in the door, you’ve arrived at the correct spot. Professional film sets and most independent productions usually have a hierarchical structure in place, with defined reporting lines. A crew specialty career has a distinct path: apprenticeship or internship, low- and high-level assistant, and then department head. The following entry-level jobs in the film business are among the most common sectors. Still, any aspect of production might provide apprentice or volunteer experience, particularly professional costume or prop design.

Most aspiring filmmakers begin by working on short films, student projects, and modest independent features before progressing to major-budget studio movies. Your background and interests determine which film industry path and entry-level employment are best for you. What do you like about the film? Where do your professional interests lie? Continue reading to get inspired and started.

1. Production Assistant (PA)

As a PA, the most natural place to start in film production is at the bottom; many renowned filmmakers have begun their careers by performing all of the tasks this position entails. PAs are essential on large-budget movies because they provide assistance at every production phase and are sometimes known as “runners.”

During the pre-production stage, PAs assist with paperwork, duplicating documents, and performing administrative tasks in studio offices. They help move equipment, deliver meals and coffees orders to the talent on the set, and accompany them around the site during shooting; a PA with a valid driver’s license is a precious asset. Finally, there are postproduction assistants who work in any or all departments and are involved in the project’s completion. PA employment, while challenging, is an excellent approach to get familiar with many aspects of the page-to-screen process if you have no prior onset expertise.

2. Associate/Assistant Producer

Film production jobs range from modest to significant studios and blockbusters, with opportunities available at every level. On a project-by-project basis, aspiring producers must acquire onset expertise and establish their CVs to transition from one to the other. If producing is your thing, consider becoming a line producer’s apprentice, assisting established film producers, or participating in internship programs at significant studios or networks.

3. Apprentice/Assistant Editor

Video editing is a popular skill to have. While apprenticing or shadowing film editors makes sense as a professional path, this area of postproduction may also be learned in other mediums; consider freelancing as a video editor for YouTube and other content producers as an example. On a technical level, becoming an editor in the film and television industry.

4. Camera Operator/Assistant

Starting as a PA, you may work your way up to a cinematography career by beginning as an equipment assistant during professional shoots. Camera operators are hardware experts, familiar with cameras, lenses, and all necessary equipment to shoot a scene. First camera assistants are in charge of getting a shot and its subjects in focus, just like second camera assistants.

5. Boom Operator/Sound Trainee

You could begin as a boom operator onset or a sound trainee in the postproduction phase of a project if you enjoy working in sound. The primary job in the audio department on large movie sets is generally the sound mixer, which manages personnel and equipment to ensure that an end product’s audio is cohesive.

6. 1st/2nd Assistant Director

Perhaps you want to one day sit in the director’s chair as a film crew member. A director’s career path can be either ascending on professional projects or launching your films, as it does with most of these other production areas. There are apprenticeship and assistant tracks for 1st AD 2nd AD.

7. Screenwriter

Screenwriting is the most fundamental aspect of filmmaking, after all. Writers’ assistants aid in the operation of film and television writing rooms. However, screenwriting can also be considered an entry-level profession in that anyone may write down or begin typing dialogue to produce their first draft. A well-written script might take you to a career.

The film industry is a cutthroat one, implying more possible workers than available openings. Even obtaining entry-level employment takes hard work and dedication, after which you must continue to hustle and network your way up the ranks. It can be a rewarding career path for those who enjoy filmmaking; if that’s you, keep reading.


Megan Diane
Hi, I'm Megan Browne, the Head of Partnerships at Project Casting - a job board for the entertainment industry. As Head of Partnerships, I help businesses find the best talent for their influencer campaigns, photo shoots, and film productions. Creating these partnerships has enabled me to help businesses scale and reach their true potential. I'm excited to continue driving growth by connecting people with projects they're passionate about.

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