How to Break into the Film Industry

The film industry is a profession that most people automatically write off as impossible to get into. “Good luck with that,” people will say with a smirk when you tell them of your intentions. “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know; and you don’t know anyone.”

It’s true that creative professions are tough to get into. Unlike our more business-minded counterparts, like accountants or lawyers (who know exactly what they have to do to be successful), the film industry has absolutely no guarantees and no clear checklist to victory. Film professionals are completely on their own when finding a path to success and it can be very intimidating, especially since no two career paths are alike.

Nay-Sayers

To make things worse, you won’t find a lot of support out there, in fact, people will tend to try to spoil your dreams and make you think twice before going for it. There are a lot of reasons why people do this, but not all are malicious.

People close to you, like your friends and family, will sometimes try to protect you from getting hurt. They care about you and don’t want to see you struggle. They don’t realize that what you really need is their support.

Some people will be jealous of your courage because they always dreamed of doing it, but never did. They will make it sound like the film world is entirely unjust and only a chosen few succeed.

Worst of all, some people are just plain salty. They may have faced failure in their life and have concluded that if they can’t have victory, they won’t let anyone else have it either. If you are going to break into the film industry, you have to expect these kinds of negative influences on your dreams and tune them out.

Here is my theory on hard-to-break-into industries: the more competition the more saltiness; the more saltiness the more hopeless people feel; the more hopeless they feel the less they try; and the less they try the easier it is for a truly focused person to succeed. I honestly believe that the film industry has not become harder to break into, but easier. Through turmoil and mediocrity, quality individuals rise to the top.

Get your House in Order

If you have decided that you are going to take the plunge, it is important to get rid of as much resistance to your goal as possible. The most common form of resistance is debt. The film industry does not pay well at first; in fact, your first few jobs may be for free. Therefore, if you have debt, you will be eaten alive.

It was three years after I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in film that I took my first job. It was painful to work a non-creative job in order to pay off my debt, but I had to dig myself out of the hole I had created before I could pursue my dream.

If you can enter the film industry for the love of the work instead of a need for money, you will have a great advantage over most of your competition. Believe it or not, people in the film industry become slaves to their jobs just like everyone else. They find themselves in a position where they are forced to take jobs in order to pay their bills. People who are free to pick and choose their work have negotiating leverage to not only get better work, but to get work that will further their careers.

Spend time developing this freedom before you get locked into the life of a starving artist. Pay off your debt and develop some sort of passive income. If you are a creative person this advice will not seem sexy, but it will free you to be able to pursue your passion the way most people dream of their whole lives.

Microcosm of the Entrepreneurial Universe

I love the film industry because it behaves like a miniature, super-charged economy. Because film professionals are independent contractors and film projects only last three months to a year at a time, this industry is in a constant state of flux. Each movie is an entrepreneurial venture with so much motion and turmoil, things tend to happen at light speed. Success in the film industry can happen almost overnight compared to the overall economy.

Creativity is not enough to make it. You have to be an entrepreneur. This means that you have to learn some business skills to put your ideas to work. Entrepreneurs have learned to master the creative/logical duality in their own minds. Creative people are amazing idea generators, but tend to lack in logical skills like decisiveness, persistence, and follow-through.

My First Film Job

After I had paid off my debt, I quit a great airline job and started sending my resume to production offices for upcoming film projects in Austin. I didn’t have any experience, but I figured that I had enough on my resume to show a producer that I could quickly adapt. Of about ten resumes sent, I was only contacted by one person: legendary low-budget producer Damon Chang who was setting up a movie called Hallettsville featuring Gary Busey on less than a million dollar budget.

Damon didn’t say much, but told me that he needed help setting up the production office and that I could help paint the walls if I wanted to. The only pay he was offering was pizza for lunch, but it could possibly lead to a slightly more stable unpaid job.

I showed up the next day and helped along with four other volunteers. We had a good time and took pride in our painting, but couldn’t quite finish the job in one day. I volunteered to stop by the next day to finish up.

When I finished painting, some of the other producers were trying to set up about twenty desks that had just come off a truck in pieces. I grabbed my cordless drill to help and soon inherited the unpaid job of setting up desks.

Since it was so early in pre-production I had a lot of time alone with Damon and the other producers while I helped to set up the office. I didn’t know a thing about how movies were made, so everything was fascinating to me. Some of the producers were on the phone with Hollywood agents trying to put together a cast while Damon was interviewing people to fill about fifty positions on the crew. Since I had only ever heard of writers, directors, producers, and actors; I had no idea that all of these other crew positions even existed.

Humility

In the film industry, it is important to understand that no matter how creative you are, or how many blockbusters you have in your head, the person who might hire you doesn’t care. Producers are just trying to fill jobs on their crew with competent people who will carry out the vision of the director.

That being said, the easiest way to get a job in the industry with no prior experience is to take the job that no one else wants. This means lowering yourself to getting someone else coffee, taking out the trash, painting the walls, etc. If you can put your pride aside enough to do these jobs with a smile, you will be far ahead of most. A little humility will start you off on the right foot.

After a couple of days helping out around the office, Damon pulled me aside for a mini interview. I explained to him that I had zero experience but I would do anything he needed just so that I could be around to learn. He told me that he could usually tell within a couple of days whether or not a person was fit for the industry, and that he was willing to give me a chance. I think that humility plays a big part in whether or not a person passes Damon’s test.

Integrity

My first official title was “Office Intern,” meaning that I was the assistant to the Production Office Coordinator. The job was still unpaid, but I moved up from assembling desks to making copies and running to the store. The first day I met my new boss, Mary Beth Meadows, she told me that half of success in this industry was just showing up. She explained that since film is such an unstructured enterprise, dependable people are hard to find.

I was surprised to hear that some people were so flaky, but looking back, I realized that out of the five of us who started out painting the walls, only two remained. The others had found excuses not to show up. All I did to get a title was come to work on time.

Integrity is the value of doing what you say you are going to do. It is a very simple and subtle quality, but extremely powerful. Following through on a promise, no matter how small, can give you authority and respect in an area where you previously had none.

For example a person who shows up to work when they say they will, returns people’s calls when they say they will, and completes the tasks they accept, has integrity. This type of dependability is rare in the business world and like gold in the film industry.

Even though I had survived the first cut, I didn’t realize how powerful integrity really was until I got my first chance to prove myself. One of the producers, Dustin Weaver, needed some locations scouts and pulled aside another intern and myself. He split up about ten possible locations between the two of us and gave us the same assignment to scout the locations and report back the next day.

Doing exactly what I was told, I took pictures of the locations and sent them to Dustin in an email the next day with a short take on each site. Shockingly, my counterpart called in sick the next day and didn’t follow through on her assignment. What she didn’t realize was that Dustin was looking for a locations assistant and while she flunked the interview, I was hired the next day.

How a Movie is Made

I didn’t know a thing about what went on behind the scenes in a movie before Hallettsville, but the movie served as my film school. I was most interested with the duality that exists between those who are “above the line” and those who are “below the line.”

The people who are “above the line” on a set are the ones you are most likely to hear about. They are the ones with creative input. This includes the writer, main actors, director, producers; and sometimes the assistant director, casting director, art director, or others. These people usually get credited at the beginning of the movie and sometimes share in the royalties.

People who are “below the line” fill in the jobs that complete the day-to-day tasks that are required to make the creative vision become a reality. The entire system is set up so that the creative people can concentrate most of their energy on being creative while everyone else around them makes it possible.

The interesting thing is that the people above the line are not necessarily more experienced than their below the line counterparts. In our movie, some of the people above the line had actually dropped out of film school. To get above the line, you need either have the resources to make a movie ($$$), or the creativity to make it happen.

This is another example of how the film industry is a microcosm of the entrepreneurial environment. Business are created by the partnership between investors and entrepreneurs (above the line). Once the business is set up, employees are hired to carry out the daily tasks. Getting into the ownership of a company is not as easy as working your way to the top. A movie is just a mini-company. To own a company, you must have the vision and resources to make a leap of faith on your own.

Just like in the “real world” people in the film industry can also get stuck in the rat race. If you are in debt, and are forced to take job after job that you don’t necessarily want, you never get the chance to take a breath and work towards your goal.

Very few people get above the line by working their way through the ranks. While positions that require a lot of experience in the trenches, like assistant director, line producer, and director of photography, can be negotiated above the line; if you want to be a writer, director, producer, or actor, you need to realize that these positions are not typically achieved by being promoted from below the line.

If you want to be a writer, write. If you want to be a director, direct. If you want to be an actor, act. Learn as much as you can by working in different departments on other people’s movies, but take time in between jobs to work on your own projects, no matter how small. If you don’t have the financial freedom to do this, your chances for success will be greatly diminished.

Qualities of a Film Industry Professional

Now that I have confused everyone on how to get to the top, I will say this: even though the path to the top is not clearly defined, the best place to start is at the bottom. We have already discussed how humility and integrity can help you. Here are some other qualities that can set you apart from the crowd.

Work Ethic

During production, work days can be as long as 16 or 18 hours. This can be tough and requires a lot of stamina. A strong work ethic means that you are the first to volunteer to help and the last to leave at night. Cheerfully offer help to others in your down time, even if they are in a different department. Not only does this show your commitment to the project, but it might land you your next job. Don’t complain about the long hours, because it may cost you your next job.

Organization

If you are a creative person, chances are your are highly unorganized. A missed deadline in a film can mean thousands of dollars down the tube at best, and the failure of the project, at worst. It is helpful to find some sort of organizational tool like a computer calendar or a paper planner. I use a combination of the two. You can read about my system here.

Creative Problem Solving

As an assistant, your first responsibility is to do what you are told without argument; but if you see that something can be done more efficiently, don’t be afraid to suggest it to your superiors. Just remember, their word is the last word. If your idea gets shot down, be a trooper and go with the flow.

Take responsibility

Just like in business, there are different departments in a movie and it is easy to blame a different department or an assistant when things don’t go right. People on the way to the top take personal responsibility for not only their own department, but the whole project. While you can’t be in all places at once, take ownership and work closely with your co-workers. Make teamwork, not excuses.

My First Paid Job

I was only assistant to the locations department for a few weeks before I got my next big promotion. I had shown enough to Damon for him to take a chance on me. He was having trouble finding a Transportation Captain within his budget, so he rolled the dice and offered the job to me. Although I would be making just $75 a day, I would be responsible for the coordination of a fleet of movie trucks, star trailers, generators, vans, and cars between several different locations on our project.

I gladly accepted the job, even though transportation had nothing to do with my eventual goal to become a director. I was not going to pass up a job of greater responsibility and a chance to be close to the action. The six weeks of production were grueling and stressful, but we made it through without any major hitches.

In my downtime, I was able to mingle with every other person on the crew and make some amazing contacts. It was my own film-school condensed into a few months. I barely made any money, but the experience I gained was invaluable.

If you are thinking about the film industry, don’t let anyone stop you. Get your house in order and hit the trail running. If your passion is film, there is no better place to live it than in the film industry.


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206 Comments

  1. Steve P February 5, 2013 at 1:02 am #

    First of all, I appreciate your positive attitude and perseverance. However, the fact that you were paid only $75/day to do such a degree of transportation coordination is despicable. While you make it sound “humble” to do this kind of work, I find it shameful that a producer – who is making so much more money than you probably realize – is taking advantage of folks. To me personally, Damon Chang is a Schmuck. Interesting how, according to iMDB, he hasn’t done any work in a while.

    I work in the film industry…it’s shameful how some producer’s run their projects.

    Reply

  2. Margo January 6, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

    “Here is my theory on hard-to-break-into industries: the more competition the more saltiness; the more saltiness the more hopeless people feel; the more hopeless they feel the less they try; and the less they try the easier it is for a truly focused person to succeed.”

    I love that part! I am keeping it with me forever, to keep me focused and motivated. Thanks!

    Reply

  3. Libby M December 11, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    I’m 21 stuck in a day job making not much and not happy. I graduated when I was 17 and have put off going to college because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I’ve always wanted to go into film, specifically a film editor, but like you said thought it impossible and have been killing myself for four years trying to figure out what I want to do, since I thought film was out of my reach. This article has given me confidence to try but I have 2 concerns.
    1St. A resume…I don’t have anything related to the film industry on mine. Just random jobs. Mostly daycare.
    And 2ND, I don’t mind working for free for a while but what do I do about living expenses? I live on my own and support myself. Don’t get along with my parents too we’ll so moving back with them is out of the question. I could always save for awhile but what if im working for free longer than what I expected and saved for?
    Please reply! Id greatly appreciate any advice!

    Reply

    • GT January 25, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

      If you love in LA, you can apply for entry-level jobs that pay minimum wage, but maybe that is enough to pay rent with roommates.

      Reply

  4. Khalid Hakim June 2, 2012 at 2:26 am #

    I have realized at age 28 that I too want to break into the Film Industry. I am interested in acting, writing and directing but have zero experience in it. I have only acted in a couple of school plays but I enjoyed it alot. I live in United Arab Emirates so I don’t know where to start. Any help or guide would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply

  5. hashiralph shakuluh May 12, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    The wonderer has always been and still is what i love to do the joy of my heart the very sun shine in my eyes as a boy, as man ,as child i have been wondering about the bredth and the length of the wide , wide world i really to be an actor in my life please will welcome your reply

    Reply

  6. Jesse May 3, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    I know that this post is fairly old but it has been a life long dream to act in a film im currently aged 20 have never acted other then in drama at school but would love to be given a chance i believe i could do great the only problem is i live in AUS and where i live there is no chance to make it anywhere, what do i do :( if anyone could help me please do

    Reply

  7. Mandi April 30, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    I know I have to start somewhere. Where can I search? I would dedicate my life to learn everything there is to know. I would greatly appreciate any information :)

    Reply

  8. Anthony Pristell April 23, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    That article was amazing an informative thank you I find my thinking the same and trying to achieve the same things you achieved. My name is Anthony Pristell and I am an aspiring filmaker and actor from the Bronx, New York and it is my dream to break into the industry and make it as entertainer. I am commenting on this article in hopes that you will see it because I’m hoping that I can make some connections with you and I can get a job on one sets I don’t care what it is or how much it has nothing to do with my main goals just as long as it gets me close to action so I can learn more. This is because I feel that I know my craft but I can always learn more and a slow rise to the top is better than no rise I don’t have much experience and I don’t have a resume but I want to build and learn. I have totally eliminated any doubt from my mind that I will not make it so if there is anything you can help me with it would be much appreciated. Thank You

    Reply

  9. John April 5, 2012 at 3:29 am #

    Hi, my name is John Serrano and I was just wondering if I could trouble you for a little advice? I realize that you are probably very busy but I would be very appreciative if you could help me out.Your article actually really helped me. Right now, I’m about to enter the same boat you were in. I’m planing to move to LA very soon to find work in the film industry and hopefully chase after my dreams of becoming an auteur filmmaker.

    My current problem is that I don’t know where exactly I should move to in LA. Where would you recommend someone in my situation to move to? Right now I’m looking into apartments in Mid-Wilshire, Hollywood, Santa Monica, West LA, and Culver City. But I have noticed that many production companies are stationed in Burbank, Century City, Universal City and many other places.

    One other problem I would like to ask about is how I can get my very first job. It’s still a bit unclear to me about how I can make my first move. Should I just go for it and start sending my resumes to any production office I could find? How do I go about doing this? I’m still a bit confused.

    If you could take the time to help me out, I’d really appreciate it. It would be a great help. Thank you.

    Reply

  10. guddu February 14, 2012 at 12:26 am #

    Don’t forget Luck also plays a major part in ur road to dream success ,Make sure wherever u are working it will lead up to fruitful result

    Reply

  11. Hareet deol February 3, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    I’m 15 and this inspired me, I am currently doing acting at gcse. I am predicted 2 Astars and my teacher urges me to pursue a career in acting. The information was invaluable and I am an asian (british-indian) yes I know, you don’t see many in films. I want to be the new generation in acting because it is my passion. thanks, appreciated much.

    Reply

  12. Roy January 19, 2012 at 2:56 am #

    Biggest motivation ever! Thanks so much for sharing this. I will be graduating with a finance degree this year, but my passion is films, films, and films! My family and friends support me and are all for me to join movies. I studied finance in college as a fallback. I already have a job lined up with a large bank once I graduate. I will take your advice about getting rid of debts, saving money, then hitting up the film industry. I think 26-28 would be a good age for me to leave everything and join the film industry. Thanks again!

    Reply

  13. Egor January 14, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    Hey! :) great article, very moving for wannabe directors like all of us :)
    I am 21, about to graduate with an undergrad Arts degree (in International Relations) from a fairly nice school, I also think that an irrelevant degree like that gives you self-enrichment and insight that makes a great filmmaker.
    I have no debt to pay off, and I’m facing a decision of going to grad school in my discipline, or chasing the dream, moving to Vancouver and starting film career from the gutter. I have to relevant experience or almost no education (took some film/theater/writing electives) but got some self-taught skills, and tons of motivation :) what do you think, should I go for it?

    Reply

  14. Evelyn W. January 11, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    I want to thank you so much. Its so hard having a dream of being an actress and everybody that you tell your major is in theater to gives you a funny look while I know theyre thinking “thats never gonna happen”. I cant even tell my mom what my real major is because I know she’ll flip out so I tell her Im majoring to become a doctor. I do believe in myself but sometimes it gets hard basically pretending to be something Im not. So, thank you again (whoever wrote this) you got my spirits up again. =)

    Reply

  15. brian January 8, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    I guess at the end of the day each and everyone can dream, and read this article to inspire our self to achieve our dream. but i think at the end of the day it’s all up to yourself. a great man once told me the only person that could really destroy your dream is Yourself. believe in yourself and even if you fail, keep going, even if you made a bad decision. encourage yourself to keep trying and trying even if it takes more than 20 years. eventually you will make it. Remember the strongest always survives.

    Reply

  16. vijay kavathiya January 8, 2012 at 4:40 am #

    It was very very inspired me and on spot made me ready to leave business of vodafone retail store.i am married now. Can i get success after married in film industries? I love creative work and work with lovely people which i think get in film industries.

    Reply

  17. Chelsea January 7, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR ARTICLE IT WAS VERY ENCOURAGING.

    -CHELSEA

    Reply

  18. Vanity Sets January 4, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    Fantastic issues altogether, you just received a new reader. What might you recommend about your publish that you simply made some days in the past? Any sure?

    Reply

  19. Fara January 2, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    I am pinning this up on my wall! I’m in school and everybody is pressuring me to decide what i want to do when I’m older, I honestly have no clue but I’ve became quite passionate about editing films and coming up with ideas to write about (I’m not yet sure on the idea of writing). I found this article after searching hopelessly for what i want to do with my life, I am truly grateful i found this article as it has given me inspiration for the future. I know my answers now to the questions people will ask me about my career now, and will be prepared for the response, thank you,

    Fara

    Reply

  20. Lee January 1, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    Hey thanks for the advice. I have no experience what so ever and would love to get involved within the film industry I would literally do anything. I am 30years old now and want to pursue an ambition I have always wanted to do. Do you think I am too old or give it a shot? I don’t know where to start looking. Thank you.

    Reply

  21. David January 1, 2012 at 12:54 am #

    This post is an inspiration and reading this is a great start to boot 2012! Happy New Year everyone and don’t let the naysayers cut down your dreams! If you truely believe you can do something, then don’t let anyone stand in your way until you succeed!

    Reply

  22. Jake December 31, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    I am in ages 12-14 and I really want a job, maybe in Disney… My parents are concerned for me to even try because they will think I will loose my childhood, and life… They are HUGE on education Any advice??

    Reply

  23. Medical December 24, 2011 at 4:23 am #

    hi!,I like your writing so a lot! share we keep up a correspondence more about your post on AOL? I require a specialist in this house to resolve my problem. Maybe that’s you! Looking forward to look you.

    Reply

  24. shark December 23, 2011 at 2:59 am #

    Wow! this is very inspiring, I couldn’t stop reading its such a brilliant article. Thanks for the inspiration hope you write more.

    Reply

  25. Maggie December 19, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

    This just inspired me so much!!!!

    Reply

  26. Sathish December 19, 2011 at 12:26 am #

    Hi…,’m from INDIA nd ‘m trying 2 get a job in direction part..,it looks very tough competition…,and i don’t know what to do..,but 1 thing s Politics nd finance make all matters in film industry to get easy job in film work..,

    Reply

  27. Farhan December 11, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    Hello ALL!
    just to say that I love your article its very honest. I’m a struggleing acter unlucky for me I’m Pakistani and there isnt as much chances of a good film in future.

    I want to get a chance of any aisan character in any movie … so i can prove myself ……

    Currently i am in Pakistan and doing a job in Government Sector, I have done Masters in Comp. Sc. …

    Waiting for a kind reply,

    Farhan

    Reply

  28. Sifiso Sfistash Dladla November 23, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    Hey Mr Lee, thanx for the encouragement. I’ve just finished my studies in Audiovisual Communication at the University of Johannesburg. Having came across your article I feel encouraged, more determined, and positively equipped to hit the film industry. What you’ve discussed really gave me direction and a clear view of the industry. Thanx a lot for sharing.

    Reply

  29. Ameera November 10, 2011 at 1:30 am #

    I’m 14 and a half and i want to join the film industry just as much as i want to be an engineer. I can sing, dance, act if I’m given the guidance. My parents don’t want me to ‘throw my life away’ but ever since I was a little kid, I’ve almost always taken part in the school dance/drama fiesta. Can you please give me some advice on how i can pursue my dream of enerting the film industry? [In my country, there aren't any agencies which an underage person can join unless you're related to famous people.]

    Reply

  30. Nyasha November 7, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

    Thank you so much for this article, it is inspiring, made me think about my future. I can’t believe i was about to let other people crash my dreams. My family laughed at me when i told them i wanted to get into the film industry, maybe they didn’t realise it, but i was hurt. Anyway i know i can do it, i can be a coffee girl but 1 day i’ll be who i want to be. Thanks again.

    Reply

  31. Russian Ballistic Knife November 7, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    I appreciate, cause I discovered exactly what I was taking a look for. You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

    Reply

  32. Mirkle November 5, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    Robbie,

    given the amount of work for no or very little pay you need to do to get into film, the new tuition fees at uni in UK are of no consequence at all. you dont start paying back anything until you are earning more than 21K, and even then it is a relatively small amount which will be calculated when you do your self assessment as someone who is self employed. You only pay when you are earning, so again, the times when you are unemployed you wont pay anything, and after 30 years your debt is wiped clean. in a profession like film, there is every chance you’ll get quite a good slice of free money off the government, so i’d go for it.

    Reply

  33. Hovsa October 31, 2011 at 4:59 am #

    For the 16 years old above, this is a blog post and not a discussionboard. But I would recommend you try search for Movie + Jobs on a search engine bing or google.

    I BTW thanks for a great article. Thumbs up.

    Best regards

    Frank

    Reply

  34. Val October 24, 2011 at 12:21 am #

    Amazing that it has been so long since the article was published and people still read it. I’m 32 and all I’ve dreamed since 18 was film industry (producer, director, dp). My dad very much discouraged me in my dream and I regret that I believed him. I’m very inspired by the article, thank you Brian! I will reach my dream or die trying.

    Reply

  35. packages October 21, 2011 at 7:15 am #

    Hello There. I found your weblog the usage of msn. That is a really neatly written article. I?ll make sure to bookmark it and return to learn more of your useful information. Thank you for the post. I?ll definitely comeback.

    Reply

  36. Adam October 20, 2011 at 8:26 am #

    Great article Brian. Nice to read others giving people the encouragement to venture into the film industry. And I’ll second your view that it doesn’t take a degree to be able to write a screenplay.

    Reply

  37. Chris Barry October 14, 2011 at 11:59 am #

    I went to school for 4 years to get a film degree. I was 18 and straight off the farm. After I successfully finished my education I started looking for film work. It took about a year, but I made some contacts and soon was getting booked as a set PA for commerical and feature film (including some Hollywood work).

    I HATED EVERY MINUTE I SPENT IN THE FILM INDUSTRY

    I had a very low opinion of the people I worked with and their attitude to not only their work but life in general. I thought I must have just had a few bad experiences, but this was repeated endlessly until I found the courage to get a day job in a film storage facility.

    I do not recommend film as a career to anyone. It’s a great hobby, but it’s a terrible profession that does not pay well.

    If you have the opportunity like I had, to study whatever you want, please realize this is a very important choice not to be overlooked. Getting out a bad career and retrained takes about ten years believe it or not.

    Good luck to everyone and please also remember, the film industry is an industry. It is not creative. It is about financing and marketing and these are the two things that consume most of the people in the business. If you want to be successful in film, financing and marketing are a great background to have.

    Reply

  38. hollywood October 10, 2011 at 9:04 am #

    the dream factory sells dreams, not reality.

    Reply

  39. amy October 3, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    Great article. Although things don’t always go to plan. I’ve had far too much humility and I’m bored of the unpaid tea jobs – not all low grade jobs are rewarded. I agree with the entrepreneurship statement though sometimes you just have to tell people what you can do for them and be confident with your ability. Now I have the knowledge and contacts to make my own films. Its kinda sad and sounds big headed but I don’t want to make tea any more (I done that for 4 years) I’m just going to go and make my own feature film now. amyclarkefilms.com :)

    Reply

  40. SRM October 2, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    I stumbled across this tonight, and I have to say, I am so glad. Ever since I was little I’ve wanted to be involved with film, both with acting and behind the scenes work, and though I’m only 18, my whole life i’ve had people tell me to choose a different career path. At first I listened, but after searching and searching, nothing has a pull for me like film does. And after reading this article, I want you to know that you’ve helped me to make up my mind. I’m going to pursue what I want to do, despite all the people saying I shouldn’t, or that I can’t.

    This article has helped me remember what is important and I hope that you understand how many people you’ve helped to rediscover their passion and dreams through this enlightening and inspirational post.

    Really – thank you.

    Reply

  41. Matt Popay September 8, 2011 at 6:20 am #

    Great article. I’ve just finished university and wanted to get into the industry as fast as possible so mostly by bothering friends of friends I managed to get work for an established video production company based just outside London, UK. I’m now a full time editor and camera operator and I’m happy to get my career started.
    I wrote some thoughts of my own as to how to get into the industry.

    http://www.liquidproductions.co.uk/743/how-to-get-into-the-video-production-industry

    Reply

  42. Beatrice Haworth August 26, 2011 at 7:33 am #

    I am 16years old and have been interested in being a director or a producer working on a film for a very long time now. I have grew up always watching and having a love for action films in particular. When watching i would obviously listen and follow the story, but i’d also be thinking, about the directing of the film and how they could have done things differently to make it look better and more effective. By this time i have lost track on what is happening in the film due to my keen interest of directing and creativity in my mind..
    I have just taken my gcse’s, in which two were drama and art where i could show of my creative side and once i had an idea i’d share it with my group and most of the time, my group would say thats a brilliant idea and could work… Even if they didn’t know what i was talking about, i had a very clear picture of what it would have looked like in my mind and i would think to myself if i was working on a film, i would share this idea and make it work and make it happen.
    Im now going into my a-levels so will pick a mixture of academic and creative subjects.
    Could someone please tell me, how i could get into film after my a-levels.
    I would like to go to university and take a film studies course or something along those lines. Could anyone tell me what i’d have to do after that.
    And also being 16 now, is there anywhere people would recommend a bit of work experience??????
    THANK-YOU!

    Reply

  43. kominki August 19, 2011 at 5:08 am #

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    Reply

  44. kominek August 18, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

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    Reply

  45. alesis dm6 July 22, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    I’ve learned some important things through your post. I’d also like to say that there can be situation in which you will make application for a loan and don’t need a co-signer such as a U.S. Student Aid Loan. When you are getting financing through a traditional loan service then you need to be ready to have a co-signer ready to allow you to. The lenders will certainly base that decision using a few factors but the most important will be your credit worthiness. There are some creditors that will furthermore look at your job history and determine based on this but in almost all cases it will be based on on your scores.

    Reply

  46. jasmin July 4, 2011 at 3:04 am #

    hey, could you give me a chanse in one of your productions? i’ll do any kind of work.

    Reply

  47. meg June 17, 2011 at 3:53 am #

    Thanks for sharing your story. It gives me hope. Film is my passion but i only majored in it in school for a short time (one actual film class and a half worth) when i realized how much debt i was getting in and changed my major so i would be able to pay off my loans after school, but i’m unhappy with settling. But i have to say film as a major scared the crap out of me because it was really what i wanted to do and i thought i wouldn’t be good enough at it the program and people in it were so intimating. now that i have grow more and can handle the world more so to speak, i realize that something anything in film is what i want to do. I want to be a part of film because it means so much to me. Everytime iwatch a movie or tv show which is a lot its a reminder that thats what i should have done and want to be doing in some way. And your story gives me hope that even though i made a mistake in not perusing it as my major that i could still one day be a part of the industry. I would work for free and paint walls and get coffee happily. I hope one day i get to work on a film in some small way. I really do.

    Reply

  48. Meg June 16, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    This article was extremely inspirational. before i read this, i was second-guessing myself. I’m 14 years old and with only a couple of auditions, with little experience, even having a great support system, i still wonder how might i make this happen. I’ve had a great passion and interest in acting sense the age of 7, but how do i overcome the fear that i wont make it?

    Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    Reply

  49. nyakundi June 15, 2011 at 1:52 am #

    very edifying.Thank you!

    Reply

  50. Anthony Collins June 14, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

    Wow. This was a really helpful article. It gives aspiring filmmakers like myself a lot more confidence to fulfill our dreams. Everything you said I agreed with wholeheartedly and will apply to my future. Thanks!

    Reply

  51. kyle May 27, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    This article really helped me maintain a grasp on my goals, and keep a wide perspective of the industry. I just finished up junior year of college and have been doubting my abilities of getting into the film industry, and questioning if I should just get a more traditional job; something I never want to do. The article really helped give me that push to go ahead and do my best to make it happen. Thanks for writing this Brian, really helped keep my dreams a priority.

    Reply

  52. Al May 16, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    I just would like to say that I really found your article very encouraging and it really grabbed my attention. For many years I have had the desire to pursue a career in acting and the film/TV industry. I studied film/TV in college the only things holding me back is pretty much fear but I guess that’s something I should put behind me. I just am curious to know if there is an age limit to it. I mean I’m 35. Is that safe to go into the industry?

    Thank you so much.

    Reply

  53. Kate May 4, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

    Also I think people who are negative and try to put you off your dream do you a favour. They test your resolve. In reality most people are not cut out for a life in the film business. Honestly it suits men more than women. I see a lot of marriages breaking down, people who get in the habit of drinking too much or sleeping around on location etc. When we think of making films or TV shows we think about the stuff we like. In reality we often end up working on very uncreative projects like soaps. Where we are paid to stick to the norm, not to experiment etc.

    I got out of doing that kind of work and now only do the work I want to do as well as my own art work. I am very lucky though to say the least.

    Truth is 90% of people hoping to work in film need a serious reality check.

    Reply

  54. Kate May 4, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

    It is not hard to find work in the film industry as such, it is very difficult to get paid work, at least here in the UK. Most people can expect to do many years of work unpaid or very low paid with no guarantee it will ever lead to regular paid work. You say “If you can enter the film industry for the love of the work instead of a need for money” that is true but who has no need for money, we all need to live? It has become a huge problem that in just about any “creative” industry from publishing to film lengthy unpaid internships (often several) are the norm. In my experiace the only people who can afford to do these are those from wealthy backgrounds which excludes those from working class backgrounds from getting into these fields even if they have a relevent degree or tons of passion.
    Where I am based in the north of the UK the industry just doesn’t have enough work to employ all those who want to work or even trained to work in the film industry, as a result people are pretty ruthless. They form cliques, make things as difficult as they can for newcomers and fight tooth and nail for every available job. It’s a case of those who get work and always working. Drop off the radar for even a short time and you will struggle to get back in. This is the real saltiness I see. I graduated film school in the UK and started working as a DOP right away, above the line as you put it. As a result I was working with assistants 10, 15 even 20 years older than me who totally resented me and let me know it. I had cut in line as they saw it and needed to be taken down a peg or two. It was a horrible time for me until I found people I could work with.

    I think your post is useful but I think the issue of long periods of unpaid work most people have to do along with the attitude of established crew is a big issue. They have an attitude of it was hard for me so I’m going to make it hard for you too when they have a trainee to deal with. They see their way, working their way up the ranks as the only way and hate anyone who skips a stage. As you point out a lot of people who do top tier jobs don’t come up through the ranks at all.

    Reply

  55. nathanial April 14, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    Can’t wait!

    Reply

  56. Lily K. April 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    I have always wanted to be a part of the film industry and this article was so inspirational, supportive, and informing. Thank you for that.

    I’m only a freshman in high school right now though, and it’s difficult to talk about my goals with my family and friends because I feel like the idea is so far-fetched to them. I’ve always wanted to act, and it’s something I’m good at, but I keep second-guessing myself and thinking that maybe I’ll have to compromise this dream for something similar but more realistic. I feel like I just need to start going for it, but I don’t know how, and I don’t even know if at my age, it’ll be worth it.

    Do you have any advice?
    Thanks again.
    ~ Lily.

    Reply

  57. Sheena April 6, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    i live in canada, but not in a major city. do you suggest moving to a major city or somewhere in the states in order to get a leg up into ‘starting from the bottom’ in regards to the film industry?

    Reply

    • Brian Lee April 24, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

      In the film industry, yes. There’s only a handful of cities in the world that provide opportunity.

      Reply

  58. James Franco's Nightmare March 30, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    Umm. For those of you who have no idea how the film industry works I’m going to let you in on a few secrets. The higher ups want people who live on the edge of crossing the line. Not necessarily crossing the line, but just breaking a few rules. So if you’re an actor or actress who’s a little confused about why you’re not considered A List, this is why.. Also it helps if you join a local Freemason group if a guy or Eastern Star group if you’re a girl, because you will be representing the Illuminati in your film roles, so you should really get aquainted with it. B listers don’t necessarily have to be masons, but A listers do.. You should apply to join the Screen Actor’s Guild because that will increase your chances of becoming a BIG name. The CAA will not even look at you if you’re not on the Screen Actors’ Guild list. If you happen to be Christian and you’re not Catholic, you should take a few RCIA classes, because you will also be representing the Catholic church and you’ll need to know how to genuflect and the sign of the cross and etc.. If you’re not a Christian, you’ll still need to know about the Catholic church. It’s also wise to study a bit about other religions as well. One of the main religions of Hollywood is Judaism.. So if you’re a Christian you need to know how to get a long with the Jewish people as well, because the majority of Hollywood is Jewish.. Familiarize yourself with signs like “the evil eye” or “all seeing eye” because this is what you’ll be representing in many of your film roles. This isn’t everything you need to know but this will certainly take you further in your acting career.. Until next time “take it easy driving out there”, or if you do drive crazy, do it safely..

    Reply

  59. AM March 23, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

    TV/Film is a second career for me. Spent 12 years in the business/marketing/sales world…and finally dropped everything in 2007 to pursue my stunted dream as a child and move into the TV industry.
    I have been successful thus far.

    Interesting…you pinpointed the exact thoughts/path I have been following for some time now.

    I am debt free. Started doing some form of grunt work at a TV station, but pretty quickly moved up to Associate Producer in the third largest US market.

    I do believe based on my maturity/business experience/humility/and integrity, that I am in a good place.

    Unfortunately though…not good enough. My eventual goal is to become a Unit Production Manager for a film…more specifically a chic flic or Bollywood feature.

    First, not completely sure how to get there…but your blog was a good foundation to start from.

    Also, it’s hard to give up something I have that is stable, pays the bills, and provides healthcare, to move into where I really want to be…but also a place full of instability in so many ways.

    Also…somewhat curious about the transition from TV to film.

    Any thoughts on these matters?

    Also…what do you do now? I was anxious to read about the happy ending to your story…but was left still wondering about your current status.

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply

  60. Regi March 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    Hi Brian, thx for that amazing article, its really inspiring..
    My Name is Regina, I’m 19 years old and finished school a year ago in Austria. I want to break into film industry, but my definite goal would be to work as a music supervisior, but i guessed, that the best way is to start out in film anyway, getting connections etc

    I am staying in Vancouver atm, until end of July, and my flight back to Austria is in August. Do you think I should risk going down to LA for three weeks, trying to find something or should i rather go home first, work for a while (financial stability) and make a complete move over the ocean in a few years.. I also tried to contact some people, but I didnt get a response, which is demotivating, but i don’t want to give up.
    Are there any good ways to get in touch with anybody, so that I could possibly jobshadow, or just bring coffee or whatever, just to get a chance to get contacts?

    I was looking around if i should study, but I just don’t think that this will help me a lot, i guess it would rather help to work my ass off..

    Reply

  61. Lima Nahbila March 5, 2011 at 3:30 am #

    Brian I love this article of yours and its so encouraging.I have always wanted to be an actress from childhood,but like all parents my dad wanted it the other way round which is to go to school,study and be an accountant in future.Though I performed well at school,I’ve and will never stop my dreams of being an actress.I just want to start from somewhere as you rightly said and I know someday I’ll make it.I’m 22.I just have these feelings that I’m a little older than required.

    Reply

    • Brian Lee March 10, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

      22! You’re still very young. Go for it!

      Reply

  62. anthed February 27, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    great read. people need to know that the film biz is not nearly as glamorous as most on the outside think. Like any job, ones persona needs to fit the gig. Most of what goes on is painstakingly laborious and slow with very long hours in not so hospitable conditions. Think of camping. And unless you are at the top your pay is so-so (how do you think the top dogs get such huge pay?? – think Vegas baby – those gigantic fancy casino’s don’t get that way by you winning!) And then there is the union – a whole other discussion.

    So get your priorities clear, do your homework and figure it out. If you are young time is on your side but you still need an objective that you can map out.

    Good Luck!

    Reply

  63. Naked Hollywood February 26, 2011 at 9:28 am #

    There is a LOT of disinformation out there regarding the acting industry. I’ve read about people who never had experience who got a HELPING hand from someone in the industry. The industry is a UNION. It’s not your typical buisness or company. You can’t expect to send in a resume and get a job. The union doesn’t work like that. Have you ever read about the actors and actresses and where they came from before they became famous? It’s usually that they were born somewhere in California, or New York from a middle class family and they began acting and just one day met the right person. So you research what you’ve been told and discover the citizens from the actor’s hometown has NEVER heard of that person before they were famous. So what’s the truth? The truth is most of these actors were born into WEALTHY families and have connections. You can always befriend an actor and try to obtain information from them but they will NOT reveal how they got there. I’ve been there and done that. That industry is almost as private as the Federal Reserve when it comes to info. The truth is unless someone from that industry LIKES you, your chances of becoming a star are slim. The Creative Artists Agency will not talk to you unless you have worked professionally as an actor or actress. It’s almost like a running joke to all of the famous actors and actresses. They know a person can’t get in the industry by working their asses off. It’s a combination of who you know and how much money you’ve got. That’s the truth. They won’t reveal this to you because you’d probably not like them anymore and refuse to buy THEIR movies and that would make them lose some of their money. If they start losing money for the industry that’s when the media(which is a part of the industry) begins slandering them and putting them in situations that will make them look bad to the public, and it eventually turns into a downward spiral for the actor or actress. The actors and actresses get paid to PAY the industry, and as long as the industry is making money, the actors can have a lavish lifestyle. It’s a all a money deal. It has nothing to do with how many movies you’ve been in, or that you’ve got a college degree in acting. It’s all about MONEY. If you’re born into a wealthy family and you want to become an actor, chances are you will. If not you probably won’t even be talked to by an agent regardless of how much work you’ve done. I think it was Fergie who said in the song “GLAMOROUS” “The industry is cold. I’m glad my daddy told me so. He let his daughter know” It’s true! But, believe what you want to. Try and befriend an actor or actress and see what happens. Maybe it can happen for you, but you really do have to know someone in the industry before anything can happen. Go on Facebook and search for your favorite actor or actress, and add them as a friend and see where it goes.

    Reply

  64. Gulum February 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    What if, if I am over 40… Am I too late to make a career change? I am fed up with being stuck in an office all day, glued to my desk… I would love to wear jeans and shirts for work and spend my days outdoors at different locations, even though it’s raining and miserable. It would make me feel free and I woulod get a greater job satisfaction for being part of a project under no matter what condition…

    Reply

    • Brian Lee February 25, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

      I don’t see why not… The film industry is based on results. It’s based more on your personality type and work ethic than your age. Just don’t expect to get rich over night.

      Reply

  65. Robbie February 24, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    I am currently in my first year of Sixth Form and am very passionate about films. I studied Btec Media in Years 10 and 11 and was very happy to get an A*. I then chose Film Studies for Sixth Form and have really enjoyed it so far. I have always imagined myself in the film business but lately, as a get older, i always think about it in my head and just tell myself i will never do it. I am a shy person but am willing to do whatever it takes. The only real big problem for me is money. I am looking to take Film Studies again in University but now that tuition fees have gone up i doubt i will get there. I dont have a job but am desperate to get one and my family cant really afford that yet. I am just thinking over and over about what i do in life but i will always want to be in the film industry

    Reply

    • Brian Lee February 25, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

      It’s never too late to follow your dreams.

      Reply

  66. Hiccup February 11, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    Hello, just to say that I love your article its very honest. I’m a struggleing film-maker myself unlucky for me I’m British and there isnt as much money going around here as in America. A low budget film here is £2,500 a big budget film is £50,000. Iv been on sets of “25,000” where the only people being paid are the director, producer and dop. I’d like to put a link to your article on my new blog –
    http://lovewarfilms.blogspot.c­om. all thr best,
    Hiccup.x

    Reply

  67. Adam Oz February 4, 2011 at 5:57 am #

    Hi Brian, Just read your article and how amazing and inspirational it is!
    I have just finished my M.A in Directing Film & TV and wanted to know a bit more about how to break into the industry, and I stumbled across this little gem!

    It’s so insightful and I’m now more determined than ever to start off as a runner! Thank you again.

    Kind regards,

    Adam

    Reply

  68. ARMANDO SANCHEZ February 3, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    im 15 years old and im an inspiring filmmaker and screenwriter.i’ve written many scripts,and have been since i was 8 ( more like books).i look up to filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino,The Coen Brothers,David Fincher,Kevin Smith.to me,I agree with you all the way.im not ready for the film business yet,not until I graduate High School.for now,I watch and study man films as I can.i buy around fifteen or twenty dvds a month.Im also going to be getting a job at Harkins Theater,as my mom knows the boss there.so I think working there will help me as well.I’ll meet other people who hopefully loves films like me and also consider films the way of life,but also the work of art.Im also studying theater in high school.i’ve met some friends who also want to be writers,as we work together on some projects.when I tell people i want to be a filmmaker,they thing about money and fame.well not me,it’s all about just being in the business.i have a passion for it,and that’s what people need to understand.it’s not about damn money or stupid mansions.I just have a passion for it.I also want to please fans,people like me.when I walk out of a theater,I want to be happy.and that’s what I want to do to people.

    Reply

  69. Aussie Filmie January 29, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    Great article and it just about mirrors the film industry in Australia, only our industry is so much smaller.

    It’s important for people commenting on this article and asking for help and advice, to re read the article. Read it again and again until you realise that NOBODY will help you get into the film, or any industry for that matter, until you learn to help yourself. Do the research, take the time, do the unpaid jobs, be punctual, be pleasant to work with, listen and learn. There are no free tickets into the film industry, and you will never be employed unless you are a self starter.

    Reply

  70. Sophie Leo January 25, 2011 at 6:57 am #

    Thank you for the article. It really helped me to set up my mind to pursue my dream in the film industry. But I’m still a little confused about what I can do in this career since my major has nothing to do with the film industry and what should I do to make me closer to that? Should I attend graduate school after college and turn to study movie?Or maybe just go out and try to find some internships and gain more experience?
    Thank you.

    Reply

  71. stacy January 18, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    Ok so crazy question.. you said that you sent your resume out to producers. Did you just look up addresses? I was actually thinking of doing that myself. Im at a crossroads in my life, I have a wonder husband and daughter who support me. I have always been drawn to the movie industry. Being a military wife my resume consists of a lot of volunteer work. It makes me a little nervous that people will look at that and wonder if I have a good work ethic..(I worked before my husband went back in the Army) He’s retired now and I think it’s time for me. At this point I don’t care if I have to walk a dog or wash a car. I just want to learn the ins and outs of the movie business.. Thanks so much for any help.

    Reply

    • Brian Lee January 27, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

      Check your local film commission.

      Reply

  72. Antonio Ruiz January 13, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

    I loved this article. I want to send my resume out too, but I don’t know to who. How can I find out who to send my resume to or how can I contact Damon Chang?
    Thank you

    Reply

  73. filmhouse December 26, 2010 at 2:38 am #

    Hi,

    Interesting read. Dear Readers, I am looking for an executive producer(s) for my film, which is now completed and will be going into festivals in due course You dont have to know much about films, or have any experience. You only have to be able to bring something which is valuable to us to the table. The benefits of are immense, but just to mention a few, you get started in the film industry as an executive producer on a film that will likely win awrds. You get credits on the film and on movie database websites, you get to work with us on our next project in a capacity that interests you, in order words, you get a crash course by shadowing an experienced profession on a professional film set. If you would like to know more, then contact joeclifford62@yahoo.com for further details

    Thank you

    Reply

  74. daisy fish December 23, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    Im sure that you have all heard of the uni fees in england going up to 9grand per year of study, thats not to mention the dept you get in from rent, and food ect from the student loan company. This scares me to say the least. Like you all i love film, i love the work behind the scenes and the work in front of the scenes. I have always had that creative flair, i cant work an office job for the rest of my life and i can go to uni to persue a more ‘stable’ career because i dont have the passion for it! It scares the life out of me knowing that i could attend 3 years of Uni doing some for of film course getting it crazy amount of dept and still have to face the prospect of not acheiving my dream. At high school i have experiences working in areas of film but because of lack of money and being in an area of the counrty, uninhabited by human life i have not been able to get experience in an actual on the set enviroment. Unlike a majority of you im not sure what area of film interests me most, i enjoy working on the camera, sound, and the pre-production period, editing is also enjoyable. Is there any other routes into this industry that can allow me experience, without the pressure of dept (this is the thing that scares me the most)!

    Reply

  75. denver industrial paper shredder December 1, 2010 at 6:02 am #

    Hi,thanks for sharing the information regarding film industry.Really you included a more information about film industry.One of mu friends also wants to go in film indutry.He looks very smart and can speak the English very frequently.Thanks so much again for sharing the information……

    Reply

  76. AMAN CHHABRA November 25, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    hello sir/mam,
    myself aman chhabra. i hv talent to do anything in film industry. . . . .just hv financial probs. only and only i want ur help to get into film industry, that’s it. i don’t need money, just want to do social work. . . . .plz help me. . . . .god will bless u. . . . .

    Reply

  77. Helen Cawley November 19, 2010 at 3:52 am #

    What a fabulous article!! To all of you wanting to live your dream!!! YOU CAN DO IT. From a mothers perspective I don’t understand why family and friends want to put a damper on your dreams. I have a 16 year old son who wants to get involved in the film/tv industry (scriptwriting is his passion) and not once have I discouraged him and have every faith that he will succeed. Yes it may be hard at times and yes you may feel like giving up but stick at it as your determination and hard work will pay off eventually.

    Reply

  78. conor taylor November 17, 2010 at 4:10 am #

    im only 16 but from the age of 9 i have always had a passion for the movie industry, whether it was acting and directing my own movies with friends, or editing videos for school. For as long as i can remember i have always had a passion for it. i seem to be able to anaylise media productions whether it is a film or poster etc. I can listen to all sorts of music and decide what fits into what kind of scene and basicly make everything pan out. I want to get into the movie industry, not for fame or money, but because i have a talent for it and that i enjoy creating anything that envolves a camera and actors. Im fed up of deniyng the fact that i have this talent, and im fed up of feeling embarresed about admitting it to people. so if anyone can help me or give advice on where to start please say. Thank you

    Reply

  79. Dave November 9, 2010 at 4:44 am #

    Very encouraging article. Have known a great deal of struggle myself although I have tried to break into the world of music production and not film, the struggles are similar. Liked what you said about the nay sayers. Have known a few of those in my time.

    Reply

  80. chrissy November 7, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    what kind of course do you have to take to be in the indistry and thank you so much.

    Reply

  81. chrissy November 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    Hi im 17 years old and I to want to be in the movie indistry because im so fasnating by it. my family is not supporting at all its like there in denile or something. its hard when no one is supporting you but yourself.

    Reply

  82. chrissy November 7, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

    hi im 17 years old and i want to be in the moive indistry because i love im fasanated by it. and my family is like so neagitive about it and i do not wont them to be. it hurts and its true i want someone to actually belive in me. Thats why when im out of college and saved up alot of money im going to move to califona.

    Reply

  83. Andrew Hancock October 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm #

    I just wanted to say that this article is inspiring to me. I have always been interested in technology and in movie making. For the last 10 years I have been working an average job that I really cant stand to do however have been trying to build a business involving PC services yet also trying to get out of dept and have also a family a wife and child which I am very happy of but am trying to push more to make things happen and they are supportive of this. over 10 years ago i took a class in high school involving filming and I loved it! Ever since I was 8 always making a video of something. stop motion, interviewing, discussions, short films with friends acting. I loved that stuff and for the last 10 years I have not been doing the little projects I once did on average but been wanting to pursue it again since. 4 years ago i use to film for CME debate night, if anyone here has seen it my shots were the ones with angles. Not the plain still shots.. they were done here in Atlanta it went on to Comcast public Chanel, I did this for 2 years yet I lack the time and constant relocation and work schedule. this article has helped me realize I need to do these greater projects and push harder with a better plan. This has been very inspiring and for this I thank you!!

    Reply

  84. Hannah October 28, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    This article is so encouraging and a lot of things you have been through i have been through the main one is my family arn’t supportive at all. I would tell my mum ” mum all i want to do in life is act and be in the big movies and be in all the cinemas and its all i want to do!” But my mum would just say “good for you but remeber there are people out there that are so much better and you only live in a tiny town in England so its not likely.” I Just think that i CAN do it and i work so hard at my drama school and an ageny have just accepted me for acting and modelling so i am super excited but this is just what i want to do and i think well i hope i am doing the right thing!

    Reply

  85. Enush Adam Dalvani October 28, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    I want to enter film industry anywhere in this world. i belong to INDIA. let me know how to enter in film industry. i am flair at english, hindi languages.

    Reply

  86. Brandon Fentress October 19, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    An interesting read. I. Think it jus reenforced some of what I already thought expect the location. I see that I should expand and not just focus directly on Los Angeles

    Reply

  87. Denny Morales October 7, 2010 at 6:49 pm #

    Awesome post thanks for the tips. The key is to have a business mind set, and most filmmakers choose the art over business, and that just collects dust.

    Reply

  88. Andrea Gutierrez October 3, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    thats the same thing my mom did. I tell her what i want to be and she always tells me excuses like “your not pretty enough”, or “your too short and fat” and ” your not smart enough” and its super annoying anyways i know what i want to do and i don’t care what my mom says because she is always saying something degrading and she favors my brother over me but that doesn’t bother me i have taught my self to be independent because the lack of support. and i’m so happy that i’m not the only one going through the same problems! but i just wanna know where i can send resume’s?

    Reply

  89. C.J. Jackson October 2, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    This was a really encouraging article to read. I am a sophomore in high school and ive wanted to be a director for almost 3 years. Around a year ago I finally worked up the courage to tell my mom, and she kind of unintentionally shot me down. I tried to dismiss it as just a stupid dream, but my interest and love for movies has just grown. Thanks again for the brilliant article.

    Reply

  90. brianda October 2, 2010 at 1:03 am #

    I am a senior in high school and I am looking for universities that have film school to get a film degree because my dream is to become a film director, but everytime I think about it, I feel I will not be able to be successful and that the time in the university and the money spended to become what I want, will be unworthy. I really want to be a director but I am thinking in choosing to study my back up career, medicine. I know that everything is possible but I feel that it will not be easy for me and that I will not get the opportunities to show my skills. Another thing is that I have been reading articles about how to become a film director and all of them talk about doing independent films and gaining experience but the truth is that I have never done a thing with a camera besides recording family events. Everytime I am sure I want to take the risk, something always brings me down. I desperatly need to know what I want to do and be able to choose what is best for me. Please give me some advise.

    Reply

  91. Andrea Gutierrez September 30, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    Hello, I read your article and i thought it was THE most helpfull thing on the planet! my friend is bragging about how she got a call back for a film audition and how great she is and all my friends are models while i’m 4’8 go to a performing arts school. I don’t want to go into film for money, fame, or to be known. I really just want to do it for fun. And while everyone around me is saying how cool it is and that their gonna be movie stars, i’m always the one who supports them and gives everything for them and they don’t return the favor. i have come to accept that i am a “maid” for everyone and that i should never expect anything back, this includes my house but i learned that i should not expect anything back. anyways i wanted to know where i could send my resume’s too i live in Minnesota and there are a lot of artsy people here and i just don’t know where to start so i was wondering if you could help in anyway. i am trying to figure out whether collage is good or if it just makes people go broke. because i know a lot of idiots who graduated and are still really dumb but anyways love the blog!
    thanks
    Andrea

    Reply

  92. Karese Burrows September 29, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    Hey. Loved your article. It was really good..kept me reading! I actually have dreams to pursue a career in writing and I currently have some great ideas for movies. I have been writing them down, of course. I’m only sixteen but I love to write and although I want to major in Graphic Design and become an illustrator, I want to write as well, as screenwriting is something I find I want to do, along with writing books. People tell me all the time the industry is hard to get into. One woman even told me I needed to become a nurse because I was sure I would have money! But for me, I can’t do a job that I’m not happy in. I’d rather do something I love than something that makes me miserable, even if it doesn’t pay much or anything at all.

    Any advice?

    Reply

    • Brian Lee September 30, 2010 at 10:34 am #

      At your age, the sky is the limit. If you want to pursue a creative career (riskier), I would suggest avoiding burdens and responsibilities such as debt, high rent, junk, pregnancy, etc… The more of those things you have, the more you will be forced to take a more traditional job with a steady paycheck.

      Reply

  93. Joel September 28, 2010 at 1:02 am #

    Hey Brian,

    I wondered what your opinion was of these websites like talentjug, and the like that have paid fees for having website access and being able to submit to movie roles listed on their site. Most of the time they just have addresses for where you can send your screen shots. I haven’t had much success but I a haven’t stayed with it. Not sure if I should keep submitting on these types of sites or if you had a site that could recommend.

    I also was wondering if you thought getting in agent mattered. I live in Atlanta and have been doing a few gigs here there with independent films.

    I am hoping through connections and working on sets as an extra something would come together. There have been a few big movies that have come to Atlanta that I was an extra on but nothing more than 75 dollars a day outside of the experience.

    I am hoping this is better than getting an agent here and the next best thing to getting an agent and moving to LA. I would like to eventually be on a set and make a connection on one of these movies but I don’t know if that’s possible just being an extra.

    Speaking of LA, I do get trips with my company out that way. Are there open casting calls that I could connect with while I am out there on business without getting an agent? Sorry for the loaded questions and thanks so much for your incite.

    Reply

    • Brian Lee September 28, 2010 at 8:35 am #

      If you want to be an actor, it greatly helps to have an agent. If you are a crew member, you can go a long way without an agent.

      I’m not familiar with those sites, but I know it’s big business to charge aspiring actors for a shot.

      Reply

  94. Don September 18, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    Very nice article, but I think also you might add. That it’s really true, that it isn’t what you know, but who you know. With that said, it may surprise a lot of people to know that it isn’t that hard to get to know the right people. You have to have a life and go beyond the direct approach. I will illustrate with a real person. Mark Kostabi who is not involved in the film industry, but an artist which counts him as a person who has made it. He started out wanting to be a punk rocker while he was attending CSUF. He was a drawing and painting major. There is the brief background. He stopped doing the punk rock stuff and moved to New York (the place in America where art is important) and started to attend all things that had anything to do with art. He played the crazy artist guy, people began to take notice of him because he was everywhere that they were.

    He came to Cal State Fullerton once and I had a chance to talk with him, he was not forth coming about his tactic, but none the less, that is what he had done. To become a money making artist is 100 times more difficult then to get into the film or music industry.

    So if you want to get your big break you have to be everywhere and really have a well rounded life. You have to go to film festivals and become social, to plays and be social, to art openings and be social. You have to pretty much be everyones friend without of course being a brown noser. This is how it works quite often, somebody needs somebody and somebody else knows someone who knows someone who knows this person and that person turns out to be you.

    With all of this said you have to be prepared to work for free or next to free for some time, but if this is your passion then nothing can stand in your way.

    P.S. Mark Kostabi does not paint his paintings he hires the work out. He doesn’t come up with the ideas either, yes he hires people to do that also. The only thing he does is sign the paintings.

    Reply

    • Brian Lee September 20, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

      That’s a good point on networking. I would add that if you have the traits I’ve described in this article, your name will spread much faster. The film and art communities are tightly knit and recommendations are important.

      Reply

  95. Kayla A September 11, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    I love this article,
    I am 21 and I’m in the process of trying to find myself and what I want to do in life. My thoughts were always to work in the medical field, but that would only be for job security, but working behind the scenes on tv sets and movies has always been in the back of my mind, I’ve always said “it would be something I wouldn’t mind doing”. I couldn’t think of any reasons besides the fact that I love movies and tv, but is that enough? Does it take a certain kind of person to work in the film industry?I have have no idea on what it takes to be in the film. I don’t want to be a director, I just want to work behind the scenes whether it’s a camera operator, or light and sound, and if i came down to it my ultimate goal would be to become a casting director. So I am considering majoring in film and video at Georgia State University in Atlanta. So could you please give me some insight on what you think is best if I want to pursue a career in film.

    Thanks in Advance

    Reply

  96. Will Punneli September 7, 2010 at 3:59 am #

    Hi, my name is Will. I was born and brought up in the US. As my parents are of Indian origin, I moved to India when I was 10 yrs old. Now I’m 20 & currently living in India doing my B.Tech in Electronics Engineering. I’m planning on returning to the States after this course. My biggest dream is to become an actor. But I dont know what to do. Can you help me??

    Reply

    • Brian Lee September 7, 2010 at 10:50 am #

      You picked the hardest profession in the world to be successful in, but if you want to go for it, start taking acting classes and move to a city where you can start auditioning for roles. Go on LOTS of auditions. Isn’t there a pretty healthy film industry in India?

      Reply

  97. frank September 6, 2010 at 7:48 am #

    Thanks for the great advise! Film is my passion and it took me a while to get the guts to pursue it. I’m going to do just that!

    Reply

  98. Ashley Steele September 4, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    Hi Brian Lee, my names Ashley Steele and I’m from London England. I’ve been very interested in the film inudstry and i’ve been making alot of short movies since I was 11 years old and now I’m 18. This made me very passionte and it got me alot of experience in filmmaking. I’ve had experience in filming weddings, and events plus a few jobs in the TV industry, but my goal is to reach success hopefully in the Film industry. I know that its very hard to get in this line of work, but as we all say its who you know not what you know.
    I’m not saying I will get in but I have a positive feeling that I would love to work in the film industry.

    I would like to persue my career as a Director. This is a goal that I would really like to reach in the future. This could take a long time but this is what I enjoy doing as a individual and team work. I love directing, I find it very creative. For years, I’ve developed my storytelling and how to bring a film to life. I will hopfully go to film school for a few years and get more experience in working with the actors/actresses to fully understand how directing all works in this area.

    My well known Film Directors that I find truley and generally the best storytelling filmmakers are Steven Spielberg, Michael Mann, Francis ford coppola, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch, Sylvester stallone, Tim burton and Brian De Palma. I find these Directors the best in my opinon because they all share very different ideas and how they all bring a movie to the audiences. It’s the way they tell the story and how they direct such fascinating movies.

    My opinon to this subject is that I understand that not many people suceed in the film industry but I think everyone should just keep on trying, not matter what anyone says, you just have to keep moving forward and one day something will change. Somewhere across the lines there’s true success in life and it’s all about time and patients.

    I hope this will help my goals for the future. If you could help me further that would be very helpful.

    Thanking you in anticipation,

    Yours sincerely,
    Ashley Steele.

    Reply

  99. Jade San Angel September 2, 2010 at 3:12 am #

    This article was definitely an inspiration for me.
    I definitely related when you were talking about how no one will support your choice.

    Right now I am a major in Art, and going to try minoring in Film Tv Radio, and hopefully work my way up to an art director, but in the mean time maybe do some post production, advertisement designing, animation, knowing that, what do you think is the best approach for getting more involved in that field?

    Reply

    • Brian Lee September 2, 2010 at 10:13 am #

      My advice is to volunteer as a general assistant and you will naturally find your niche.

      Reply

  100. George Gillams August 30, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    Hi,
    I am 15 and I am staarting to look into work experience in the film industry too. I am having trouble finding work experience though because most companies say that they can’t take under 18’s because of “insurance issues”. I have a feeling that this is another attempt to knock people who arn’t really interested back. This article is really good and has a lot of helpful tips.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to write this because it really has helped me find out a few more things about how to get in.
    I was wondering if you are still working in the film industry and if you would be able to get me any work experience or suggest companies who might be happy to take me on. On my wesite I have made a page all about work experience stuff because I am so desperate to find work experience. Thank you so much.
    George Gillams.

    Reply

  101. Dan August 29, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    Great advice – where are you today?

    One interesting thing about the film process is the selection of locations where shooting will take place.

    Dont know if you know this but how is it done – how do you go about filming in a particular location?

    Obviously you need permission to shoot in a particular store – restaurant but just carious what goes into the negotiating

    Reply

    • Brian Lee September 2, 2010 at 10:14 am #

      That is the job of the locations manager. It’s a negotiations process… you need a contract and it usually will cost you.

      Reply

  102. Kamron Khwaja August 25, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    Dear Brian Lee, I graduated with a BA in Film, Television and Media Studies at Cal State LA in June 2009 and did not take any internships while I was at this institution due to lacking of license and car. However, I recently obtained my license and applied for many film jobs at Craigslist.com and Mandy.com, but I received no word back after sending several resumes. I need help finding a way to work in the film indsutry and not put my BA in this category to waste. I am looking forward to hearing back from you. Thanks. KD

    Reply

    • Brian Lee August 25, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

      Keep submitting resumes. You might have to work for free to start. Try entertainmentcareers.com

      Reply

  103. Sam Butler August 23, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    Thankyou Brian, this is very inspirational!
    All though i am just 13, i am extremely passionate about cracking into the film industry!
    If you wouldnt mind me asking, what age where you when you decided you wanted to be in the film industry?

    Many thanks, Sam Butler.

    Reply

  104. Alex Watson August 22, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    That was very helpful for me, thank you, i feel inspired and scared but very excited aswell. i also am inspiring to be a film director, was great to read your story of how it is possible to get into this business. Hope i can one day achieve what you have. I am 17 and living in Leeds in the UK just finishing my A levels and wondering whether i should go to university or begin a search for a film related career. Im currently making films with friends, is there anyway i can get into the film industry by entering my short films into competitions?

    Reply

    • Brian Lee August 23, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

      Sure thing. Film festivals are a great way to get started.

      Reply

  105. Darla D August 22, 2010 at 7:31 am #

    This is a very inspiring article. I have big problems around a similar topic with my parents and it started since I was 13 years old. My father resonated that it was a hard business to get into and that I’m a girl, so I’ll have more trouble “getting in” then guys.
    I’ve been stubborn and persistent, so when I was 17 I went to apply for the academy of dramatic arts in my country (I’m not from the U.S.A).
    I was absolutely horrified by the state of the academy (it was derelict and dirty) and the professors who were unhappy, miserable drunks.
    The guy who handed me the exam paper – a renowned director – reeked of whisky.
    Thankfully, I didn’t get in – the reason was that I was too young, though they made it clear that I have talent for writing screenplays- but I’ve gotten a few calls from the directors to come see the actual production of a film (this is one of the few plusses when you’re living in a small country).
    Still, my mother tongue is English – I read and write only in English because it’s easier, the flow of words is continuous, unlike writing in Croatian (good God). Now I’m studying philosophy, trying to get most out of life and I have a great fear that I will end up like the rest of the Croatian scene if I stay – unhappy, frustrated and miserable.
    I have no financial problems. Should I move to Hollywood?

    Reply

  106. Jack Luck August 16, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    Hey, I just started as an intern on a feature film where I am an assistant to the Production Office Coordinator and reading this really gave me hope that Im doing the right thing, there are times where I was starting to think that its all a bad idea since its so time consuming with little if not ZERO credit in the official film Im guessing… especially since ive already mastered my craft in short films and won for my shorts at a few film festivals, just finished writing my own feature length script too so im in a very weird place where Im taking a six week internship and following that I have to make a decision between continuing on for the rest of the production which could end up being 4 months of my life on set and delay my plans for working on my own feature film and finishing off my B.A degree that Im six months off from completing. I really have no idea what to choose…. alot of it does have to do with pride maybe cuz i feel like i was heading towards my first feature but now im working on the lowest end job available on a “Real” studio film… so I really dont know.

    Reply

  107. Dahlia August 15, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    Hi,

    I have another question. I’ve been thinking about getting work experience in the Egyptian Film Industry. It’s considered the Hollywood of the Middle East. I have contacts there that could get me work experience in both film and television. My only worry really is, would the American film industry consider it useful experience…?

    Reply

    • Brian Lee August 15, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

      I don’t have any direct experience with this, but I would look at is as a plus because you would bring a unique viewpoint to an American production.

      Reply

  108. Desi August 14, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    I’d love to be a director one day and I am always hearing about how I should start small and work my way up. Your article was very informative (and is now bookmarked). Do you have any advice on how to get my resume to production companies? How could I find who is firing or looking for volunteers? I’m constantly googling and searching various sites but would like your opinion.

    Also, is there a specific resume format I should use or just as long as I have one I’m good to go. Thanks again for your article!

    Reply

    • Brian Lee August 15, 2010 at 10:08 am #

      Look up your local film commission. That is a good place to start. They usually list all the crew calls in the area.

      I just started by submitting to every available crew call that I could.

      Keep your resume clean and easy to read. That’s the best advice I could give… Less is more.

      Reply

  109. Jassica August 12, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    I’m really into movies and music and wanted to know how to go about getting into the sound design/ special effects part of film making. Theres a local community college I will be attending this fall that has a cinema studies major and I was wondering, do you think school would give me a good knowledge base or connections to break into the industry ?

    Reply

    • Brian Lee August 12, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

      It might help, but the best way to get into that speciality is to volunteer as a general PA (production assistant) on a film and try and make friends with the sound department. Then, try to land an assistant job with the sound people and keep moving up.

      Reply

  110. Conor August 11, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    Thank you for this, you really gave me an insight into what I might someday have to do to break into directing. I’m also very good at writing too, would I be able to do both? Goerge Clooney is someone whose very diverse, he’s did just about everything directing, acting, producing ect… Which seems like if you’ve got a good idea at what your doing in this buisness you can do it.

    I also live in the UK so moving to the States is also something I really want to do.

    I’m only 14 at the moment but this is definetly something I want to do. The only thing I can do here to get a little practise at skills is making videos for YouTube :). But every little helps! Thanks again.

    Reply

    • Brian Lee August 11, 2010 at 10:43 am #

      It sound like you’re on the right track. I know that several good movies come out of London every year, so you might be closer than you think.

      Writing and Directing go hand in hand. It’s not always the same person, but for the good ones, it usually is. Think Christopher Nolan in Inception.

      Reply

  111. Monica August 9, 2010 at 9:08 pm #

    Thanks so much for putting this up. I’m a seventeen year old heading into my last year of high school, and struggling between the logical choice of being a physician assistant and my true desire, to go into film. My biggest opponent right now is my dad, who won’t support my decision unless it is something medical. It’s nice to see that someone else did what I am trying to do. Right now I’m hoping to attend NYU for cinema studies, but we’ll see how that goes.

    Reply

  112. Brandi August 5, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

    While I always had a love of movies I only ended up majoring in Media Studies because I was told the screenwriting concentration would give me more writing experience than going into the English department which mostly concentrated on literature and teaching techniques.
    Now I’m torn between staying with screenwriting which I’ve fallen in love with and maybe pursuing going to afilm school after getting my BA and going into an internship or sticking to my original plan of getting my Masters in Creative Writing.
    Do you believe that someone with a goal of being a screenwriter would have the time to also pursue other forms of writing such as novels or would it be better to just concentrate on establishing myself in one field?

    Reply

    • Brian Lee August 6, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

      I think that a screenwriter could excel in novels as well. The main thing is to get work out there. Write screenplays. It doesn’t take a degree from a film school to write a screenplay. It just takes you writing a screenplay.

      Reply

  113. Kristen August 3, 2010 at 3:22 am #

    Your article is really great. Thanks!

    I’m at the point where everyone is telling me I’m crazy and I was starting to believe them. I’m turning 20 at the end of this month and am nowhere near working towards my goal of getting into the film industry. I don’t enjoy the college I’m going to, can’t get in a film major so I’m left with my major undeclared. Don’t enjoy stadium seating classrooms with 100+ people in them with subjects I do not find interesting. Also don’t feel connected with other students. I got accepted into a art school but it’s too expensive, going out of state is too expensive, and a community college doesn’t look as good as a big university. Or so I’ve been told. My parents control my classes and what college I go to. They don’t believe I’ll make enough to support myself without a BA in something meaningful. I get yelled at by telling them I want to go to college out of state let alone leave to LA to pursue film without college.

    I just want to leave and go for it. I’ve actually been saving to start my dreams for over a year now. I just need the courage to actually get up and go. Sorry about the wall of text…needed to get it out. Just reading this article helps me believe I can do this. Thank you!

    Reply

    • Brian Lee August 3, 2010 at 7:35 am #

      I know what you mean about the “everyone thinks you’re crazy” part.

      Reply

  114. Elizabeth August 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    Thank you so much for this. I just sat through an hour long dinner with my family, grilling me as to why I have chosen a career as an actress with my private school education and high IQ. My mothers favorite catchphrase is to tell me “You are too intelligent for that”. Reading this restored some of my damaged hope. Best of luck to you, xo

    Reply

    • Brian Lee August 2, 2010 at 9:59 am #

      It’s not an easy path as you are discovering. There are times when it seems like no one is on your side.

      Reply

  115. John July 21, 2010 at 7:21 pm #

    Thank you for the information.

    I really need to take a risk and just go for it, that’s my problem. The film industry is my passion and here I am working in retail. I’m coming up to 30 and have made no progress towards my dream.

    Changes will be happening soon, thanks for this.

    Reply

  116. Dahlia July 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    Thanks! I signed up and have applied to plenty of internships, hopefully I’ll get some positive replies soon. Will try contacting some directly too!

    Wish everyone was as helpful as you

    ~ Dahlia

    Reply

  117. dahlia July 16, 2010 at 3:59 am #

    Hi, thanks for the great article!

    I graduated from film school a couple of years ago in the UK. I have a BA.
    Our Uni didn’t encourage anyone to get work experience whilst studying so we all graduated into this bad economy and realising that we need work experience. I want to try in the States. Of course LA is my first choice.

    I was thinking about moving to the States then looking for work, however I found out that the only way to get a work permit is if there was an employer sponsoring me.

    Do you think that if I get to the US on a tourist visa and do a few free work experience jobs I wouldn’t be asked to get a work permit by my employers?

    Do you have any tips to getting work in the states as a UK resident?

    Thanks!

    ~d

    Reply

    • Brian Lee July 16, 2010 at 8:46 am #

      Hmm.. I don’t have as much experience in this area, but I’ve met many people in LA who work in the film industry from other countries. It might help to contact some employers through sites like http://www.entertainmentcareers.net/ and see what they think. You might even be able to line up a free gig for a 2-week vacation and really test the waters that way.

      Reply

  118. fenella July 12, 2010 at 8:21 am #

    thankyou for putting out this article. i am just like Kasey what with my mum not exactly agreeing with my decisions. i aim to work beside tim burton one day even if i’m grabbing him coffee just as long as i put it straight into his hands. i live in australia which is a problem b ut i plan to gain experience by volunteering at the South Australian Film Studio and eventually move to USA. i also want to get into animation-preferably stop-motion animation. i study animation subjects and e-mail other animators who happily email me back with good advice. i am only 15 right now but i do my own projects and i watch every ‘behind the scenes’ featurettes on DVDs. would that give me any help or is it useless? i would appreciate your input.

    Reply

  119. Anna July 11, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    Hi-
    I enjoyed the article. It was super helpful. I am 15 and I have a dream of becoming an actress. I want to be in big films. However, I live in Kentucky, and there’s not much I can do here in the way of films. Where I want to be is in LA/ Hollywood but I don’t believe my parents are all to willing to move to LA, so that I am stuck? Do you have any advice on how I can pursue my dreams???
    Thanks!

    Reply

  120. christine J July 7, 2010 at 12:04 am #

    Hey your article was good, now I know more about the industry. If you don’t mind me asking … did you attend a expensive film school like nyu , USC or etc … I would like to attend a film school at a university but there all really expensive. Ho did you manage to go there and so i really need to go to film school ? Can i just major in theater and take film classes on the side ? I want to direct like you. Oh yeah i thought the part that people were unreliable was funny because i though film industry was a dog eat dog world . lol

    Reply

    • Brian Lee July 7, 2010 at 10:06 am #

      I’m not big on expensive film schools, but if you have the money, they will open doors for you. I’m a bigger fan of getting a PA job and working your butt off.

      Reply

  121. Angela M July 2, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    Thank you for your insight. I’m sure it will prove valuable. I’m a 17-year-old female from Ontario and am attending University of Toronto in the fall, taking a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, but my true passion lies in film. I hope to take your advice with me, and it’s reassuring to know that you can break into this industry without training from a film school.
    Thank you.

    Reply

  122. Kasey June 28, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    Hey there. Just thought i might tell you a little bit about myself just so that someone out there knows what i can do. Well im 16 years old & ever since i was 14 I have been wanting to go into the movie industry. I have told my mom about it & she keeps telling me how hard it is to get into & that i shouldnt go into the movie industry. But I just ignore her & I keep telling myself to follow my dream, hopefully saying that over & over it will actually work. I have made quite a few movies. But just using a plain video camera & Windows Movie Maker on my computer. I do a little bit of everything, I film, direct, edit, produce, & screenwrite. But I really just want to film. I have always been into video cameras. I hope that 1 day i can be as good as Tim Burton, Steven Speilberg, heck even James Cameron. I dont mean to sound bigheaded, but I actually think I have some potential. Hope you email me back :)

    Reply

    • Brian Lee June 29, 2010 at 6:56 am #

      If you’re passionate about it, I think you should pursue your dreams. Make sure you take care of your basics first: be able to pay your rent and basic living expenses.

      Reply

  123. Lindsey Thomas June 10, 2010 at 1:18 am #

    Mr. Lee , I am currently a senior at Virginia Tech. I have had a passion for movies every since I was about 10 years old. I am minoring in film , but this has only allowed me to understand the basics in regards to the industry. As you mentioned, in the film industry you must start at the bottom. I am more than willing to scrub floors for a year if thats what it takes to learn more and work with someone with knowledge in the field. However, how did you go about finding such openings as painting for a producer? Also, this is one of the few blogs that allows someone like me, who is entering the industry for pure love of film rather than money, to have hope in such a difficult field!!!

    Reply

    • Brian Lee June 10, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

      The first place to look is usually your local film commission, but when you’re ready for the big time… move to LA!

      Reply

  124. Heids June 9, 2010 at 8:28 am #

    Hi, I googled your article whilst in the midst of my own career crossroads and thought it might be worth sending you a message as you might have some insight into my predicament.

    I’m a Producer, I feel into production whilst I was working in an Advertising Agency in a job that I didn’t enjoy. Now that I’m doing what I’m doing I couldn’t imagine loving anything else more.

    I worked as an agency Producer, I’ve left the agency to go Production House side. I have a lot of experience in commercials, they’ve taught me a lot but what I really want to get into is film. Even though I am Producing which keeps me happy in the short term, my eventual goal is to move into film. I’ve produced some short films outside of my commercials as well as done music videos and corporates.

    I’ve now just joined a Production Company, they’re great. The Producer and Director who started the company have been around for 25 years with this company, they have a good name in the industry. They have 9 Directors, 7 of which I look after with the major Producer of the company. I’m in a great place, I freelance there a few times a week, or full time if I’m in midst of a production. I go out and do a lot of partying and meet and greets to make sure we keep getting work in, on the side I can do whatever personal projects I want, film, music clips, whatever.

    I want to keep pushing the film side and have been, but raising money and getting investors on board is tough if you haven’t got feature credits already beside your name, especially in Australia. A big budget is 5 million here if its not funded by the states, I’m not quite there yet. I have yet to work on a feature film although I have a lot of experience in Producing.

    To throw a spanner in the works, I just received a job offer to work on a major US funded blockbuster film, one of only 2 happening in Sydney at the moment. Catch is, that they want me as a Production Assistant.

    Part of me wants to do it for that first feature credit. But I know its a minimum 2 year full time job as the film is to be released by then. I don’t know if I can bring myself to step back that far. It will be as if everything I’ve done thus far Producing wise is for nothing. But then I’m in the feature world finally.

    I probably will have to give up doing any of my own projects on the side so I won’t be able to Produce my own stuff anymore. I’m not old, in fact I’m young, I’m 25. But I’ve slogged my guts out for the past 3.5 years to get to where I am. In the commercial world I’m way ahead of my age game, but I’ve worked crazy hard for this. I’ve worked a full time job and gone home and produced outside of work hours to learn everything I could as fast as I could and I’ve learnt a lot. Relationships have suffered but I love this field and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Do I sell my soul to making coffees and step back down to the Production Assistant role that I was in 3.5 years ago to make that step into film? I’m really unsure and confused. Will becoming a Production Assistant even mean that I’ll be able to work my way back up or will I become a great Production person but never a Producer? Can I really stick out 1 or 2 years in this role when the tasks will be so menial compared to what I’m doing now. But then again, it will be the first rung on the ladder. I will have a feature against my name, maybe I could meet great feature film makers who will want to work with me again, maybe it will lead to the next step in my film career.

    Otherwise, do I stay where I am, it has only been a short while here. A feature Director will be coming on board at this company but I’m working on getting this Director commercial work not films. Will this Director end up doing another film that I could end up on, who knows? But then, will I get comfortable, lured by the glossy lights and good money in the commercial world and end up like the 50 year olds I see in the industry who regret getting too lured in by the commercial money and along the way forgot to pursue their great dream to make films.

    Any thoughts would help, majority confused, this is a huge gamble. But like everything else in this industry, what isn’t?

    Reply

    • Brian Lee June 9, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

      In my experience, the cream always rises to the top. If you made that much progress already, you won’t be at the bottom rung for long. I took a step back and went to PA from an otherwise decent job, but it only lasted a few months.

      Reply

  125. Anthony Higgins June 9, 2010 at 12:03 am #

    I’m really glad i came across your article. When I was 14 i dodn’t know what i really wanted to do. I have a realative who is a gaffer and i watched one of his films and i saw his name come up in the credits, it was like the penny had finally droped. I knew then that what i wanted to do was work on films. I got an apprenticeship and for the whole 4 years, weather carrying an electricans tool box, sweeping up, going to the cafe, the only thing that kept me going was knowing what i wanted to do. Its not about the money, or the glamor. Its about the fact that however hard i work or however shitty i feel, that if i do it to the best of my abilities, every time that film is showen in a cinema, DVD or on TV, my name, if I’m lucky, will be on it. I’m still to work on a film. I’m getting as much experience as i can, getting various driving liscences, more skills….but like tonight, i was feeling down about the job i’m doing now….really boring….when i went past a location shoot beside the river Thames and remembered why i’m doing what I’m doing. And after reading your article, i feel even more determination to get to my goal….even if its just one film nobody ever sees, at least it will be my film…

    Reply

  126. Stacy June 2, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    Thank you so much for this article. I have had nothing but negativity from my family about my hopes of getting into the film and TV makeup industry. I know it will be hard but once I find a path I just need to follow it and keep moving forward. This really made an up to my really shitty week. Thanks.

    Reply

    • Brian Lee June 2, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

      Awesome! I wish you well on your endeavor. It will be filled with excitement and possibilities!

      Reply

  127. TUPOKIGWE ABNERY May 19, 2010 at 1:01 am #

    i’m student from univesity of Dodoma,in Tanzania im taking directing for stage and screen and acting for stage and screen as my opiction study,i real like to be actor,b ut right now i think that acting is very difficut so iwant to be awriter[creating story and writing script]what can i do? iwant also to be a good actress.
    thanks or asante

    Reply

  128. Jared Radtke April 26, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

    Thank you for this Brian!

    It was both encouraging but also made me worry about whether I have exhibited bad qualities without knowing it. I was on my first ‘real’ set (more than 10 people) as a behind the scenes camera man and asked if I could ever try to shoot any B-roll stuff. I never directly complained about things, but I had some emotional baggage that may have been noticeable since I wasn’t always talkative and was introverted… and may have come off as sour.

    I feel like I learned my lesson and have coped with the issues, but could this first experience completely ruin my future in the industry?

    As a side note, it was only a $100k film or so – does this affect anything?

    Thank you again for this post

    Reply

  129. i need a job April 22, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    Nice post Brian. It was great to hear someone’s real story and experiences in the film industry. I particularly liked the section “Qualities of a Film Industry Professional” which could apply to most any industry I suppose.

    Thanks again,
    Larry

    Reply

    • Brian Lee April 22, 2010 at 10:48 am #

      You’re right. The qualities would help in any indusry. It’s just that the film indusry is hyper-fast and the benefits of being an effective worker are more pronounced.

      Reply

  130. Becky Johnston April 16, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

    I really enjoyed reading this article! I am very interested in film, I have dreamed of being an actress and a writer all my life. Although im not sure how to go about in England; I am definatley wanting to emigrate to America but of course I first want to prove myself before making any life changing mistakes or desicions. Any help you can give me will be much appreciated! Thank you!

    Reply

    • Brian Lee April 16, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

      England has a pretty strong film community as far as I know. I would guess that it’s all in London. I would check to see if there is a Film Commission in London or in your local area and just volunteer! Don’t wait until you are here to start learning.

      Reply

  131. Prashant sharma April 3, 2010 at 2:05 am #

    Thanks a lot …i m an Indian …and crazy for the entertainment industry…i think this is gonna help in great to ful fill my dream of name fame……if possible give me few more tips if at all u know anything about Indian film Industry too…..Thanks Bro…

    Reply

  132. Benlita Pinto March 24, 2010 at 8:23 am #

    Hi,

    Your article is really good.
    I am a theatre artist. I have completed 30 hours’ theatre workshop. Does beauty actually matter more than talent in film industry? I have heard people talking all bad about film industry and this is actually stopping me from trying. I actually get scared thinking people out there in the industry may misuse me. Because I do not know anybody in the film industry? I completed my studies in 2008. Now I am working in an MNC. I am 24 and a half years old. Is it a right time for me to get into this industry?

    Reply

  133. rey March 13, 2010 at 8:42 pm #

    Brian thanks a lot you have inspired me i may be only 15 but i know my dream is to be in the film industry. thanks again for this article you wrote it has inspired me and i know anything is possible

    Reply

  134. daniel parslow March 12, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    thank you for this information really put me on the right track, I am very determined to go down the work experience rout, and was looking to see if any others have done the same and been successful now I know it has gave me inspiration.

    if you have any information on anything i would be very grateful also people who are leaving comments like me why don’t we get in-touch and try and improve our chances together whether its short filming or just shearing information!

    cheers for this m8

    Reply

  135. Vaibhav Dhakate March 12, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    Thanks Bro……It was like an injection of adrenaline directly gushed into my dreams. I’ll make it happen. I’ll remember you as my teacher who taught me a true lesson.

    Reply

  136. movieguy March 1, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    wow! my dreams came crashing down and burnt last year but i will get back on my feet again. I am trying to finish a script that i have been working on for 20 years plus. I would give anything to see it made or better yet , i would love to direct it myself. I have directed over 50 high school plays and now i teach french and drama and media. Can it be done?

    Reply

  137. kurye February 18, 2010 at 4:46 am #

    Wow this is EXACTLY what i was looking for.You’re very specific.Im 15 and im still not sure what i want to be when i grow up, but being a director or actor is definetly up high on the list. I aldready keep a notebook of ideas and scenes i have for movies :)

    Reply

  138. Kevin Lopez February 15, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    Wow this is EXACTLY what i was looking for.You’re very specific.Im 15 and im still not sure what i want to be when i grow up, but being a director or actor is definetly up high on the list. I aldready keep a notebook of ideas and scenes i have for movies :). What age did you realize that you wanted to be a director? And how did you know who to contact? Like how did you get their information if you had no prior experience in the film industry? And what did you put in your resume?about How much should you save up before getting into the film industry? Sorry for all the questions im just REALLY curious. I would greatly appreciate it if you replied back. Thanks for the great post.

    Reply

  139. Jenni Newman January 31, 2010 at 6:47 am #

    Thank you for this. I have been dreaming of working within the film industry but I just do not know how to realise this dream…
    I am not looking for the money in the job but to do something every day that I love, I have a passion for film and I would like to use this passion in my day to day work/career. I have chosen to make this year my year to find out how to do this. I’m still a little lost and scared about that next step. Scared because I may fail and be told that this industry is not for me when I believe it is. I hope to break into the industry as the job I have had now for nearly eight years is not what I believe I should be doing but right now it pays the bills until I find my hearts passion which is within the arts and in paticular film.
    Thank you for this blog it has been extremely helpful and insightful.

    Reply

  140. Ben Day January 23, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    Wow, that was amazing.
    It’s all so true.
    When I leave school, I will follow those guidelines like the bible!

    Reply

  141. raoul December 30, 2009 at 9:45 am #

    hi i was and still very impress and motivated by wat i just read and thanx for the numerous advices i am in it .my passion for film making is wat i best knw and want.i am 21 of age and wanna take a career in film acting.a cameroonian holder of an advance level in A1 dat is french,history,religion,philosophy.i speak and write both french and english.i believe somethere can give me a helping hand thanx in advance and merry chrismas and happy new year.

    Reply

  142. Leonie Mbala Nga December 20, 2009 at 5:18 am #

    Hi, My name is leony, very poor but I dream make my life in the film industry I can speack three languages french, anglish and spanish,(my first language is french) I do not know how to start but I know somebody who care can give me my chance or to my daughter who love to be in it to.
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply

  143. loveth joel December 5, 2009 at 4:10 am #

    i’m a student i ll like 2 be in d movie industry pls…………….

    Reply

  144. Anonymous December 4, 2009 at 10:42 am #

    Becoming an actor in a film or tv industry? Pfft that doesn’t even require a high school graduation. Plus the chances of that happening is slim because where do you see a lot of high budget movie now that doesn’t have good looking cast.

    I don’t believe that doing acting school is going to help very much; mainly because there are so many models that just turn into movie & tv stars. And the fact that even kids can have lead roles in movies & tv series; this just shows that you don’t need acting school to appear on film and that it is mostly luck.

    Ie. Paul Walker former child model, Jennifer Connelly former teen model, the list goes on…

    Another downside is the fact that many movie stars crash & burn after films or tv. Pressure like doing a bad film & not getting any roles after.

    Ie. Mariah Carey in Glitter, Britney Spears in Crossroads, David Carradine committing suicide by hanging after his movie career started going downhill, Jonathan Brandis the science expert kid from Spielberg’s seaQuest DSV that lasted 3 seasons committed suicide by hanging.

    What about the promotional aspect? There’s sooo many movies out there.
    How can you even compete when a billion movies are being promoted at the same time? Like how many films are made every year that no one has ever heard of.

    How can you expect to get paid for another movie if the revenue can’t even match up the budget? I don’t know about you but if I were to make a 100,000 budget movie, then I’d want to get that money back plus extra income. No one wants to invest in something & not get anything back in return.

    The only way I see a person surviving in the film industry is by being either a writer, director, cameraman, etc everything except for actor.

    Yes being an actor is a cool dream to have but you people should think about it from a financial perspective instead.
    So in conclusion I think people should start asking themselves:
    What are my chances?
    Is acting in the movie industry able to support me financially?

    I myself have always wanted to be a professional musician even though I have some talent. I know that competition is tough in the world and I wouldn’t choose it as a career path but instead studying very hard to get a career in electrical engineering. Instead of being pretentious about reality.

    Reply

  145. as well December 3, 2009 at 6:54 pm #

    i also have the dream.

    Reply

  146. Junior Salinas November 17, 2009 at 11:03 am #

    Hello,
    My name is Junior, after reading this article my determination for a great spot in the film industry has increased. I am so determined to make it to the filming industry and work in high budget films. I always dreamed of making it in Hollywood for so long. I am 17 years old and I will be 18. I have made it my plan since I was 12 to leave the same day I turn 18, in 7 months, and leave on my adventure to Hollywood. Even though I live in the next county, Orange County, I have been working since I was 14 and unfortunately I have very little saved due to getting laid off at all my previous jobs and I barely get paid at a Law office I am working at right now. Some income is better than no income, right? But I try my damn best to achieve my dream in filming. I do have a deep passion for it, I would never hesitate to play coffee-getter, cause I know it will pay off in the end. No one believes that I will make it to Hollywood, but I believe with the determination that many of us have and the love we have for it, All of us can make it and be successful. Especially when I watch the Oscars and other Award Shows, I just want it even more! I try looking to enroll in Film School but the tuition is outrageous! And many of us cant afford it, But after reading this article, I am so glad that there is another way and hearing the stages you went through have gave me more confidence. After I graduate high school this year, I definetly have my future planned.

    Thank You

    Reply

  147. Sagar Achhpal~ July 19, 2009 at 2:42 am #

    Thanks a lot for this article. am very disturbed at home. family does not want me to get into this industry am yet 14. but being an actor is not my dream its MY AMIBITION! thanks for helping me out through this note~ :D

    Reply

  148. Alan May 4, 2009 at 2:57 am #

    Im only a photography student from england and im still at college, and its come to the point where i have to decide to follow into the film industry or do my academics.
    would it be worth me studying a particular course at universtiy to help me into film?
    and also how well does it pay?

    this artical has helped me alot, cheers!

    Reply

  149. Barnali Sarma March 4, 2009 at 3:47 am #

    I really liked this article. I too wanted to be on this line, but m doubtful as to what to do or how to procceed?

    Reply

  150. Angela February 25, 2009 at 8:29 pm #

    I too was on google searching on how to get into the film industry. Your article has motivated me to get a move on my career but like most, I live in michigan and times are just now starting to get rough for my family and I. I am worried about moving out to CA, when I have a car and student loans to pay for.

    I want to act in films and design the sets, possibly work my way up to directing. I know it’ll all unfold clearly for me but do you have any other words of wisdom?

    Reply

  151. Miguel Lopez January 26, 2009 at 7:42 am #

    Okay, I’m inspired again. It’s so hard to keep motivated in something that almost EVERYONE is so skeptical about. It’s so easy to fall and lose hope when working your way into this industry. It takes an amazing amount of grit and determination, sometimes even obsessive, to get in movies. I myself am a conceptual artist, one who salivates over movies like The Matrix, Transformers, Watchmen, 300, etc.—very visual movies. If I don’t get this ILM internship this year, I’ll try again the next. I won’t lose hope. Thanks for believing in us.

    Reply

  152. Shane January 15, 2009 at 9:39 pm #

    hey thanks a lot for this! I found it on google while searching getting into the film industry.. I’m 21 and I’d really like to do something with film making. I’m hoping to make write and film my own short films soon.. you’ve given a lot of information and it really helps me think and is encouraging! (I’m from southern Minnesota so my options are limited here and I don’t have much money at this time) but I’m hoping to find a way to make it work!

    Reply

  153. Leonie Mbala Nga November 28, 2008 at 5:12 pm #

    My daughter is 9 years and will like to a movie star and singer. please, help us

    Reply

  154. Leonie Mbala Nga November 28, 2008 at 5:10 pm #

    I am 36 , and would like to become a movie star, I am poor , have no but experience on it but I know I can do , I beleive in divine connection and I need help.
    My first language is French , I speak pretty good English and some spanish.
    leonie

    Reply

  155. Affy-Ann November 18, 2008 at 12:54 am #

    Thanks for this! You’re really encouraging! =) I’ve been very interested in getting into the film industry since high school, but, just like you said, many people keep telling me that it’s impossible to get into. That’s why I’m a little discouraged to even try it out. But after reading this, I really want to!

    I told my mom that before med school, I’d like to see what I can do in film. I’ve always wanted to act! But she says it’s just not practical. I guess she’s right, but I don’t want the “what-if’s” to haunt me for the rest of my life!

    I learned from The Pursuit of Happyness that I should not let anyone tell me that I can’t do something. I know my dreams are big and maybe even quite crazy, but I’d still like to try!

    Thanks again so much!!! I’d appreciate it if you’d write back or something. That would be nice. Best wishes!

    ——-

    To Gireesh:

    Hi there! Just like Mr. Lee says, you can start off by getting a job and earning some money. If you’re studying right now, you can get a part-time job or a student job at your college/university.

    Join a group or organization at school dedicated to film or to acting. Participate in school productions, whether as an actor or a member of the backstage crew. It helps. =) When you have some money, you can start taking acting workshops and stuff to improve your skill. Hone your talent. If you can sign up for free workshops, that would be great! =)

    Good luck! =)

    Reply

  156. brando September 12, 2008 at 1:37 am #

    Id like to get any job workin in film or televison shows or anything in that industry. I live in New Jersey and was wondering how I find these kind of jobs located near me? Id like to work for relativly known company.

    Reply

  157. Nkechi Ogbonna August 15, 2008 at 5:25 am #

    i am 27 years old, up till now i am finding it difficult to fend for myself, and i have the talent of acting what do i do. i’m a nigerian

    Reply

  158. Gireesh June 29, 2008 at 6:40 am #

    I am 17.I am financially poor. But I have great dreams of getting into the film industry. I can act very well. What should I do?

    Reply

  159. David C March 7, 2008 at 5:51 am #

    yeah so me and my best friend plan on going to collage for film and then starteing our production company..alot of people told us the our ideas werent praci\tical..but what ever..we will be doing what we love and they will be doing noging but wishing the followed there dreams instead of giving into the white color standered of life..look out for reaver rpoductionsand look out for mmy name..i will make it and make movies and do what i love

    Reply

  160. Phil Stubs February 20, 2008 at 8:18 pm #

    Thanks for your article Brian, I find it extremely inspiring. Its interesting about debt as mine is all paid off in 4 months. I think thats my time to begin. You have really encouraged me, thanks again.

    Reply

  161. Taylor M February 19, 2008 at 1:55 pm #

    Thank you for writing this,, I think it gives everyone the hope they need to pursue their dreams.

    Reply

  162. Brian Lee December 5, 2007 at 9:18 pm #

    The question you ask is one of the oldest questions in film. I would say that the people I run across are split about 50/50. Half believe in film school, half only trust real-world experience.

    Although I never went to film school, my college years were some of the best in my life. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

    I don’t think that people should be in a hurry to grow up. If you can afford to stay in school, I would say more power to you.

    Reply

  163. Kenji December 4, 2007 at 11:51 am #

    Thanks for taking the time to write this Brian! I like how you are very encouraging, but realistic. I have one question tho. Do you think formal education has any effect on getting hired for a job or a career in the film industry? Two years ago I made a career change to get into film (my undergrad is in Chemsitry, lol). At the time, I thought about just moving to LA to start getting some real industry experience, but then decided to get a Masters degree so I have something to show when I apply for these jobs. Right now I’m in my 2nd year at Emerson College. I’m hoping it wasn’t a complete waste of money. What do you think?

    Reply

  164. Wilmington,NC October 11, 2007 at 7:49 pm #

    To say that you’ve inspired would be an understatement. I don’t know if you believe in fate or the “The Secret”, but your words of encouragement come to my screen as I search for advice in a dire time of indecision. Here I sit stressed about my first real interview and my first chance to shine. You have put in to script the words I need to believe. I wish you all the best of luck in your endeavors. And know that you will surpass your wildest expectations, as will anyone with the courage to believe.

    Reply

  165. Brian Lee October 11, 2007 at 8:22 pm #

    I’m happy you visited my site!

    Reply

  166. Megan September 17, 2007 at 7:46 am #

    You inspired me! My mom laughed at me when I told her I wanted to go into the film industry, and I’ll admit I was a bit hurt. You really really encouraged me, and I would love to be in contact with you if at all possible.

    Reply

  167. M.S. Roberts September 16, 2007 at 9:07 pm #

    I really enjoyed reading your article about the film industry. There are many, many people out there like you and me, who have the same goals and dreams. It really resonated with me, and I’ve been told time and time again, to take any job that you can; no matter the pay. Experience is definately invaluable. If people see your desire to be apart of the bigger picture and your determination to do so, then you will be on the right track. Most people fail because the rejection that they get kills them internally. You just can’t give a damn what people say and/or think about you. Your article is a testament to this.

    Reply

  168. Sean Fonseca January 2, 2007 at 2:45 pm #

    This really encouraged me! Thank you so much to whoever wrote this! Please feel free to contact me as I would like to get in touch with you.

    Thanks again!!

    Reply

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    [...] How to Break into the Film Industry by Brian Lee [...]

  4. About Creative Life and Passive Income | Genius Types - January 12, 2009

    [...] Free Day Planner 2.0 Become a Critical Thinker A Primitive, but Effective Time Management System How to Break into the Film Industry Stiff vs. Suit for your Day Job The Passive Income Trap Is Blogging Income Passive Income? Five [...]

  5. Exalted Beauty - January 2, 2007

    8 Steps to a Better Project posted at James Corey. This ex-programmer tries his hand at woodworking. He covers everything from shop-built box fan dust collector to building a kitchen utensil holder. Brian C. Lee presents How to Break into the Film Industry posted at geniustypes.com. Surfer Sam presents How To Be An Artist. Tap Into Your Hidden Inspiration ! Surfer Sam posted at Surfer Sam and Friends. Brandon Peele presents Thus Spoke Zarathustra Book Review

  6. Nehring The Edge movie reviews - November 17, 2006

    Well, if you want to change Hollywood your best bet is getting involved in the industry. Want to get into the biz? Brian C. Lee has some outstanding advice for those on the outside looking in. Check out GENIUSTYPES.COM and read his thoughts on how to break into the film industry. Of course the best route to fame is being the spoiled, mildly interesting child of famous parents. It worked for lightweight Gwyneth Paltrow. Heck, the they gave her an Oscar over Emily Watson, Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett. It’s like losing a

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