There are dozens of professionals in the film industry with different skills and talents whose magic touches are needed to make a film come to life—some whose skills you wouldn’t expect to lend much to a movie.
Although a background in film and entertainment will certainly give you a boost in getting a job with the next blockbuster, it’s not absolutely necessary. So you didn’t graduate from the UCLA School of Theater or The Art Institute? You might not have the know-how to do motion graphics or script writing, but here are four jobs in the film biz that you just may have the qualifications for.
Social Media Management
Gone are the days where the film industry is just tossing up a billboard in downtown Los Angeles. To get in front of and actually interact with their audiences, up-and-coming films need someone with social media strategy knowledge behind the keyboard. The catch? Social media isn’t as easy as just Tweeting or blogging. But if you already knew that, then this job could be for you.
What you need to succeed: An education or background in social media management, social media marketing, or online communications.
“I’ll have my people call your people.” You could be those people. As a talent agent, you’d look for your client’s next acting job, negotiate their salary, and plan their travel. For all of you out there that color-code your planners and have a stock of Post-It notes to get you through the day, this job is for you.
What you need to succeed: Above-and-beyond organization, coordination, and planning skills.
In film research, you could be seeking out the answers to dozens of questions throughout the production of a film, from what the clothing looked like during a specific time period to the slang people use in a certain geographic area. If you’re doing research for a documentary film, you may be investigating the background of the interview subjects and assisting in the preparation of on-camera dialogue. The bottom line is that no film makes it to theaters without a solid researcher behind it. And here you were, thinking that all those history research papers in college were for nothing!
What you need to succeed: Stellar research skills, capability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment, and the ability to clearly relay information to other team members.
This is really a job, I kid you not. (See what I did there?) A child wrangler is the person on set who works with child actors, keeping them happy and comfortable during the filming of a movie. This could range from getting a toddler to play with the right toy during a shot to coaching a pre-teen through sudden stage fright. This job is somewhat different from the others in that it’s mostly done through freelancing or independent contracting, which may give you a bit more flexibility in choosing the kids you do and don’t want to take on.
What you need to succeed: Experience working with children, references who make you seem like a gift from the heavens above, and a whole lot of patience.
Now, I’m doing marketing at a film production company for their upcoming documentary. The team is small and everyone wears many hats, which is an ideal situation to be in when you want to experience as much as possible! I’m also freelancing in various media platforms, and every day I’m learning something new about how to stand out from the crowd in this fast-paced industry. I’m excited to share what I learn through The Media Chronicles!