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Top 5 Careers After Film School

Here are five entry-level jobs for just-out-of-film school graduates.
A film school grad mans the camera during an indoor scene

Getting Your Foot in the Door

The road to a career in the film industry may feature several unmarked streets and dead ends, but some of the best in-roads to the biz can be found at the entry level, where many opportunities are waiting for enterprising film school graduate. Innovation is key, as is a willingness to do whatever it takes to get your foot in the door.

Film school is often a good first step in the journey toward making a name for yourself, but keep in mind that every movie project at every level needs a vast array of workers, and almost nobody starts at the top. The following jobs are great places to start.

Using these jobs as learning and networking opportunities can help you build a great foundation for the career you want:

1. Film Intern

While it always helps to know somebody, the web is making the task of networking a whole lot easier. Most major companies have websites with internship listings. For example, the Fox studio has a helpful career site, as do many others. The internships listed on these sites may not be where the glory's at, but they'll earn you business cred that's impossible to come by otherwise—which is invaluable when you're newly graduated or about to graduate from film school.

2. Personal Assistant to a Film Professional

What better way to learn the ins and outs of the field than by watching a pro at work? But don't worry—it's not all fetching coffee and carrying scripts. You'll be making valuable connections while learning your way around the industry. If you spend a little time with a search engine, you'll turn up a variety of sites that can help you find a personal assistant position.

3. Film Promoter

The promotions department is a great launching pad for driven, intelligent film school grads who want to know what makes a movie successful. Everything from designing advertisements to hanging posters falls under promotions, so you'll find a wide variety of opportunities. Are you a whiz with web marketing, or itching to canvass the city with a folder full of flyers? Promotions people are always happy to accept enthusiastic hands for street crew work.

4. Set Construction Crew

A great set happens with the help of skilled, creative people who have a working knowledge of movies or television—or with those willing to take direction. Even when production takes place outside a typical sound stage, on-location shoots often require modifications to accommodate the project. And if you're more interested in the artistic side of set-making, ask about working with the prop masters or painters.

5. Movie Travel Coordinator

Sometimes a sound stage just won't do, and the production has to hit the road. Though it's the task of location managers and scouts to secure the new shooting site, it's up to travel coordinators to help get everyone—and everything—to the scene safe and sound.

Taking the First Steps

These are just a few of the avenues that pave the way from your film school program to the film industry. And don't slight the "non-film" experience that you may have under your belt. Animal trainers, nurses and medics, photographers, beauticians, stylists, and tailors all have a place on set, so keep your options open.

With a boost from film school programs, all it takes is legwork and persistence to get your career underway.

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