Getting into the Film Industry

In an Industry that is very competitive, is it possible to make yourself stand out in order to break in?

Getting into the Film Industry

How to be a part of the film industry? It has been a question that people have been wondering for decades. The film industry is a place where people come together to make films for the entertainment of the world but not many people ever get to take part in it. It is a place where films can sky rocket in the box office or they can flop yet so many people want to take the chance and get in but never know how to. It is shown statistically that 75% of actors earn less than £5,000 from being on stage or in front of a camera and only 1 in 50 actors make more than £20,000 a year. yet so many people want to follow this big dream of theirs no matter how hard. I chose this issue because getting there are so many aspiring actors wanting to make a big name for themselves but people always get held up at where to start so this issue will give some useful tips on how to get yourself noticed and to get you in your dream job.

There has been an old saying which is 'It's not what you know, it's who you know'. Now this is a popular phrase said by lots of people which has been used to tell aspiring people who want to get into the industry that if you do not know anyone personally who is in the film industry that there is no other way in. Personally, I think this statement can be damaging to a person who wants to get that kind of job but then again if that does stop someone then maybe they aren't looking far enough nor do they want it badly to fight for a position. In an article by a man called Fredric Neuman M.D. wrote about how it is better to climb the ranks into a good position than to get placed in one because you may not be good at that job and therefore humiliate yourself in a position you can't handle. I asked 6 students 'Do you think the 'it's not what you know, it's who you' is the best way to get into the film industry?' the reply was 4 of them believe it is a very handy way to get into the industry but I followed up that question with 'Would you rather work your way through the industry to better yourself than jumping straight in? (E.g. straight into acting, technician, set builder etc.?)' and all replies were that they'd prefer to start small and build up their position in the industry and one of them wrote in the extra comment 'I still believe it to be important to develop skills through time'. However, it is amazingly helpful if you do know someone that can get you the job as this can get you the place you want, on the over hand, this is an option which is so rare to come by and it's not like everyone who wants a job will rely on someone you know so it is good to know other ways to get into the job.

Another way you can get into the industry (or will certainly help the process) is finding an agent. Having an agent will be beneficial in helping you find contracts with the film industry and auditions too but they do not work for free so make sure you have enough money to pay for them. When asking the same people from earlier, I asked them 'Have you tried finding an acting agent?' 2/6 have already tried to find an agent and then I asked them 'Would you consider having an acting agent help you find work?' 5/6 people said they would have an agent help them so I'd say it's a possibility that wanting an agent is a common choice. Firstly, you need to find an agent so if you're not a well-known actor nor do you have much experience, try looking for smaller, less known agencies. Once you have found the agency you feel will be the best for you, look them up online and see who have already been listed by them, look those actors up on social media and should be easy to find them. Once you see an actor who you feel you can relate, make conversation with them and approach them in a friendly manner. Ask them about the agency and about how they got into it, usually they should give you advice if you approach them nicely and letting the person know you're interested improves your networking skills. Pick the acting agent you would prefer to sign with and like talking to the actors, only go for one and just be friendly. You should have a well-constructed E-mail which includes various information your agent will need. Following this gets you that extra help you'll need to find a name for yourself which can lead to you being noticed and taken in by the film industry but there are always more independent ways of making yourself shine out from the others. Lots of people may want to find agencies too but having this extra help can set you up with contracts to big companies and can get you auditions in a less advertised roll, they help publicise yourself to get you more known that you want to be an actor.

Making and publishing your work can show a wide range of skills you can offer to the film industry. This can show skills in directing, lighting, sound, acting, etc. or any area you want to apply for if you were to get a job working in a bigger business. This can happen because when directors see that you can create your own content, it shows you already can act, sing, dance, edit etc. You can also show off the technical side of working in the industry if you wanted to direct the film or show off your skills at editing, using light, sound, or any other spectrum you can apply for in the industry as it can catch the industry's eye. The downfall to this is you will need to have experience and practice already because it shows you have the ability to put your talent into film already so if you wanted to gain experience, this may not be the best way into the industry. Unlike the agent path, you could have no previous experience and they will take you in and try find you places where you could learn to act on the job, almost like an apprenticeship which you must pay for as you learn on the job. Publishing your work is just as important because you need your work accessible for everyone to see. Try get your film seen in your local cinema or around your town to start off with and then try getting it on to websites like YouTube or even make your own website which shows the work you make and has a base which agency and the industry can track your work.

And if you want to fully go down the acting route, turn up to lots of auditions will definitely increase your chances of being spotted significantly. There's always people out in the world wanting to produce a film so try to book an audition with them and act your heart out. Getting a part in the film will get your name out there if it manages to make it onto TV. Even if you don't make the part, that's fine you might not be the person they are looking for but they may remember you for if the y make more content and you fit the role in that too and showing up to more and more auditions where you can either make the part or other directors can talk to each other and suggest you to other people as well. Having an agent can be useful with setting you up with auditions but it is possible still look for them yourself.

To summarise, getting into the industry of film can be hard however, there are lots of tips and tricks to get you noticed above the crowd so that you can access your dream job. Yes these are ways people already use but if you manage to use if you do know the right people, they can help get you in a position there, having an agent will help you get found by directors, making and publishing your work into easily accessible places for lots of people to see will get you spotted and showing up to lots of auditions will get you a role and if you didn't do it on your first go, they may want you for another film or get recommended for another audition. Yes, these are ways people already use to try and promote themselves but they only try a couple of these ideas; if you were to use them all, there will be a greater chance of making it as an actor, technician, director etc. Through my research on going online to see ways of making it into the industry, there are multiple articles on tips and tricks on making it to the film industry so this must be an issue lots of people are wondering about. Reading through the research I have gathered, it has also enlightened me about the different possibilities on how to get into the industry and if you have the patience and time, it is possible to make it there.


jack flemming

jack flemming

This author has no bio :(


  • Luke Taylor

    On 27 March 2017, 09:16 Luke Taylor Contributor commented:

    Indeed, getting into film (and the arts as a whole) is very difficult - there must be an easier way?

  • Mollie Clarke-Smith

    On 19 April 2017, 09:34 Mollie Clarke-Smith commented:

    I think again, this is a really well written article. it is clear that you have a passion for this topic and you know exactly what you are writing about. I feel that you think it is an important aspect for young performers to work their way up and build themselves and performers rather than it to be handed to them on a plate. I agree with you!

    I think this is a well constructed article, well done


  • Ben Curtis

    On 19 April 2017, 10:11 Ben Curtis commented:

    A very good article! I completely agree that the phrase "it's not what you know, it's who you know" can be very demeaning to young artists that work hard to achieve their aspirations. I personally have been told this and it can appear that it doesn't matter how talented you are or how hard you work, you just need to know the right people to get somewhere in the industry which I disagree with. I would like to see more of the research that backs up your argument for this piece. Well done! :D

  • Frazer McCartney

    On 19 April 2017, 10:45 Frazer McCartney commented:

    I thought this was very good. I agree with the comment "its not what you know, its who you know" as well. I disagree with this comment because I have been told this many times and I think it just not true I can get anywhere I want if I put my mind to it, not by asking people.

    Well done jack!!!!

  • Kayla Mills

    On 22 May 2017, 09:44 Kayla Mills commented:

    This is a very good article and a well written argument! I agree with you that the phrase "it's not what you know, it's who you know" can be damaging to a person who would like to get a job in this career! I think it is awful that many hard working people do not get recognised for their hard work and commitment to the arts and others have a higher chance of getting in to the arts due to knowing someone!
    This was a really good piece of work and I really enjoyed reading it! Well done jack :)

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