Working in Film and TV – is it only for those who can afford it?

And now for a post from Rachel Taylor, one of our Trainee Careers Consultants, sharing some really useful insights that she picked up from one of this week’s #CCCF15 events on the nature of working in film and TV – Rebecca

I recently attended a great panel session run by BAFTA New Talent as part of our Creative and Cultural Careers Festival taking place this week.

One student asked the panel whether or not they had managed to make a living off their Film and TV work. This made me wonder about those students keen to work in Film and TV – what would their chances of finding a ‘graduate job’ that paid at least a living wage actually be? Last year Creative Skillset reported that of the 702 people In Scotland working in Film Production, 640 were freelance. This highlights the need for those looking to work in this area to be adaptable, flexible and open to new opportunities – to ‘go where the work is’. A strong message from all panellists was not to give up, take risks and be ready for the adhoc nature of the industry. You might not always know when your next job will be but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen at all.

The panellists there said that by and large you can get by, saving your money in the busy summer season when you are more likely to secure a contract and then using the quiet time in the winter to work on your own projects and building your portfolio of work. Collaboration is key, do not work in isolation, speak to people and seek advice and feedback on your work. Not only does it help you improve but it will get you known in the industry. It is unlikely you will find a full time permanent job so you need to keep your options wide and create contacts. The industry is small so this is possible and vital in order to make a living.

I came away from the event feeling reassured that it is definitely possible to create a career in Film and TV but that there is no clear ‘career path’. You need to build your own contacts and be prepared that there may not always be work available and that you need to seek out your own opportunities to make a living.

Keen to find out more?

If you are interested in a Career in Film and TV then read the sector information on our website. I also came across a helpful article from a recent Q and A on getting into Film and TV on the Guardian Careers Blog.

If you are interested in the Creative Industries then don’t miss out on the rest of our Creative Cultural Careers Festival, running this week. Visit the CCCF website for more information.


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