I'm often asked by students - How do I get my foot in the film industry door?
There is never a straightforward answer because there are many different paths and career opportunities in the film industry are incredibly varied. On a typical film set there is anything from 30 to 100 people working all with different roles. These roles range from: producer, cameraman, and cinematographer to script supervisor. And that's not accounting for the multitude of roles outside production.
The film industry is one of the few economic bright spots with the industry supporting around 117,500 jobs and contributing over £4.6billion to the British economy. Despite it being a competitive industry the opportunities are endless. A good place to start is to do your research into the different jobs on offer and the companies that you would like to work for. Creative Skillset is a great website to get information on the wide range of jobs available and helps you decide which one is right for you.
It's important to do your research and have a really solid understanding of the industry to work within it. Industry standards are high-it's a business after all- and to succeed you must learn the practical, behavioural and creative skills expected to work as part of a team. Making a film is a team vision so it's vital to have good team working skills. I always encourage students to make films with their friends and work on any opportunity that comes their way to aid their creative and team working skills. It's important to remember that you can't become successful on your own. Film is all about storytelling and in order to tell a story effectively you need a team of people to make your vision come alive.
The world of film used to be a domain of a few but now it's a domain of many. Technology means that anybody can create, edit and upload videos to sites such as YouTube. Technology doesn't however make everybody a film-maker. You can't learn to make films without making films and taking a highly practical filmmaking programme remains one of the best routes into a job and opens up a window of opportunities. 79% of the production workforce are graduates with an average salary of £32,500, significantly above the national average. So ignore the 'Mickey Mouse' subject mutterings-the jobs are out there and good money is to me made!
Studying film gives you a head start into the industry and equips you with the right technical skills and teaches you how to reach an audience. It also allows you to build up a good network of contacts. Met Film School has recently launched Met Summer Camp 2013 to inspire the next generation of filmmakers. Over the course of two-weeks participants will create their own films, trying their hand at a variety of different roles from directing to editing and everything in between. If you are 14-17 and passionate about film this summer camp then this is a good taster of what a career in the UK film industry could offer.
To succeed in the film industry you need tenacity, determination and genuine passion. Don't just wait for jobs to come to you. If you have a real love for film and you're bursting with great script ideas then create the opportunity yourself. It's good to be seen and be heard. Don't be scared to pick up the phone or tweet a production company asking for work experience. In my experience it's not who you know in the world of film but who knows you.
Don't be scared to think outside the box and reinvent ideas. To paraphrase Steve Jobs "the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do." Remember what you are trying to achieve and keep hold of the bigger picture.
There are a growing number of films conceived during Met Film programmes making their way into cinemas. Last year, Perry Bhandal, a student on one of Met Film School's part-time programmes pitched an idea for a film to a panel at the school which included Kaleidoscope Film Distribution who subsequently financed the film, with the student directing. The film, Interviews with a Hitman, came out in cinemas and DVD last summer.
Last May, a film produced by Met Film School graduate Dan Demissie, alongside our own production company, Met Film Production, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and was released in cinemas and on DVD in the UK- it was a film born at the School. Another graduate had his film, Papadopoulos and Sons, hit the big screens in Cineworld this month. All great ideas start somewhere and can lead somewhere great.
Despite the economic turmoil, film remains massively important to the UK and its influence culturally and economically will only grow. The door is always open for more talented young creative individuals.
For more information about Met Film School Summer Camp visit