Working at a film production can be a lot of fun. By telling stories through the camera and creating one masterpiece after another, a job at a film production company sounds like working in a dream factory. But in reality, all that glitters is not gold, and many things differ from how they are imagined by outsiders.
As a startup that offers a tool for video producers, we’re also in contact with filmmaking studios. That’s why we did some research with filmmaking experts, and we’re going to show you both sides of the coin: the advantages and disadvantages of working on film production.
The Downside of Working at a Film Production…
All That Glitters Is Not Gold
There are many thankless jobs during film production, such as working as a production assistant or intern. Basically, you do everything that no one else wants to do. This situation can get quite frustrating since interns also aren’t very well-paid. But on the other hand, there are many different tasks in several fields of film production, and they can teach you a lot.
After all, this important lesson for beginners is an experience worth having. So if you’re completely new to the film industry, you’ll probably start with one of these jobs. But don’t worry: there’s always a way to work your way up.
How Stuff Works presents the four most thankless film jobs, but also stays realistic and explains the upsides and downsides of them.
Also, as a little bonus: Want to take a peek into the life of a production assistant? RocketJump FilmSchool made a great, realistic video about what a PA’s everyday life looks like:
There are tons of passionate artists out there, but no one can guarantee that you’ll manage to make a name for yourself. The truth is that it takes a lot of talent and luck to climb up the career ladder.
You need to be in the right place at the right time and know the right people, which is something you, unfortunately, can’t learn or buy. It takes courage and the blessings of lady luck. Frankly, in the beginning, you shouldn’t set your expectations too high. But in order to achieve your goals, it’s still important to have dreams.
You’re Probably Going to Face a Lot of Criticism
You might get it from all sides—not only from your acquaintances and relatives, but also from old-timers who have been in the game longer than you. This situation might seem discouraging, especially for greenhorns, but don’t worry: everyone had to start out this way.
Try to see the positive points of constructive criticism, but stay confident at the same time. Only then will you learn to grow as an artist and as a person. But sometimes, you may have to endure a rant, or plainly get insulted.
You’ll Encounter Many Eccentric People
Technically, this point could count as a pro argument, since your opinion will depend on which kinds of people you generally like. But prepare to meet many quirky people with some weird habits and character traits.
In particular, some actors can be divas when they’re in a bad mood, so there is a big chance that they’ll vent their anger out on you. Try not to let it get to you; just take a deep breath and move on. 😉 Every branch or working place has its special suspects.
In many sectors in the creative business, it’s not normal to only work from 9 am to 5 pm. Certainly, you will work overtime during the production phase of a film.
Are you already familiar with the filmmaking world, or did you just take a look at some director’s cuts or “Behind the Scenes” videos? Then you’ll know how much time and effort (and money) goes into the production of a movie.
Artists are often perfectionists, and they work a lot to fulfill the visions of their projects since they’re so passionate about it. In other words, there’s often not much spare time left over. And you don’t really have a say in that.
For example, if you’re supposed to be at the set, you’ve gotta go, no matter what the time or location is. In addition, if you have family, it will be difficult to find the balance between work and private life, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Just be prepared for a pretty packed schedule.
…And The Joys
The art of filmmaking involves giving your creative side free reign. You’ll have the freedom to express yourself and live out your talent! Some people can only dream about it, but you can make a living at it.
A Combination of Many Different Art Forms
Perhaps the most interesting part of creating a movie is how many different types of creatives are involved in a project. There are costume designers, sound designers, scriptwriters, directors, makeup artists, and much more.
If you think about it, it’s fascinating but only natural that so many different ways of artistic expression join together to create something entirely new. Plus, you can choose the outlet that suits you best.
Most of the people in the film industry have ambitions, dreams, and mindsets similar to yours. So if filmmaking is totally your thing, you can connect with like-minded people who share the dream of telling stories and artistically expressing themselves. Besides, it’s probably pretty exciting to meet so many creative, sometimes-quirky people.
Interesting Work and Lifestyle
In my personal opinion, one of the greatest aspects of being part of a film crew is the interesting environment and experiences you create. Together with other creative people, you’ll have the chance to visualize stories and achieve this goal. Of course, every job has its routine, but there is also a lot of variety and new experiences going on. The lifestyle of always being on the go for the sake of a project isn’t for everyone. But if your heart and soul are into it, you’ll definitely love it!
For a film artist, there’s almost nothing more satisfying than watching a movie you’ve been part of once it’s finally done. You’ll know that it’s the work for you and your team, especially while remembering all the time and effort that went into making the film.
The film industry is certainly an interesting, informative field to work in. You can tell whether or not it’s for you by answering the following questions: Is it your dream to be part of a creative project where stories are told? And are you willing to put your heart and soul into it? If so, then a film production is definitely for you.
As with everything in life, it’s up to you to decide. Do the minor disadvantages outweigh the great advantages? Then go for it!
If you’ve already considered working at a film production company, then take a look at your filmmaking career options in this article “The Ultimate Film Career Guide: 17 Jobs that Could Suit You!”
With a lot of passion and interest for creative writing and digital media, she always tries to learn new things every day.