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Careers Centre

Film

About this sector

You can read information about role responsibilities, salary, working hours, what to expect, qualifications, skills, work experience, career prospects and related roles on the following Prospects Job Profiles:

You might also see other job profiles of interest in the Media and internet profiles page (which gives links to the 47 profiles in the sector).

 

How to gain experience/internships

In order to get experience you will have to demonstrate why you deserve the opportunity of working in film. St Andrews alums always encourage anyone interested in film to just pick up a camera and start filming, or to pick up a pen and start writing. Being able to verbally communicate how you’ve wanted a job in film all your life and how you’d be a brilliant employee or intern is usually not good enough, so get filming/writing to show how much it means to you and to show off your talent. More than anything else, the act of simply recording your own short films, regardless of their quality, will have the positive impact of helping you to think like a director or an actor and you will be able to learn some of the trade. Another idea might be to write a film blog. Choose a theme, be unique, and try and offer something different to all the other film blogs out there. The University itself has many ways in which you can get involved in filming and media. Many alums who now work in the industry, such as Vicky Clark, first started in the University’s own BubbleTV, through the Department of Film Studies, The University Film Society, and St Andrews Radio (STAR).

As the following links show there is no specific time of year that film corporations and groups advertise internships or vacancies. Indeed, some businesses might not advertise internships at all, but might admit an intern if sufficiently impressed with their speculative application, so it is well worth submitting one to bodies you are interested in that are not visibly offering positions or recruiting. Otherwise, check film business websites throughout the year to keep an eye open for potential sources of experience, not least because they will be hotly sought after and quickly filled.

Resources for finding experience:

Offering your services as an extra can also be a method of getting into the film industry. Agencies include:

How to find a (graduate) job

The film industry can be difficult to break into, so you should be willing to start at the bottom and work your way up. However, the route you take to employment will vary greatly depending on the sector you are interested in working in, as the skills required for different areas are often specific to that sector.

Networking is an essential skill to develop when seeking to enter an international environment, and you can make valuable contacts through short-term contract opportunities and internships.

Graduate training schemes:

The BBC offers a limited number of training schemes for various roles which vary from year to year according to their requirements. These are not specifically aimed at immediate graduates and it is quite common for successful applicants to already have some relevant experience. For current job vacancies, check out the BBC jobs website.

There are around 1,000 independent production companies in the UK. Most belong to the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT). Some of these organisations may provide training schemes.

The industry training organisation, ScreenSkills, has details of programmes on their website.

Job search websites

The following websites may be useful in finding vacancies in the film industry:

Applications, interviews and assessment centres

The following links provide good advice for how to prepare for interviews and information on what to expect during the interview process:

Relevant postgraduate study - is it a requirement?

A Masters degree or a PhD in the creative arts sector can often be a prerequisite to getting the film job you want. Entry without an academic qualification is common, but all applicants must demonstrate knowledge of and commitment to the film industry. The link to the different jobs in film will provide you with an indication of whether you will need an advanced degree for the position you aspire to hold.

There are a number of websites which offer comprehensive listings of relevant courses, namely:

Having identified possible courses, we recommend that you visit the course provider(s) of your choice and enquire particularly about the employment outcomes of previous students, and also to check that the course is vocationally, rather than academically, focussed. Also, have a look at a comprehensive list of the different programmes being offered by what Tales from the Argo consider to be the best film schools in the UK.


The BAFTA Scholarship Programme assists talented people in need of financial support to study a post-graduate course in film, television or games. It offers successful applicants up to £10,000 to cover their course fees; an industry mentor; free access to BAFTA events around the UK. In addition, three successful applicants will be awarded a Prince William Scholarship in Film, Television and Games, supported by BAFTA and Warner Bros., including a funded work placement within the Warner Bros. group of companies and other benefits.

Key UK resources

Online

Use CareerConnect, your central careers hub, to:

 

General film-related careers information

International resources

GoinGlobal

The Careers Centre subscribes to GoinGlobal, a specialist website with information and job vacancies worldwide.

USA

The USA job market and recruitment timetables, for both internships and graduate jobs, for sectors of employment often differ from the UK.

The Careers Centre subscribes to the reputable independent USA careers information and vacancy provider Vault. The links below will take you directly to Vault subscription resources which cover this sector. You may find further useful and relevant resources linked from there as well.