Another great resource for production job hunting is Cynopsis Media.¬† They send out daily emails about shows going into production, executive moves, tv ratings, and job openings.¬† You can subscribe to all of their email lists by clicking here.
Tagged: Job Hunt
Emily sent me an email asking me this question:
I was reading your blog and I was hoping you would be able to give me some advice. I was recently working as a set decorator on a reality show but due to the budget they had to let me go. I have been franticly searching for a job and I have exhausted all of the free websites as well as all of my contacts. I was debating using Production Weekly or Mercury Report but I wanted to know whether either would be worth the money? As well as which one is better?
For those of you that don’t know, Production Weekly and the Mercury Report are websites where you pay a subscription fee to receive listings of different films and new television shows going into production and their contact information.
I personally have mixed feelings on these services.¬† First a foremost the prices to get them are pretty high.¬† Production weekly costs $59.95 a month, while Mercury Report is $52 a month but you will only get 4 issues or you can pay for a 6 month subscription which is $225 or a year which is $400.¬† I don’t know about everyone else however, working on a PA salary that is a lot of freaking money to shell out.
Each service I think is hit or miss when it comes to actually getting a job from them.¬† Most of these listings say that the production offices aren’t open yet and to not call them, while others say that the PO’s are open but when you call they are fully staffed and annoyed that you are calling. The trick is calling them exactly when the PO opens or a few weeks before they start principal production.¬† Good luck though, because you and everyone else will be calling then too.
The benefits of signing up though are that you do get to see everything that is going into production and some way to contact them about it.¬† If you don’t mind cold calling them and getting some fairly nasty attitudes then I would say go for it.¬† They are somewhat beneficial to add to your job hunt but keep in mind they are pricey so make sure you can afford it.
If you do decide to get the reports make sure you check out Mercury Report’s How To Use tips to correctly call these productions.
Another option besides these services is signing up for IMDB’s pro service which is $99 a year.¬† There you can search through all things in production and most have contact information for the production company or the studio.
As a side note:¬† Production Weekly and Mercury Report do not have listings for reality shows in production.¬† It is only films and scripted tv shows.¬† For reality tv listings your best bet is realitystaff.com, and media-match.com.¬† Also I can’t reiterate enough how important it is to keep up with your contacts, so even if you have exhausted them now, hit them up in a month or so to see where they are at.
Sarah sent me a question about job hunting:
I just want to say I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog and have found your tips on cracking into the business very wise. I have a couple of questions if you don’t mind. I’m a recent college graduate and received my B.A. in TV Production this May. I have been an intern for different companies for over a year and have a decent amount of office experience and on-set experience thanks to my school projects. However, I have been sending out plenty of applications online through entertainmentcareers.net and have only had a few interviews but no luck yet on snagging a job. I have a couple of contacts from my previous interning, but definitely not alot. I’m feeling somewhat concerned that perhaps my cover letter or resume might be an issue. Any help or advice would help so much. Thank you for your help!¬† Fellow job hunter,
Well first congrats on graduating in May!¬† Welcome to the real world
Finding your first production or entertainment job after college can be very difficult, especially depending on what type of jobs you are looking for.¬† To find an assistant job you would go a completely different route than if you are looking to work on set as a production assistant.¬† I’ll explain both ways you can go, and then try to help you figure out why you aren’t hearing anything back after you apply.
The assistant route is a good one to take if you are looking to be a talent agent, studio executive and sometimes a producer.¬†¬† Assistant jobs, especially for big studios or producers are very cut throat and hard to get.¬† These are not easy jobs by any means think of The Devil Wears Prada.¬† However, if you stick with it and work your butt off it could get you to where you want to be.
Now how to find these jobs.¬† There are several websites you can go to which I mentioned before but you have to keep in mind that hundreds of people are applying to the same jobs that you are so you need to stand out (more on that in a minute).
Another good way to go is to also take a look at the websites of the studio or production company you want to work at and see if there are job listings on there or if you can find an HR contact.¬† For these jobs it is better to find out who exactly is hiring and get your resume to them rather than the random gmail account (for example email@example.com) where your email will get lost with the hundreds of others.
The best way I think to get jobs though is through referrals and networking.¬† Contact anyone and everyone that you know in the industry and let them know that you are looking for work.¬† If you don’t really know anyone then go to networking parties/events, which you can find information about online.
The production route is good to take if you want to become a director, producer, editor, director of photography or any other production position.
These jobs you can also find online on those websites however it is the same as assistant jobs where hundreds of people are applying to the same four jobs.¬† I certainly would say to continue to apply to these jobs online but do not let this be your only avenue of finding work.
Networking I think is even more important for people looking for production jobs rather than those looking for assistant jobs, because most production jobs are not posted online.¬† You have to know someone that knows someone to send your resume to.¬† So again contact anyone and everyone you know and go to networking events.
Now back to your question as to why you might not be hearing anything back.
There are three reasons why people don’t hear back from jobs posted on entertainmentcareers.net or other websites.
First, your resume got lost in the hundreds of other resumes that got sent in.¬† The only way to help yourself in that situation is to send your resume in first.¬† That means you need to stay on top of the job websites and as soon as you see a job or a gig you want apply for it.¬† I actually have a saved draft of my resume/cover letter in my email so I can just add the email of who I need to send it to right away.¬† That way I can get an alert on my phone while I am away from home and still be able to apply to that position.
Second, you don’t have the qualifications that are needed for that job.¬† Are you applying to producer jobs when you have barely been a PA on set?¬† Or are you applying for assistant jobs that require 3 years experience?¬† Make sure you take a look at the qualifications before you apply, that way you will have a better chance.
Lastly, the reason why you might not be hearing back is because your resume sucks.¬† I don’t say that to be mean.¬† I just can’t tell you how many resumes that I have seen that are absolutely terrible.¬† Check out my other post about resumes and that should help you out.
If you still have questions about your resume after you re-worked it or if you just want another set of eyes on it I can take a look at it for you.¬† Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope this helps with your job hunt!¬† If you have anymore questions let me know.
If you are interested in receiving the job list a long with other entertainment job postings please go to http://groups.google.com/group/film-jobs
Request to be a member of the group.
This past week I had to make one of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make in an extremly long time.
As most of you know life as a production assistant can be pretty tough.¬† You work long hours for not much pay, and you end up having to find a new job every couple of months if you are one of the lucky ones.¬† A lot of your friends and family tend to ask the same questions of “are you sure you don’t want to find a more stable job?” and your response¬† is that you are trying to.
Well this past week one of those stable jobs somewhat fell in my lap.¬† One night as I was scouring the internet for new production jobs and I came across an ad on craigslist (of all places..) for a production coordinator position for a video game.¬† On a whim I thought why not and sent the company over my resume completly thinking that they would laugh that someone who is not in the video game industry is trying to apply for a coordinator position.
To my utter surprise they called me the next day for an interview.¬† To prepare myself, I tried to brush up on my video game knowledge by watching my boyfriend finish playing God of War 3.¬† (Is it obvious yet that I don’t really play that many games besides Harvest Moon?¬† Side note..if you are a girl and have no clue what Harvest Moon is seriously look it up.¬† You will thank me ).
The next day was the interview, and I have to say it was probably one of the most intense interviews I have ever had in my life.¬† The owner of the company seemed very nice at the end of the 2 hour meeting and said that he would contact me in a couple of days.¬† I walked out of there thinking that I bombed the interview and that I would never be hearing from this man again.¬† To my surprise a week later I got a call for a second interview.
At this point I was extremely excited.¬† I started thinking about how amazing it would be to have a stable job, to actually have health benefits and a company matching 401k.¬† Then my mind started to freak out.¬† I thought about all the reasons why I moved out to California (to work in production) and how taking this position would take me on a completely different career path and essentially away from television production.
After the second interview I spoke to everyone I knew for advice.¬† Most of it was somewhat helpful however, everyone kept saying that they couldn’t tell me which path to choose and that I’d have to figure this all out on my own.¬† At this point I was so frustrated with worrying about it that I almost wanted to¬† have someone just tell me which job to take so that I wouldn’t have to worry about it any more.
Later on that night I received the offer letter from the video game company in my email.¬† I was so happy that I got the position, but I was also completely frightened.¬† I stayed up for hours contemplating my decision and it wasn’t until I spoke with my brilliant mother that I finally figured it all out.¬† My mom asked me the one question that made everything clear in my mind.¬† She asked, “Rachel, why has this been such a hard decision for you?” to which I responded “because I’m afraid of walking away from television production.”¬† After a moment of silence she said “well then there is your answer”.
The next morning I called the company and explained to them how terribly sorry I was but I would not be accepting their offer.¬† A huge weight felt like it had been lifted from my shoulders.¬† I now knew exactly what I wanted to do with my career.
I know that some of you are thinking that I am an idiot for turning down a full time position, however, I know in my heart where I need to be.¬† Will it be a struggle?¬† Yes it will, but that’s what makes life interesting right? ¬† I am not saying that my decision is the best one, but it is the best one for me right now.¬† And who knows…in the future the next time a full time position comes my way I may take it, but for now my career path is exactly where it needs to be.
As the gig I am currently on sadly comes to an end with no second season picked up I figured it would be a great time to blog about job hunting.¬† I know it sucks..but as a freelancer you always have to keep looking for work.¬† Here are a few avenues that you can go through to find the best thing for you:
Call or email your past contacts
This is possibly the most important thing you can do.¬† All those people you worked on set with before are probably working on a new production now.¬† While you were working you should have gotten all of their contact information so put that to use and email them to see what they are up to.¬† DO NOT just flat out as for a job because that will usually annoy people.¬† Create some form of a conversation that will lead to them asking about if you are working and hopefully they will know someone that needs help.
There are a few job sites that are usually pretty good to check out when looking for production work.¬† Some are free while others charge per month to use the service.
www.mandy.com – free
www.craigslist.org – free
www.realitystaff.com- free and subscription (The subscription allows you to write more in your cover letter).
www.entertainmentcareers.net – subscription
www.media-match.com – subscription
www.filmstaff.com – subscription
www.productionweekly.com – subscription
You can also check out specific production company websites, studio websites, imdb in the forums section (though it is shady sometimes) and any other place you can think of.¬† If anyone knows of any more websites please let me know!
Go to a networking event
This is just like calling your old contacts, however, here you are making new ones.¬† A lot of different film groups or societies tend to have networking parties that you can attend.¬† Google or ask your other friends in production and go armed with your business card.
Cold calling/ emailing companies
You can always cold call and email production companies to find if they are hiring crew or if they keep potential crew resume’s on file.
UTA job list
This as I have mentioned before is a list created by UTA of all the assistant positions in Hollywood.¬† This list is awesome if you are looking to be an assistant, but very bad if you are looking to actually work on set in a production.¬† Keep in mind thousands of people receive¬† this list so don’t be surprised if you never hear back when you apply for something.¬† If you want to receive the UTA job list email me at email@example.com
It is important to remember to not doubt yourself and give up.¬† There are a lot of production companies and projects filming that need a hand.¬† Keep at it and eventually you will land a gig.¬† Happy hunting!
I have been getting a lot of questions lately about how your PA resume should look.¬† Should it just list the title of the production, your position, production company and dates you worked on it?¬† Or should it be more descriptive and explain everything you did?
Honestly, I don’t really know the true answer.¬† So I am throwing this question out to everyone out there, how should a resume for a production assistant look?
When I find out more I’ll post it here.
In Hollywood there is a magical job list that everyone talks about, the UTA Job List.¬† On this list there are highly sought after positions in the entertainment industry.¬† So how do you score this amazing list?¬† Well technically you don’t..unless you know someone who gets it.
Originally the list was created internally at United Talent Agency, for people looking for new assistant positions.¬† The list was only sent by email and only those that knew the creators of the list actually recieved it.¬† Today the list has expanded and includes more than agency positions. ¬† There are many people that say they get the list and will repost it online, which can be good and bad.¬† This is good because you can easily find the list and apply for these jobs. ¬† The bad is now more people are getting the list so these open positions do not stay open for very long.
Another thing to note is that the jobs that are posted on the list are not usually production jobs.¬† They are mainly assistant positions for producers, directors, executive and even sometimes celebrities.¬† So if you are starting out in this wonderful industry and want to go the assistant route then this list is the best place for you to start.¬† Keep in mind though your job may end up being more of a dog sitter than an actual assistant.
If you’d like a copy of the list email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send it to you.
Happy job hunting!