Non-Industry Experience

Anthony writes:

Questions about getting a job. Graduated from film school in December and for the past three to four months I’ve been applying for PA crew jobs on television shows that are filming in Dallas but I havn’t heard back from any of them.

I’m gonna interrupt you right there.  If the emails you’ve sent to potential employers read anything like this one, I know why you’re not getting responses.  Nobody wants to hire a PA who’s too lazy to use a predicate.

Is it necessary to include any former jobs that arent film or television related?

This is a question I’m not really qualified to answer.  See, I haven’t had a job outside the Industry since high school.  “Stock boy” has never been on my resume.

That being said, this is an entry-level position.  Do your best to (succinctly) connect your actual experience with whatever job you’re applying for.

How about jobs working at a film festival?

It depends on what you did at the festival.  Did you do crowd control?  Maybe you can handle extras.  Did you deal with the film or digital projection?  Maybe you can work in post.

But don’t think that anyone will be impressed that you helped select movies for the Boise International Film Festival.

And is it proper to send in a cover letter even if the crew call (listed on local film commission websites) only asks for a resume?

Oh, God yes.  Productions receive hundreds of resumes.  Not including a cover letter is one of a dozen easy excuses to throw yours out.

How would one go about finding the name or number for a production coordinator on a show or any production? The crew calls I’ve responded to don’t give out any contact info beyond email addresses, and some of them even say “no phone calls.”

“No phone calls” means “Don’t call and ask for the job; I’m busy and you’re boring.”

If you want someone’s name, just call and ask for it.  90% of the time, they’ll just give it to you.  If they ask why, just say you want to know who to address your corespondense to.

As to getting the phone number in the first place, I have a a couple old posts about that.  Good luck.

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