SEARCH OLD BLOG POSTS

CATEGORIES

.

What to Do With Your Student Experience

I’ve said on numerous occasions that student film experience doesn’t count. That’s actually only half true.

Unless you’re a savant, your directing experience isn’t likely to get you a job as a director.1 It’s also unlikely to get you a production assistant job, either. If you put writer/director/producer on your PA resume, you’ll look like an idiot with delusions of grandeur.

But that doesn’t mean your experience is completely worthless. If you went to a decent school, hopefully you at least learned some set etiquette, and you might even know how to set up a c-stand.

I’ve been on some student films that were as big and professional as independent films. I’ve even seen students hire pros for key positions (which is basically cheating, in my book). If you worked on one of those, you probably learned a lot.

But no matter how big or small the student film, you can still put it on your resume.2 Just don’t put “director” in the crew position column.

When you’re applying to be a PA on a big show, simply put “production assistant” with that student film and then… don’t mention that it’s a student film. Simple as that.

If you’re trying to climb the ladder on a low-budget feature, it’s okay to say you were the DP or editor or whatever on a student film. Just be sure, in this case, to clearly label that it’s a student film.

The line between “fudging” and “lying” is one everyone must draw for themselves, no matter how thinly. These are just my rules of thumb. Weigh in below if yours are different.

Footnotes    (↩ returns to text)

  1. The few people who follow this route are extremely lucky, but that’s a post for another day.
  2. More great resume advice can be obtained through my resume review service.
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

SEARCH OLD BLOG POSTS

CATEGORIES

.