Elsa writes in:
I’m a long time TAPA reader, first time question asker. I’m a video producer for a media company with 2 years of experience. I’m trying to move into film production, but I’m having a hard time figuring out what roles I should be applying for.
Does my experience with pitching/producing/directing/writing/editing videos for social media translate into any experience in film production? Or should I aim for entry-level jobs and hope that my extensive portfolio of 50 second videos doesn’t actually count against me?
It could quite possibly be used against you. On narrative films and TV, nobody does ALL of those jobs (except Steven Soderbergh).
You Need to Choose
What do you really want to do? Write? Edit? Produce? Shoot? These are all very different jobs, with different responsibilities and career paths. If you put everything on your resume, you’ll look like a jack of all trades, which no one wants.
Pick the position, and stick with it. Then, orient your resume (and reel) around that. Be the best editor you can be, and people will hire you to edit. But they probably won’t hire you to produce/shoot/edit/cater/drive the grip truck.
Do not put EVERYTHING on at once. That looks unprofessional. You look like a newb who’s only worked on student films or web videos.
And the absolute worst thing you can do is give yourself credit for all of those positions on IMDb. Nothing screams unprofessional quite like an IMDb page with the same name repeated in every department.
You’re Not Stuck
There is a certain freedom that comes with being a videographer. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want, and the client doesn’t know the difference. Sticking with one trade might feel limiting. Don’t feel trapped, however.
You can continue shooting and editing and producing… just don’t tell anyone. If you apply to be an editor, send in an editing resume and reel. Don’t mention that you also write and shoot. You can turn around and send your DP reel to a different production, and then leave out the fact that you edit.
There’s no harm in having a side gig in this business. Hell, everyone from the security guard to the associate producer has a pilot script they want to pitch you. That’s no different than alternating between producing and editing.
And while you’re looking for your gig, you might want to consider…
The TAPA Networking Event is Back
That’s right! due to popular demand, I’m bringing back the TAPA Networking Event. Now it’s bigger and better than ever.
This one will be on March 31st. It’ll be 90 minutes of networking, followed by a panel discussion with some Hollywood professionals. Guests include an Academy Award-winning animation director, a literary manager, a VFX supervisor, a producer, and more.
The general admission tickets get you into the networking event as well as the Q&A. Plus, you get a free drink! Early bird tickets are $2 off, until this weekend.
There’s also a limited number of VIP tickets, for people who want to get in early and talk one-on-one with the guests. Click the link below for tickets!