In this section, you can find out whether My First Job In Film is right for you and how it came to be the largest community of new filmmakers in the UK.
The film industry has always appeared to be a glamorous career choice. It conjures up an image of rubbing shoulders with film stars, collaborating with creative visionaries and being part of something that is quite frankly, very cool!
Of course, the reality is very different. Without doubt it's an incredible industry to be part of, but it's one where back-breaking hard work, false hope, and daily rejections can be the norm.
Compared to more traditional careers in law, finance or medicine, careers paths through the creative industries, including film, can be obscure and hard to navigate. Formal graduate recruitment programs are few and far between, and junior staff and crew are often found by asking a colleague if they know anyone suitable. This inevitably makes good entry level opportunities harder to find, as it becomes a case of 'who you know' as opposed to how right you might be for the role.
Launched in 2011, the vision of My First Job In Film was to provide transparency and equality to new entrant recruitment. We wanted to make finding work less about who you know and more about your skills and achievements, to make sure that good quality new entrant opportunities were available to anyone who was passionate about working in film. To achieve this, we only work with established, reputable productions and companies, all of whom have to meet industry best practice guidelines.
Today our role is about much more than finding work opportunities for our members. My First Job In Film is a community of like-minded new filmmakers, and we are committed to providing you with the best career advice and support we can, making sure that you are well prepared to be the industry’s leading lights of the future.
Research, Research, Research
Yes, research can be boring, but researching the film industry and increasing your knowledge is crucial if you want to get off to the best start. Ask yourself, do you want to be working on set as a member of the crew or be more office based? Would you be comfortable being self-employed or would you prefer the security of a regular pay check? There are many questions that are so important and you need to be able to answer them for yourself.
This website is packed full of career guides, plans, resources and industry knowledge for you to read through and study. In the case studies section, you will find examples from individuals who were once in your shoes, but are now established their careers.
The more research you do, the more you will understand the industry, and that knowledge will inform your decisions going forward. Most importantly, it will help you in deciding which area of the industry you want to specialise in.
Once you have a clear idea about which career you want to pursue, you need to focus your energy on knowing as much as you possibly can about it. This is where our career planners come in. They are broken down into three stages, with each stage having realistic goals for you to complete which are either knowledge, skills or experience based. Career planners can be found at the bottom of each of our career guides, along with example CVs and other resources to help you find your dream job.
We Are Here To Help You
Many of your questions can be answered via our resources section, which includes comprehensive CV advice and example CVs to help you understand what it takes to launch your career.
If you haven't already, make sure you join our Facebook group. It's there for you to post requests for advice from our career advisor, to find out how other members are getting on and to discuss all things film related. Getting involved in this kind of community discussion will increase your knowledge and help improve your chances of becoming the next Tarantino or Spielberg. You can post your CV for feedback, ask for help, talk about applications and get tips and tricks for getting ahead.
And don't forget, if you have a question about your MFJF account, or a job that you have applied for, you can always send us an email and we will respond as soon as we can.
Apply For The Right Jobs
It's easy to jump straight in and start applying for anything and everything. Don't do it!
Before you apply for anything, make sure you research the industry, review the relevant career planner to determine which stage of your career you're in and most importantly - change your CV using our CV advice. Once you've done all of these things, you are ready to apply for the jobs.
Take your time. Only apply for those jobs that are right for you and your chosen career. Before you apply for any job, check through the details to make sure you have the skills and experience required by the employer. Make sure your cover letter is tailored for that job and follow our CV advice to give yourself the best chance possible.
Our Promise To You
We promise to ensure that My First Job In Film remains a vibrant community of new filmmakers, with up-to-date resources to help you improve your industry knowledge. Our aim is to help you improve your applications and to provide you with lots of exclusive and exciting opportunities in film.
Whilst we love success stories about members who find work through the site, we are aware that not everyone will find a job using our service. What we can promise to all of our members, is that we will provide you with valuable career advice and industry information, giving you access to the tools and knowledge that you need to start you film career.
If you would like to tell us about a success that you've had, or if you would like to send us some feedback about the site or believe we can do a better job, please get in touch by emailing [email protected]. We are here to help!
Anyone starting their career in the film industry can become a My First Job In Film member, but you must be aged 18 or over due to Employment Law legislation.
Many of our members will have film related degrees, a degree in film or any other subject is not essential to enter the film industry. A strong academic background is helpful, but again, not always required.
If you are changing careers, you are equally welcome to bring your proven work ethic and transferrable skills, but you must know that you will probably have to start at the bottom of the ladder, so be prepared to work hard and earn a minimum wage.
Our members tend to fall into with one of these three career categories:
You have a passion for film, but little or no work experience in the industry. You might be fresh out of school, university or you might be embarking on a career change. Your initial focus should be on increasing your knowledge and skills, thereby improving your chances of success when applying for opportunities. These are all factors you can control, by researching and adding technical skills to your armoury, as well as volunteering or simply picking up a camera and getting examples of your work online.
You have an advanced knowledge and understanding of the industry, so your focus is on gaining experience and building up your list of industry contacts. Work experience, collaborations and internships are perfect for you as they add valuable experience to your CV. One key task is to get industry references, as these are a crucial way to elevate your applications.
You have a CV with multiple credits or internships and some excellent references, so you are set to find a permanent position and/or have established your own network of contacts to help you find regular, sustainable work.
There is no magic wand that we, or anyone else, can wave to guarantee success. Forging a career in the film industry is about patience and tenacity. It takes time and on occasion the end goal will seem a long way away, but what we promise is that if you follow our advice then your chances of success, of launching your career, will improve.
First and foremost, MFJF works by providing you the means to research and understand the industry and your chosen career path.
Second, film is a people's industry, it's more than just who you know, it's about being someone that people trust, like and want to work with; you can't make a film on your own, you need people and they need you. So you need to build a network of contacts and simultaneously gain experience. Use the Network and Collaboration features of the website to meet and work with new people. Don't be shy, put yourself out there. Don't worry if you feel like you don't know very much or have much to offer, the fact that you are enthusiastic and motivated is enough!
Third, many companies and production post available roles and opportunities on our Job Board. They vary in the experience required - refer to our Stage 1, 2 and 3 descriptions earlier - so apply to the right ones for where you are in your career right now.
Companies will contact you directly if they wish to take your application further. Some roles are urgent, others less so, so the duration of the advertisement will depend on their requirements. On average companies usually respond to applications two weeks after the deadline, and if you haven't heard back it's unlikely you will do so.
We are not involved in any shortlisting or selecting of candidates but understand how crucial it is for applications to be acknowledged, and where possible, feedback provided. Whilst personal application feedback is near impossible, general feedback certainly is, so we promise to chase every company and production and ask them for feedback on behalf of all the applicants. We will email this to you.
Finally, to fully take advantage of our knowledge and advice, make sure you join our Film Careers FaceBook Group, job applications advice, personalised CV advice and much more is all available. Just post your questions to our team and they will do their best to answer them.
1. Make sure you add all your experience to your profile, and detail your technical skills. If you don't have technical skills, such as knowledge of edit software, then the onus is on you to learn!
2. On the applications, give full, detailed answers for the Application Questions. If they are looking for someone with knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite then specifically detail your knowledge and the projects you worked on using Adobe software.
3. Make sure your CV is customised! It's boring and can take time, but analyse the job advert, what is it that they are actually looking for? Make those skills and experience prominent on your CV.
4. Never wait to apply - apply immediately!
5. This is a sensitive one, but being able to drive and having access to a car makes a huge difference. Of course not everybody can afford a car, but it would be remiss of us not to mention that in the world of production, certainly when on location, having a car is vital.
For Career Advice, Job Feedback, and CV Support. We are here to help you, so join us on our Facebook group and talk to us!