Have you ever wondered how to get a job in video production? It isn’t easy — openings are few and far between, and there are a lot of talented candidates out there. So how do you make yourself stand out? Here are 10 Tips from Motivated Marketing’s Production Team in how to make it in the production world:
1. Always be willing to learn new things.
“I started out in music production by interning at a music studio for close to a year. That led me to work with a few different artists and bands that needed music videos. We didn’t have the funds to hire a crew or get someone else to make them, so I bought a camera and learned how to use it. Then I taught myself to create graphics in After Effects. Once I figured out the basics, it was then about doing things to make each new production better. So as long as you are hungry to progress within your field and learn things in other fields that are beneficial to you, then you will have an advantage. “ – Jose
2. Become an expert in one area, but learn all areas.
“Everyone wants to be the director, cinematographer, producer, etc. But sometimes that’s not what you are best at. Maybe you are great at lighting, editing, being an audio engineer, etc. They might not be the most glamorous jobs in production, but they are every bit as important. Becoming an expert in the lesser-sought areas of production is beneficial, as there will be less competition in that area to get consistent work.” – Christian
3. Find a mentor/network to help you.
“Having a mentor is essential. You can learn techniques of how to do things online, but having a mentor helps you learn from someone’s real world experience and gives you an inside look into the industry. That person is also likely to have industry connections and can be one of your best recommendations.” – Jose
4. Be willing to work for free (or cheap).
“I wouldn’t be where I am now without having worked for experience and without pay. I started by working as a cameraman for my college’s athletic department. Then I interned in Chicago at a production company going from two days working each week to working every day. Finally, I took a post-graduate position at a university and worked double the hours I was required to work. The more I worked, the more I learned, which led to an advantage I had over my colleagues and competition to get jobs like the one I currently have.” – Mark
5. Study the work of those you respect.
“One of my favorite things to do is watch movies, TV shows, and advertisements. And I don’t just mean ‘watch them.’ I mean to study them. I want to learn from them how they make that cut, that shot, etc. The more I watch, the more I learn and the more I can apply those techniques in my work. As an editor, my favorite films to watch are ones made by Edgar Wright. He has such a great eye for telling a story through cuts (a great example is Hot Fuzz).” – Mark
6. Know your equipment and what it can do.
“Just buying an expensive camera doesn’t mean you will automatically create better videos. Before buying that next expensive camera, lenses, and so on, learn everything about the one you have now. Dig into the settings, test shoot in different modes, and really get to know your equipment inside and out. Once you do that, you’ll learn that your knowledge of your equipment is worth more than the actual price of said equipment.” – Christian
7. Be willing to take criticism.
“No matter how young or old you are, everyone’s work can use improvement. Being able to take constructive criticism is a great way to improve the quality of your projects. It’s always hard hearing people saying they didn’t like this or that, but if they offer reasons why and suggestions to make it better, it not only allows you to know what you can do to better present your work to people, but hone in on what does and doesn’t work.” – Mark
8. Play your role and know your position.
“When you’re hired to be on set or for a position on a project, the most important thing for you to do is to flawlessly execute that position. If you are the audio engineer, make sure all of your levels and mic are set up right. You don’t need to worry about lighting or help out since that is someone else’s role. Giving it all to your position not only helps the project run smoother, but it also shows that you know what to do and how to perform on set, thus leading to more opportunities. In other words, treat THIS job like an interview for your NEXT job.” – Jose
9. Don’t chase money, chase good projects.
“Getting a nice-sized paycheck is always welcome, but there’s nothing worse than working on a project that you don’t have any passion for. I like to seek out projects that I know I have a vision for and can be passionate about working on and getting it finished. The money will always come in one way or another, so make sure you get involved in projects that, once finished, you are proud to show off.” – Christian
10. Stay humble — and keep your perspective.
“The important thing to remember is to stay humble. Sometimes you’ll see a friend or colleague get that job you wanted, some will work on more interesting projects, and others will have advanced their career faster than you. As Obi-Wan told Luke in the original Star Wars, “Your destiny lies along a different path from mine.” This is about you. Remember that you are in a field of work that you love and that you get the chance to live out your dream of working in it. Opportunities will arise, you just have to stay patient and, more importantly, be humble for the opportunities that you have had so far.” – Mark