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How to Find the Best Film Internship

Fri, Jul 13, 2012

Internship Information

Every one knows that an internship is a crucial step on the road towards landing the job of your dreams. But what if your goal is a career in film? There’s no one way to make it in the motion picture industry. Some people claim film school is the way to go. Others say go out and start making movies. Yet others suggest finding a job in development or post-production, and using those contacts to move into your desired specialty. Regardless of where you want to land in film, starting out with an internship can be a great resource. Here are a few ways you can find the best film internship for you.

First off, start by approaching people you know in the film industry. Working professionals will have a huge list of contacts, and may also know of great available internships that aren’t listed anywhere. So first reach out to your own contacts, but don’t stop there. Connect with friends, work associates, family, acquaintances, and the career counselor at your university to sniff out all possible recommendations. In film, as with many industries, who you know is just as important as what you know. So let your existing connections work for you.

If you don’t have any film contacts, or have hit a dead end on your current list, hop online and start searching through job boards. You can start on Craigslist, which has a film and television section. But you’re better off going directly to entertainment-related job boards. Mandy and EntertainmentCareers.net are two solid destinations to start your search. Just make sure that if you find a job you apply to it immediately. Film internships are incredibly in demand, and delaying even a day could make you miss out.

Once you’ve got resumes going out that way, and are regularly checking back in for new listings, compile a group of film companies you’d like to work for and reach out. Sending in a cover letter and resume cold isn’t the most effective way to go, but if you’ve got a great approach, you could be surprised. Seek out companies, both large and small, that work in the area you’re most excited about and hit them up. Follow up with a phone call as well. Some companies fill their positions entirely by word of mouth, and may never post on the job boards.

Make sure you’re the most attractive candidate for any internship. That’s a much larger proposition than simply crafting a great cover letter. Remember, even unpaid internships are in huge demand, and there will likely be dozens of people applying to each one. So do whatever you can to show prospective employers that you will be working in the film industry with or without them. Gain experience on film sets, even if you’re working for free. Make your own short films. And take courses in film, either part-time or full-time.

Finally, remember that you’re going to have to be very flexible. Film jobs often require long hours, travel and difficult conditions. It’s way more than knowing how to use a custom USB flash drive. So consider a wide range of internships in entertainment, even if it’s not exactly your main focus. An internship in film marketing may seem like a bad fit for a budding director, but the experience and contacts you gain will undoubtedly come to good use down the line.

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