"We have our factory, which is called a stage. We make a product, we color it, we title it and we ship it out in cans."—Cary Grant
When most people think of getting into the biz, they envision themselves as producers, directors, writers or actors, because these are the highly visible, coveted positions we hear the most about. And they are the crafts film schools are well known for teaching. Some students will gravitate toward cinematography, editing, production design or entertainment law; and some may even have aspirations of becoming studio executives, but I've never run into a film student who aspired to be unit publicist or a script doctor. Why? Because few even know what a unit publicist or a script doctor does.
Most industry newcomers start off in entry-level positions with aspirations of climbing to the top. Not many are aware of the enormous number of jobs and career options that exist between the bottom and top rungs of the ladder—positions that are generally easier to attain; jobs that are creative, satisfying and/or lucrative and can become stepping stones or fulfilling careers in their own right.
There are six stages to the filmmaking process: development, pre-production, production, post production, distribution and exhibition. Considering the hundreds of jobs associated with each stage and the multitudes of auxiliary businesses and services considered part of the entertainment field, the job possibilities in this field are too great to list.
Entire books are devoted to industry job descriptions. This isn't one of them, nor (as you've already seen) is it a typical career guide. To find books that will give you a more in-depth look at career possibilities, check out the selection Samuel French Bookshops carries, which you can access online. Although there are others on the market, a couple of the books I'm familiar with include Creative Careers in Hollywood by Laurie Scheer (Allworth Press, New York) and Gaffers, Grips, and Best Boys by Eric Taub (St. Martin's Press, New York). And Phil Nemy's Get A Reel Job (Angels' Touch Productions) and April Fitzsimmons' Breaking & Entering—Land Your First Job in Film Production (Lone Eagle) both contain specific chapters devoted to job descriptions.
Since there are only so many top positions to go around, the purpose of this chapter is to open your eyes and mind to the wide variety of jobs that fall within the sphere of the entertainment industry and to cover a few of them in some detail. I can't tell you which jobs are easier to land than others. For that information, you'll have to do some research. But you should learn what's out there.
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