Looking for a Career in the Film Industry?

The film industry is one of the most exciting, informative, and profitable businesses in the world today. A single film, nowadays, can make millions of dollars in a single weekend. The same film could generate over a billion dollars of revenue all together, for example, the movie Titanic was the most profitable film in the year 1999. In 1998 the world wide gross generated by films would be over 40 billion dollars. According to Mecfilm, 70% of the United States population goes to the movies regularly. That accounts for 1.5 billion attendances yearly.

Not only are the movie theatres bringing in the “big bucks”, but cable, direct-digital delivery of movies through satellite, the internet, new personal home theatres, DVDs, and the traditional VHS cassette tapes are also profitable markets for the film industry. Within the next five years, these markets will increase greatly because of the high demands of new technology.

The film industry has been a very profitable business in the state of California. If not for the industry, California may not be as successful and economically stable as it is today. The film industry has generated more than 16 billion dollars of the economy in California. The industry has also produced jobs for people by employing 164,000 people directly and 184,000 indirectly.

The film industry is not all fame and fortune all the time. It is a glamorous industry, however, there are downfalls associated with it. The productions of films are headaches themselves. Movies can cost from $50,000-200 million dollars, and there is not any guarantee that the film will make all of its money back. Often times films do lose money, however, they can earn money back through ancillary sales. There are times when films are created and one may never see the finished product because it did not make it to the theatres or on television.

There are many opportunities in the film industry. Some occupations do not involve any experience. One may not need to attend college to get ahead in the industry. There are very many people who are only high school graduates who are in the business. The film industry is always looking for creative new faces to add their expertise.

There are a wide variety of occupations associated with film. Directing, producing, and editing are only a few of the wonderful jobs in the industry. Casting directors, location managers, copywriters, gaffers, key grip, script supervisor, art department/set design, make up and hair, wardrobe, sound, students, property masters, special effects, computer animation, accounting, and talent create hundreds even thousands of jobs for the people in the industry.

The Internet is an excellent source to get information on opportunities in film. You can find jobs all over the country and world that apply to your interests just by using your personal computer.

Atlanta is becoming the African-American film market in America. The opportunities in the industry are opening doors for new African-American faces that want to become makers of the visual arts. Atlanta is also a place where many films are now taking place; from the 20th Century Fox production of Drumline to the new music videos of today.

The film industry is a very competitive field and one may get rejected more than accepted. If your script format is unclear, one may look right passed your masterpiece.

The industry is very sketchy. There are very many people who will try to get you to sign contracts or sign away your rights to your film. One has to be very smart when dealing with these types of people or that may take advantage you if you have little knowledge of the industry. That is why it is always a good idea to have a lawyer present when signing anything. Copywriting your production is also an important factor because your work can easily become someone else’s without the proper documentation.

Once you are in the business you will have a responsibility of making sure your job is complete and efficient. The director’s responsibility is to make sure that everyone on the set is in order and not out of control. He is faced with overwhelming pressures daily and this often times causes him to have gray hairs. He may or may not be able to write the movie that he is going to direct. If he is a well-known director he has a better chance of choosing the subject. He may also be handed a script and can only make certain changes to it, or he may be given a script that he will have to follow precisely.

Films are very time consuming. To be in the industry one must be very patient. Some days can last twelve hours or more and one will not receive their paycheck until the hours are completed.

Entertainers live life pretty well in the industry and when they are on set. They are fed, clothed, and kissed up to. The production crew has to do everything in their power to keep the talent happy. When an entertainer has to be given roles and sold through the sales department, they will usually end up with the weak roles in the film. However, good entertainers sell themselves. Names such as Denzel Washington, Eddie Murphy, or Halle Berry will star in lead roles just because of who they are. Casting has to fit the audience’s preference.

However, extras will not have it as great as the star talent on the set. They may be thrown into a room where they have to wait several hours to be called. My personal experience as an extra was one that I would never forget. We were thrown into a room of freezing temperature with only a small vent for heat. We had to stay in there for several hours. The director decided to change his mind and cut out our scene. We were then forced back into the room to wait another four or five hours before we could be in another shot. This caused tension and many of the extras started leaving because of the horrible conditions. Besides being cold and told to “shut up” every few minutes this was a very interesting experience.

Perfection is a strong factor in the film industry. Any slight mistake can cause thousands of dollars to be lost. Most of the time thousands of dollars will be spent and the camera may not even be turned on yet. Some pictures, for example, like The Titanic cost 200 million dollars, making it the most expensive film in American history. The King of Kings cost $19,000 a day to produce for up to 116 days averaging $2225 per hour. The producers may not want to give the production team the money to create the director’s vision if they feel that it will not sell. These are some of the reasons why films are made with precision.

The film industry is a complex occupation. There are going to be times when things are not going to go as planned, however, this is a challenge that comes along with this area of production. People in the industry learn to cope with the everyday pressures that are present. However, the hard work and discipline pays of once the film is complete.

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