So you want to work in TV? If so, Epic TV Studios have given some advice and guidance below that may be of help. Please add anything that you think we have forgotten in comments, we would love to hear from you!
Be sure this is the career you really want
A career in TV won’t usually be as glamorous or exciting as you may think. If you don’t like taking responsibility, bore easily, are not prepared to do repetitive or menial tasks, or hate the thought of working long, unsocial hours, think twice, as TV work may not be for you. Whatever the TV role you are aiming for, you can be sure that it will involve plenty of hard, and sometimes tedious, work. You are likely to find yourself updating databases, completing paperwork, cataloguing various forms of media, making calls and emails and endlessly researching or scheduling for projects – and often while your friends are enjoying an evening out or your family are waiting for you to get home.
It is also worth mentioning here that (if, or when, you are lucky enough to get any kind of work in this very competitive industry) you will very likely start at the bottom. You should expect to spend a considerable amount of time learning from others before you move on from a runner, researcher or assistant role. So, really consider all of these aspects of TV work before committing to it as a future career, and once you have, throw yourself into it 100%.
Take opportunities and network
If you are really keen to work in the television industry, be as flexible as possible and take any opportunity that comes your way – even if it means temporarily working for free or taking a second job. This way you will get to meet like-minded people, hear about and get put forward for more opportunities. It is essential that you gain contacts in the creative media sector in order to gain and stay in work – which is often freelance in creative media roles .
If you can’t find any opportunities, make some! Start up your own creative projects and involve other talented and positive people. Get involved in a community TV project, fashion event, art show, dance/performance event, film or music festival. Get out and go the extra mile – do more than is expected, show initiative and try to become a locally recognised name, associated with entertainment. This way, you’ll find that people think of you when other projects come up and (if you’re doing it well) sooner or later, you will find yourself being offered regular, paid roles.
Constantly build your skillset
All the time that you are doing the above, you will also be learning, gaining confidence and building up your CV and portfolio. This is crucial in such a competitive and ever-changing industry, so don’t get left behind. Make sure that you are aware of current industry standard equipment and software and don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone to try new software or hardware. Also, nurture new skills – like writing a script, or creating artwork for your projects. Confidence in trying new things will make you more employable and you may discover an unexpected talent, passion or route into regular work. Being an ‘all-rounder’ could also give you an edge in the creative industries and enhance your freelance and portfolio work opportunities.
These days there is no excuse for a weak online presence. Use all of the free tools that are available – and some! You can create your own website and promote what you do on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (among many others). All of these sites have great functions, allowing you to share media productions or events and create communities, for free! Start a YouTube channel or create your own blog to show off your expertise and start building your following. There are lots of guides on line as to how you can make this work for you.
If you can do all of the above with enthusiasm, determination, a positive attitude and a smile on your face, you have a chance of ‘making it’ in TV.Tags: TV work