As teachers, it’s our job to guide our students in every way. Of course, the first thing that means is teaching facts and theories to budding minds. But it also means being something of a life coach, too, sometimes even being a shoulder to cry on.
So to help your students, here are three things that are going to kick start their careers in the film industry.
Have them really consider whether filmmaking is the future for them
This should always be the first of many tips for growing your filmmaking career. And it’s by far the most important, because let’s face it: not every single film student is going to go on to be a professional. There are some things that we can control, like how hard we study, schmooze and work; and there are some things we can’t, like how much we really want it.
Every student has to ask themselves: do I have the patience, time and fortitude to turn my dream into a reality? If yes, then that’s fantastic, although we should all be aware that passion alone won’t make anybody stand out from the crowd. But if the desire just isn’t there, it’s better to acknowledge that before wasting too much time.
Always keep a positive attitude
The first of our tips for growing your filmmaking career is to stay positive. It’s true that it’s difficult to get a career in filmmaking, and that the hours are long, and that the slog is hard. So it can be difficult to crack a smile at the end of all that! But it’s positivity that’s absolutely necessary to keep a young filmmaker going through those hard times.
Positivity is especially helpful during that first long job search. There are probably going to be dozens of emails and applications that never even get a reply, and a few promised phone calls that you’ll never receive. Tell your students that it’s natural to feel disappointed not to get the job they were after, but that the most important thing is to pick yourself up, and get back on the horse.
Tell them that sometimes, being pushy is a good thing
Let’s go back to that unanswered email for, say, an internship. Your student could just leave it at that; if the employer doesn’t respond, it’s probably pretty clear that your student isn’t in contention for the job, right?
…Well, yeah, probably. But even so- tell them it’s always worth being a little pushy and sending a follow up email, making a follow up call, or even trying to see somebody in person. Why? Reason number one is that you can get useful information on why you didn’t get the job, be it your outlook, your experience, or your grades.
But the second reason is that maybe your pushiness might land you that job after all: it shows how much you really wanted it in the first place, which can impress an employer. That pushiness is what careers in film industry are based on… Figuring out how FAR to push without going over the edge is the talent that usually only comes through experience and learning from mistakes.