How to Get Into: Media and Film

Film strip

With creative arts degrees being the third most popular choice for students in 2014, the media industry is clearly a favourable one to break into. It employs just under one million people in the UK and contributes a significant amount to the British economy.

Whether it’s TV, film, animation, advertising, interactive media, radio, or digital media, the opportunities within this area are quite extensive. It’s a hugely popular degree subject, but this field is heavily reliant on experience in order to secure a position. Working or interning as a runner or any assistant position on a production/set is vital for obtaining a full-time role in TV and film.

Media and film degrees generally have a heavily practical emphasis in order to help graduates develop the technical skills sought-after by employers. If embarking on a course, ensure you have researched its structure and the amount of practical versus theoretical study it will involve.
Why Media and Film?

Creativity

Being able to express creativity within a job is a highly sought-after benefit for many people. Creativity is one of the biggest reasons why people choose to work in this industry, and being able to contribute to a big project is very rewarding.

Variety

It’s easy to find a role within media and film which involves a lot of variety. Some roles will involve working on several projects at once, or on consecutive projects that differ from each other. With several parts and stages to a production, employees are able to apply themselves across more than one of them. This kind of working pattern can be appealing to many.

Enjoyment

Most employees in this sector are very passionate about it and the work they do. After all, it is one of the most popularly desired career routes. With its fast pace and exciting opportunities, many people want to be involved due to its high level of job satisfaction.
Areas

Filming and Production

Film and TV crews – or any ‘behind the scenes’ staff – make up a huge proportion of media employees. Whether it’s a part of the actual film and set team or an editing role, there are lots of opportunities within the production process. Roles range from a runner up to a director, and can involve long hours in order to shoot and/or edit everything in time with the schedule.

Digital and Effects

A job in digital media could be anything from designing the interface for a cash point, to 3D animation, to special effects. Positions in this area will generally involve technical knowledge of specific software, programs and coding.

Advertising and Marketing

This involves using several different forms of media to promote a product or service. All businesses will do some form of advertising or marketing, so the demand is always rife. Whether you find a role in an in-house team or with an advertising or media agency, you could be responsible for creating the next Compare the Meerkat.

Transferable Skills

Creativity

Having a good creative vision comes into all aspects of the media and film industry. Being able to bring an idea into reality and ensure things translate well on to screen, print, online or radio is essential. If you enjoy taking something from a conceived idea to a finished product, this could be the sector for you.

Adaptability

Working in media and film – especially in production – means you have to be able to react quickly and effectively if things don’t go to plan. Unexpected obstacles such as equipment failure, lack of staff or even the weather can affect a production and the ability to film. It will help considerably if you are someone who is able to come up with quick solutions or a plan B.

Patience

Most of the work in this industry takes a considerable amount of time – whether that’s filming, editing, set designing or working on client briefs. There are a lot of long days, which can include waiting to get the right shot, or having a lot of footage to edit and refine. If you have a lot of time and dedication to give, this area would suit you.

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