by Brian Bileski
Having a dream and chasing a career in the film and television business is awesome and can be very rewarding when you’re working on a feature film or documentary. Yet so many people assume that they can just jump into the industry and expect a job as soon as they graduate from college. Unfortunately it’s just not that simple. There are plenty of ways to get ahead in this business and one is by volunteering for your local community television station while you’re still in high school. Another option would is to purchase a mini camera and go out with your friends and film interviews with rock bands, short movies or even a skateboard video! By doing this now you’ll get a jump start on learning the tricks of the trade which will get you even further when you’re ready to dive headfirst into the film and television industry! Here are some viable career options when you’re ready to make the move:
How often do you find yourself commentating play by play while watching a hockey game or golf tournament on the tube? If you have the gift of gab you might be an ideal candidate for this career. However so many of today’s top announcers know their sports inside and out, these guys can tell you what George Bell’s slugging percentage for the month of August in 1985 was, can you? If not you better study your favorite game and be sure to work on your voice as each of these guys has their own trademark sound.
Are you always that person who’s taking photos of all your friends? Do you sleep with your camera under your pillow? Believe me there are cameramen out there who love photography and were born to work behind a camera lens. There is something different about photographers and many of them make a smooth transition from snapshooter to cameraoperator. Imagine yourself looking through a lens at Lindsay Lohan or Leonardo DiCaprio, will you be able to stay focused?
Over half of the programs that air on Canadian television networks were produced in the United States or elsewhere. Yet somehow these shows still make their way onto our airwaves. These shows are purchased by television executives who then import them to the Great White North. CSI, the OC, The Apprentice, and The Simpsons are all American productions but somebody had to make the decision that they would air to Canadians across the country. Wouldn’t it be cool to decide which reality show is going to be the next big thing for your network’s viewers?
Michael Moore makes this look easy. He came up with two great documentaries exposing aspects of American life that he disagreed with. He shot most of his footage using a camera that is barely better than a family camcorder. Anybody can grab one to film footage about an issue that needs to be cross examined and publicized to the good citizens of our communities. Try filming a 10 minute piece on a subject you are passionate about. This is the first step in becoming a future Oscar nominee.
When you’re watching a television show and the picture goes from a wide shot to a close up of a person’s face you’ve just seen an edit. The footage was chopped to bits by an editor and pasted back together in a sequence pleasing to the eye. Most of these guys are trained to use top of the line software and spent thousands of dollars studying this art form in special schools. Nowadays you can even edit home video on your family’s computer. Why not become the next Martin Scorsese before this year’s graduation?
Working in film and television is a very demanding job and can eat up weeks of your life while working on productions. If you like your weekends off and your nights free then this industry might not be your best fit. However if you love motion pictures and you dream of working the best job in show business then you’ve all ready taken the first step in the right direction. All you need to do now is grab a camera and start shooting.