Hollywood! Everything about it screams luxury, fame, and dreams.
If the allure of the Hollywood hills, the film and television industry, or just the incredible weather of Los Angeles has made you always want to move there, then you may have thought about finding work in Hollywood.
While there is a ton of work to be found, it isn’t necessarily easy to land a job. In this article, we’re going to give you some tips and tricks on how to get a job in Hollywood. Let’s go!
- Benefits of Landing a Job at Hollywood
- Key Grip
- Best Boy Grip
- Lead Actor
- Tip: Starting Low
Benefits of Working in Hollywood
Getting a job in Hollywood could mean traveling to different production sites, experiencing different cultures and food, and receiving packages exclusive to crew members.
The pay of jobs in Hollywood is also great with the highest paying positions like actors, directors, and writers having an average salary 26% higher than the average salary in the U.S.
The other popular benefit that might go through your mind as well as the feeling of being part of something big. Seeing a movie you helped in completing topping the charts, or having a top rating, or breaking a record of some kind is incredible.
The Many Hands that Make Hollywood Great
From films to television shows, streaming content, and so much more, Hollywood needs many different kinds of industry professionals in order to keep itself up and running.
While becoming an actor, director, or writer in Hollywood can be quite tough, working behind-the-scenes is a great way to work your way into Hollywood.
Below we list a variety of jobs that you can snag in Hollywood. All of these jobs can be found on Hollywood job search websites like Indeed: Film Crew, Indeed: Film Production, ShowbizJobs, Entertainment Careers, and Staff Me Up.
The key grip is the boss of the grip department whose primary function is camera support.
Their responsibilities involve supervising the grip crew to mount, move, and construct movie rigging, assessment of equipment needed for shooting.
They also collaborate heavily with the director of photography.
Experience matters in getting the job as a key grip.
A degree is not required, and although going to film school would also help, you should have worked as a best boy and gained valuable experience doing so.
Best Boy Grip
This is the assistant and the right-hand man to the key grip. Their responsibilities include on-set and on-location tasks like loading and unloading production trucks, planning and implementing the lighting or rigging of locations and/or sound stages, and coordinating with rigging crews.
They also complete the necessary scheduling, renting, completing time cards and other paperwork.
Was fetching coffee and running errands exempted? Include that in the list. In general, the best boy grip is irrespective of gender, tasked with various duties, and works very closely with the head of the grip department.
No educational requirement beyond high school is required, but again, experience in the field is essential. Experience in the production role, experience handling rippers, mounting them, and everything related to the duties of the best boy.
It is not enough to say that you can do what is required, showing where you have done it plays a major part. Also, a best boy grip should be a qualified electrician as working with the gaffer is common.
Actors are the faces on our screens. They bring all the work put in by the film crew into action.
They most times get all the fame, but it does involve lots of work and practice.
Where to even start. You must show experience in acting and you have to have excellent acting skills.
Examples of experience might be from high school where you joined theater, film school where you played several roles in acting, movies or series.
Think of all the words that come out from your favorite actors’ mouths. That is the work of screenwriters. You think the characters of FRIENDS just came up with their quips on the spot? Of course not! They had a talented team behind them.
FRIENDS turned out to be a hit because of the awesome writers of the show. Among other major factors, of course. Screenwriters play major roles and their creativity stirs the whole movie, series, or show.
Their responsibilities include writing the scripts to be said by the actors, creating a storyline, crafting a sequence of events.
They foresee the effect of every word in the script and the reaction to the viewers.
Educational requirements are not compulsory, although having a degree in drama and theatre, English, film studies, media studies, and psychology are useful.
Experience also matters as it is difficult to just land a main scriptwriter role without having experience related to similar writing positions on set.
A producer is among the first persons to work on set. Key responsibilities include hiring and casting staff and crew members, raising money and setting the budget for the film, monitoring the pre-production, production, and post-production of the film.
In general, a producer makes sure that the activities of the film run as planned and according to the planned budget.
Producer roles in Hollywood may be more difficult to find on the job search sites. Starting as an assistant and networking and being connected to opportunities is a more effective way to become a producer.
A formal education is not compulsory, but necessary to be a qualified producer. Going to film school or business school can be a sought after quality and an advantage.
Most producers also have experience in the entertainment industry with experience as actors, writers, directors among others. So, experience is a major qualifying component.
Simply put, a director directs the making, shooting, and assembly of a film. A director manages the film production and supervises different roles in the filmmaking process.
While he works as a boss, it takes more than dishing out orders to get the job done.
He must possess a set of creative skills as well as managerial skills to do the role properly.
He is also involved in choosing cast members, production design, and the creative aspects of filmmaking.
Just like most other jobs listed, educational qualification is not a must. And again, earning a degree at film school is an edge as well as valuable experience.
Sometimes directors have varied qualifications, like a degree in directing or even experience acting. Having these would provide an edge when looking for a directing job in Hollywood as well. As directors should have a vast knowledge of nearly everything to do with film, experience in film is crucial to becoming a director.
In the same way producer roles can be hard to find on the sites, director roles are just as tough. Starting as an assistant is a more effective way to become a director.
Start at the Bottom
When it comes to finding a job in Hollywood, the best route to take is to start small and work your way to the top.
Whether you take on an internship, or paid positions as a receptionist or assistant to the position you want, you will have a much better chance to get that job if you get your foot in the door.
And although it would be good to land a low-end job relating to your aspiring jobs like script supervisor to main writer, or grip to producer, it really does not matter.
Getting in and making the right connections can help you easily finetune your career in whatever trajectory it may be.
Putting Yourself Out There
Networking gives you leverage. It lets you meet experts and higher-ups whose roles or work you aspire to and sometimes get free tips, inside opportunities, and hard facts to trim some fairy tales you might have.
Referrals go a long way in Hollywood so be ready at all times to put a lot of effort into networking and meeting as many people in the industry as possible.
Having a portfolio to show related to the work you aim to do in Hollywood is important. Whether it’s a short play you directed, a script you wrote, a website, or a social media account with related content, having a small body of work helps you to stand out against other applicants when applying or interviewing.
The opportunity to work in Hollywood is a major dream for fans of the film and television industry. Though it’s not often required, a formal education in film or communications could really give you a strong edge when job-hunting.
Nothing comes easy in the competitive job market that is Hollywood. And although you may see hundreds of available jobs yearly, be prepared because thousands are applying for each spot.