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Oct 062015

I have worked on a lot of film sets.

It even got the point where I would send a CV off for a job and I could pretty much guarantee I would be working on that film. In time credits build up, people recommend you, finding work on film sets is not impossible.

I’ve had a look at some CVs student filmmakers are sending off, and since I always got compliments on my own CV I think it’s justifiable that I know what I’m doing when it comes to CV writing for filmmakers.

You can download my own CV via PDF here- Script Supervisor CV example and see what I am doing that has been working for me. Below you will find 5 tips on what makes a film industry CV work.

1. Make it clear what you do and what job you want

At the top of your CV have your name in bold followed by what your job title is. Make this text big. If you’re after a runner job but don’t have runner experience still put the job title at the top of your CV. If a producer is looking at 20 CVs yours needs to stand out so make them remember your name and what job you’re applying for.

I think a lot of people send CVs of and don’t make it obvious what job they are after on set.

2.  Don’t make it wordy – a very short biography

Don’t make your CV wordy, the producer needs to be able to scan your CV and get the jist. I have three sentences at the top of my script supervisor CV that says it all.

This says what I’ve done, what I do and what type of person I am. I wouldn’t include more than a short paragraph about you. If you’re applying for your first film job then say you’re looking for a runner or for an assistant position (even if you don’t have experience yet). Say that you have experience on student films and are passionate and want to learn more. If you’re a runner with a car you’ll probably get the job.

3. Keep everything relevant and at the top of the CV

In this business, your work in Tesco is not so relevant. Put you film work at the top of the CV. Put ‘any’ film experience you have at the top of your CV, keep all other jobs right at the bottom. I have never put any normal jobs on my film CV- after all why would my job as a waitress convince a producer to hire me as a script supervisor. Keep your CV relevant.

4. Lists and bullet point all credits

Keep your CV streamline and clear. Lists and bullet points are great for this. List all the film jobs you have done going down the page. I have a feature film list, short film list and television list on my CV.

If you’re new to film work, then list any relevant jobs at the top. If you’re after a runner job then put any runner jobs you’ve done at the top of the CV (even if it was just that one short film you helped out on in University – include that, put it right at the top).

I include the title of the film, the date of production, director and producer, production company and any stars I’ve worked with.  Not everyone will put down this information down but you need to make yourself look good. I heard that Quentin Tarantino lied about acting roles he got on his early CV to make himself appear more important.

Name dropping does work (it’s show business). The film industry works in circles of contacts, the last job I got worked out because the director noticed on my CV that I worked with a producer a few years back who he met at a networking event. What are the chances, quite likely in an industry where everyone knows one another.

5. Keep it 2 pages max and keep your education short

A clear to the point one page CV is better than 2 pages of filler. What GCSEs you got are not that important, credits and experience outweigh education.  I include that I studied film at university right at the bottom of my CV.

Don’t include things like I got a B in science A-level. Like the rest of your CV keep your education relevant. You might want to say – I’ve studied media since high school and studied production at university.

So to conclude I think CVs are an important part in getting the job. Credits and contacts is what it’s all about. Don’t make your CV wordy keep it streamlined and clear. For those starting out once you’ve got those first 3 professional credits you’ll be flying. Let me know what works for you. amy.

 October 6, 2015  11 Responses »
Oct 062015


Before I turned 24 years old I never read books for fun.

I know that is shocking to some people but it is true, I have been too busy in the past to find time to read. I have read books before of course but it has always felt like work.

I tried reading books as a teenager but I was just following orders. I never did catch on to the Harry Potter craze, my brother got me the entire collection one Christmas and I just couldn’t work my way through them. For the past year I have been getting into reading for fun, I have read maybe 20 books this year.

I have got faster at reading

At first it would take me a month to work my way through a single book. It now takes me on average about a week to read a 300 page novel – but I read The Great Gatsby in a day. So no doubt I have become a faster reader with practice.

Being more in the know

I have worked my way through some Murakami, Fitzgerald, Hesse, Steinbeck …by reading Douglas Adams and Charles Bukowski  I know for sure I understood some pop culture jokes that would have went over my head had I not read their books (I heard a joke about Bukowski on an episode of Peep Show the other day).

Does reading make you smarter

I have been worrying about my intelligence for a while. Sometimes I feel very dumb, I can’t talk or write properly, my words mumble out of my mouth. I have a recurring fear that I will be amongst a crowd of well educated people who will mock and tease me for not being as clever as they are (for some reason we’re on a boat so there is no escape)

Amongst everyone I have ever met I don’t feel practically stupid. Although I tend to stick to the same people from the same place,  I have worked in other cities and I have travelled and I don’t any way feel stupid amongst people. But still I have this fear that I am not very clever.

How does reading make you smarter

By reading Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath I understood a time in American history I did not know about before, it taught me the dark side of capitalism. When I read Hesse’s Steppenwolf I related to the protagonists struggles to fit, it helped me recognise parts of my own personality such as the fact I am introverted.

Bukowski’s Factotum feels like a narration of my life atm with struggles to find work being frustrated by being educated and only finding low skilled jobs. Sophie’s world taught me the basics of philosophy from Plato to Hume.

I know for sure that I am learning more or at least taking in more information from reading. I am unsure if reading will make me a better writer though. The more I read the faster I can read and reading is helping me understand more about the world just in case I am ever trapped amongst a crowd of intellects on a boat.

 October 6, 2015  No Responses »
Oct 012015

Anger by Kirstine Lykkeberg

Like most people I pay my bills at the end of every month, when I was self employed I would almost always spend the final week of every month chasing up the money that I was owed.

The UK law says that you must be paid after 30 days of sending out an invoice.  A link to the law regarding payment obligations can be found here.

The rules might be 30 days but whilst freelancing I would be paid on average 6 weeks after I had done the work. If I had worked for an individual there was no saying when they would pay up. I feared that I would miss rent payments every month even though I had done the work.

I have been working for a company for the past year unlike self employment having a real job brings security (although I love the freedom self employment brings). I know that payment at the end day of every month is guaranteed. Some of my friends are self employed and have the same problem – never knowing when they will get paid next, which is usually a lump of money coming in every 3 months.

Why do people never pay you on time?!

I found the lack of security with being self employed frustrating. I remember one runner job a few years back. The producer did not like me from the start and even though I had done the work  I don’t believe it was ever her intention to pay me. A month later after still not being paid I knew something fishy was going on, so I sent an email to a coworker asking if they had been paid yet. As it turns out they had been paid a few days after sending their invoices off.

My next step was to send an email out to my employee reminding them that they had not paid me. In reply I got a bitchy email back saying that they refuse to pay me as I did not do my job properly. I know I done the job properly, the producer was trying to save money, make me feel guilty and hope that I was too young and weak to chase it up any further.

After getting this email I sent another email out saying that if she didn’t pay me I would send her to court. Almost instantly after I threatened with court I was paid  what I was owed straight into my bank account.

When in doubt a court threat might be all it takes!

It is much easier to deal with people owing you money through email. A few weeks ago I worked a 3 day job. I was told that I would be paid minimum wage but when it came to collecting my money I was handed £27 pound less than I was owed.

It is not much money but if the employer underpays everyone he walks away with a few extra hundred in his pocket.  It seems my confidence to threaten with court does not stand up when dealing with people face to face. Everyone else was OK with being underpaid (heck he was a big guy) so I just took the money  I was given and didn’t fight for my £27  just like everyone else- he got away with it, the bad guy won and I felt weak.

I must remind my future self to always get in writing what I am expecting to be paid for work before I do it. It’s frustrating that so often the self employed have to fight for the money that they are owed.

 October 1, 2015  No Responses »