Video Production Jobs: Complete Guide For 2020
Looking for production jobs in the video production or film industry? We’ve got you covered with our list of video production jobs and film job resources.
I know we teach setting up a sustainable business of your own at Filmmaking Lifestyle, but when you’re starting out (or when you’re quiet), you may want to make use of these job finding sites. These are especially useful when you’re just starting to build your business, and I’d highly recommend sites like Upwork for people looking for freelance video production work near them.
Video Production Jobs + Film Jobs Sites
- Radar Music Videos
- Video Collective
- Shooting People
- Creative Skillset
- Media Match
- The White Book
I’ve personally had a lot of success using freelance sites like Upwork, both for finding freelancers to work on my projects and (in my early days) finding work myself. I used sites like Elance to get editing jobs and even video production jobs in my early days.
I also used (and still use) freelance sites for outsourcing things like editing, finding extra shooters, finding writers for my various online projects and much more. These freelancing sites have been a huge help to me in many of my businesses, both online and offline.
Sometimes, you need to freelance a bit to get your foot in the door and be in a position to grow your video production business. It’s also a great way of networking and meeting contacts that will be helpful in starting and growing your own video production company.
Working For a Company vs Freelancing
When you’re considering getting in video production, you’re most likely going to come up against the age old question: to work for yourself or someone else?
Like with most professions, video production skills give you the ability to work for yourself, as well as put them to use for a company. Some people battle with whether to work for themselves or for a company, but it’s really pretty simple.
First off, working for a video company, especially when you’re new to all this, is a great option for most people. Not only will you gain skills and experience, but you’ll build up a network which could come in handy later on if you choose to work for yourself.
Networking is super important. But, make no mistake: I’m not talking about taking clients from the video company that gave you the job!
Here’s what my friend Jordy had to say about this in his article on Filmmaking Lifestyle:
“He made something I’ve never heard about in our education: corporate films.
The man gave me a great feeling about his work and so I was his first intern. Like I hoped for, I was handling the camera, the lighting, the sound. Everything. I had never felt so creative before and able to make my own decisions.”
There’s another way you can do it, too: you can work for a video company as a freelancer, as well as do your own projects on the side. There are a whole range of ways of doing this. You can work for the company and your own projects 50/50 or 75/25, or any other combination you can think of.
To summarize, here are some of the options:
- You can work 100% for a company.
- You can freelance as well as work for a company.
- You can 100% freelance.
- You can start your own video company.
Entry Level Video Production Jobs
For the most part, you’ll need to start in an entry level video production role at first. Very few people can come in and command a specialist/high leverage role from the beginning. The exceptions being those people who’ve been headhunted from other companies.
But in general, if you have little or no experience, then you’ll need to start in an entry level position at the video production company. If you have a little more experience, you have more leverage to negotiate a bigger and more flexible role (as well as a bigger salary).
In my own experience, I’ve lived this out. I took on an entry level role at a medium sized marketing company after college. This role didn’t exactly stretch me creatively, but it did teach me the business from the inside out.
Some responsibilities in entry level video production jobs might be things like:
- Shooting B-roll footage.
- Editing small sections of a project.
- General running and assistant tasks.
Yes, I know the last one isn’t exactly all the attractive a proposition. I mean, who wants to come fresh out of film school after slogging your guts out for years only to find that you’ve been promoted to…coffee runner.
Picking up the coffee has become something of a meme in the filmmaking world, but it’s pretty true in entry level roles with most large sized companies. They won’t trust you right off the bat!
Of course, all of this depends on the size of the company. An entry level position at a smaller sized video company is very different to an entry level role at a larger company. With the smaller company, you’d expect to be given more responsibility and your day-today should be a lot more hands on.
Popular Areas for Video Production Jobs
Here are a few well known areas that have plentiful video production job opportunities. We’ve included major cities here, especially in the USA. In general, the bigger the city, the more film and video production opportunities there will be.
Video Production Jobs NYC
Ah, New York City – the home of media and big business. New York City is called the city that never sleeps. It’s burgeoning media and digital marketing scene means that NYC has a lot of video production opportunities.
Filmmaking and video production have long been staples of the New York landscape. And the huge amount of business and developments going on in NYC on a daily basis means that there will always be a need for video production in the City.
Here are a few links to video production jobs in New York City:
Video Production Jobs Chicago
Chicago, in the heartland of the United States, is another area with a thriving video production scene. Lots of big business and media companies here means there’s a constant demand for new video production professionals in the city.
Whether you want to get involved with a digital agency, work on video projects in the financial sector, or something else, Chicago has a lot to offer.
Some links to production jobs in the Chicago area:
Video Production Jobs Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia’s a great area for video production, too. This city has a big filmmaking (as well as music) scene.
Here are some links to video company positions in the Atlanta area:
Video production internships
Many people come out of film school and walk into an internship. In fact, lots of people do it whilst still at college.
Various media students and film enthusiasts have started off working as an intern or take up an apprenticeship with directors. In fact, a lot of successful filmmakers have started off as interns. For example, Martin Scorsese started off interning with Roger Corman and Edgar Wright with Raindance.
Just prove yourself worthy of a chance and get an internship because this is your free pass to learn from the experts themselves. Internship does not come easily, so you have to be persistent to get one.
Working as a video production intern can be just the stepping stone you need to jump start your career in video production. Never overlook internships, or turn your nose up at them, as they can be a great start to a successful career. Good Luck!
Here are a few options in the internship / entry level area:
Video Production Volunteer
A good thing about the film industry is that it offers many fun parts to play and volunteering is one such thing. With consecutive film festivals taking place, film organisations are always looking for volunteers. Now, you might not want to be a volunteer, but the experience does count.
Volunteering can lead to a full time job and many years worth of experience, which you can implement in your projects. It has also been noted how nearly every intern and apprentice did start off as a volunteer in a film organisation.
Thus, find a festival or organisation you admire and secure a volunteer or intern position. Your filmmaker career future also depends upon how much you have impressed people with your passion and hard work.
These next three roles are ones that are especially applicable to the entry level and video production internship roles we discussed above:
- Script Reading / Development.
Script Reading / Development
Do you enjoy reading and screenplays in particular? Why not try your hands at an entry level film industry role?
If this interests you even a bit, then surely give it a try as it’s a great opportunity to learn the fundamentals of development and production. You will love this job, especially if you are someone who is persistent, loves talking to people and reading.
Well, this might not be the most glamorous of roles, but it surely is one of the ways to get a break. If you have a driving license that allows you to drive a commercial vehicle, like a van or limo, you can easily get work here. Drivers are always in huge demand by these festival organisations, plus you will be making cash from it.
A runner is an on-the-job training program. Simply put, you will be earning a bit of cash while training. Usually, people work as runners to get a feel of what it’s like to work with people from different companies in the industry. Like we mentioned above, the filmmaking meme of carrying coffee back and forth all say applies here.
Since, as a runner you will be working with multiple people, over a period of time you are bound to make some really good connections. The chances of these connections resulting in future collaborations with fellow runners are quite high.
Video Production Assistant
If being organised is one of your personality traits, then this could be the right opportunity for you!
Everyone needs an assistant and that’s never more obviously the case than in the video production industry, where specialisms rule. Because of the amount of specialisms in video production, assistants are always required. Someone who can bring everything together.
If you are someone who possesses great organisational skills, then managing projects, researching for details and contacting people can easily become a part of your routine. If you love to engage with people and are able to think laterally, then you are good to go.
Be a part of film organisations because working for them can give you a sneak peak into different parts of the business.
In case you are someone who finds it difficult to adapt to different schedules you might want to rethink on this one. Being a part of film organisation requires possession of sheer will and capability to adapt to a new role every few months.
Interviewing For a Video Production Job
Right, the time has come! You’ve done your research, applied to some jobs and you’ve been offered an interview! Speaking of which, here’s what an ad for a video job might look like:
Time to celebrate! Well, not just yet. Let’s look at some video production interview tips.
According to Jobs America, here are some of the top questions that get asked in an interview:
It’s time to learn about the interview process itself. After all, if you don’t hit it off at the interview, then you’re going to miss out on that potential job of a lifetime!
What’s more, if you go into an interview unprepared, it’s a real recipe for disaster. If you don’t know what you’re doing, and you don’t really know what you’re talking about, trust me when I say: that will show up pretty quickly.
A systemized approach can counteract all that.
A checklist of all the things you should ask and mention is a good place to start.
Think you’re above checklists? So did many surgeons initially. Yet, when they were used in surgeries, patient mortality dropped by nearly 50% and complication dropped by more than 35%.
So use one and put all the statements you want to mention and questions you want to ask on it. Some tips on the interview itself:
Don’t overvalue it
Most people perceive the interview as the make-or-break moment of a job application. It is here where people on both sides think they are deciding if the fit is right.
Of course, that’s not actually what’s being decided. What they’re deciding is if they like each other, which isn’t quite the same thing.
Clearly, likability will help with fitting in, but it’s not the same thing as ability. Anybody who’s had a friendly but incompetent colleague or boss can testify to this. Don’t fall into this trap.
The best way to avoid overvaluing the interview is by having other measures. Ensure you have said what you wanted to say in your initial job application. Even after you get an interview, that initial application material still carries a lot of weight when they’re making a decision on you.
Note: we discussed some other video business specific interview issues in our article about Hiring an Assistant for Your Video Production Business.
Put yourself in the shoes of the people across the table from you
It’s tough to sit down infront of people and have them judge you for a lengthy period of time. For some folks, it’s the kind of thing that nightmares are made of.
For that reason, it’s really not surprising that people overvalue the interview itself in the bigger picture of the job application process.
Use the fact that people overvalue the interview to your advantage. After all, if you’re a really good applicant (and you are, aren’t you?) then your potential employers should be chomping on the bit wanting to hire you.
To get them to do so, as a video production employee, you need to sell them on three things:
Who you are
Just like you’re deciding if they have the ability based on how likable they are, they do the same to you. So take the time to make your yourself (and your skills and expertize) appear likeable.
In practical terms, this means not making them wait, letting them ask questions and making them feel appreciated.
It also means showing that you really know what you’re talking about and you’re not just blowing hot air and making up garbage.
That last one is very important. One of the greatest problems with job hunting is the dehumanization that it can make people feel. People can feel like mere numbers being churned out of a spreadsheet.
I know this isn’t what you might have expected to read in a section about interviewing for a job, but for the right candidate this process is as much about the company selling you on their company as it is about you selling yourself to them.
What you’re doing
You have to demonstrate enthusiasm, passion and faith that what you’re doing matters. People in the video industry, especially when they’re just starting out, are there because they’re passionate.
They’re sitting in-front of you and interviewing with you because they want you to work for a company that will do big things. At least, that’s what we hope most video companies are in this business for. And they want you to do big things for their company.
That you’re competent
Yes, you have to first prove that you’re competent above all other things. Your interviewers don’t want somebody incompetent for the role, after all.
Aside from showing that you’re competent as someone who can sell themselves — and we talk a lot about this from websites, intro videos and other marketing pieces — you’ll also need to demonstrate your competency with the skills required themselves, obviously.
For example, this will in part be reflected by you having a checklist of questions and know what you’re looking for in a video company that you want to work for.
Another way to demonstrate competence is by understanding the technical specifics of the role you’re applying for. If you’re going interview for a video editing role, make sure that you know your stuff and that you’re comfortable demonstrating your skills on any number of editing software if need be.
It may seem like common sense, but it bears mentioning.
Video Production Jobs – Conclusion
Wrapping up, I hope this article has been instructive for you. We’ve tried to cover every angle and answer every major question you might have. If you still have questions, please ask in the comments below this article.
Finding video production jobs can be tough. There’s a big market out there, but it’s a very competitive one. We wish you all the best with your search for video production jobs.
If you have any other video production jobs resources, then drop us an email and we’ll add them to the list.
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Filmmaking Lifestyle teaches readers how to run a successful video production company. There are articles on business, success and filmmaking tips of all kinds.
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The Complete Guide to Starting & Growing a Video Production Business can be found Here.
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