One of the biggest things when you’re starting out is knowing where to find work in TV. TV is very insular and most of the time, runners and other entry-level positions are crewed through existing relationships or recommendations. If you haven’t been in the industry long enough to build a reputation, then the calls probably aren’t rolling in, which means you’re going to need to be proactive. You aren’t going to find these jobs advertised on regular job sites, so I’ve put together a list of where to look for work when you aren’t in the know…
As a starting point, stay up to date with TV and entertainment news and be on the look out for articles about new and recommissioned shows so you know what might be going into production.
Every year, the networks actually announce their slate of shows they have coming up in the new year at their Upfronts, which is always reported on in the media. Some of the announced shows won’t have gone into production yet and may be close to crewing, so do your research on the production company and get in touch with your CV.
Another idea is when you’re reading articles about different shows in production (ie. the articles The Daily Mail roll out where they’ve papped the Bachelor girls out on a group date), take a note of the timing. A returning series will typically go into production around the same time each year and typically will be crewing up 1-3 months in advance.
If a production is casting…then they’re going to need crew and that’s a good time to get in touch. Keep an eye on what shows are casting by checking production company websites and following their respective Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages.
When it comes to jobs in TV, if they are advertised anywhere, it’s usually going to be Facebook. There are a number of groups on Facebook that are great for connecting people who work in TV. If you’re starting out and in your first 1-2 years in television, I would recommend joining AUSTRALIA – I Need Crew (Entry Level) on Facebook.
Word of Mouth
Talk to people! The best source of work is through other people. When you are on set or at an industry event, talk to other runners and find out what they are working on next or whether they’ve heard of anything that’s coming up. Most people are happy to share what they know and may be able to give you a contact. Building your industry network is the single best way to know what is going on in TV so you can land yourself a contract!
In an industry that is all about referrals and relationships, the above suggestions are really just a starting point. If you make the most of every opportunity you will soon find yourself in a position where you don’t need to chase the work and the work will be chasing you!
Here’s some useful links that might be able to help in your job search:
Wondering what production companies are making the shows you want to work on? Check out TV Production Companies You Need To Know.
Interested in a career in TV, check out my post 5 Awesome Entry-Level Jobs You Never Knew Existed in TV.