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Where to start  

Work out if you want to be pre-production (development, casting, locations, researcher, script-writing), in-production (director, producer, presenter) or post-production (editing, visual/sound effects), and then plan a strategy to get the experience and skills you need.

Think of a film or TV/Radio programme/series as a project. Once that project is completed you need to find the next one. The longer contracts tend to be roles in strategy, planning, and commissioning, and tend to be further from the hands-on creation of content.

In film, there are also roles in film festivals, venue management, and distribution.

There are also opportunities in the studios where programmes/films are created: film co-ordination, contract negotiation, and the administration of a complex schedule of filming. It is an excellent place to meet and network with the companies who film there and discover opportunities. See The British Film Commission for lists of studios.

How to know if you’re suited to this sector

Are you happy as a freelancer? Do you thrive on variety and flexibility? Are you excited by not knowing exactly what you’ll be working on in a few months’ time?

Broadcast production and film creation is largely freelance and project-based, with short-term contracts.

Many people look to the creative industries because they want to ‘be creative’. Most roles in these industries, however, are about organising the structure, logistics and delivery of the creative content. Creativity for most tends to be in problem solving and building working relationships.

How to get the experience to be credible
  • Start with media for student societies. Creating visual content is easy with your phone.
  • Many people start as a runner on set or in a studio. Another common entry point is as a researcher.
  • Be proactive and write speculative approaches. Find the names of producers and write directly to them about the projects you know they’re working on. Try not to be too formal: no ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ or ‘to whom it may concern’.
  • Write your own blog, or create vlogs and social media content.
  • Get experience across all media. The skills you develop in one media will be transferrable to others.
  • Follow producers/directors/indie film companies on Twitter: they often post entry level jobs and work experiences.
  • Network by keeping in touch with anyone you meet in the industry, and discussing opportunities with them. Remember, if you help other people (even by just giving useful feedback or being supportive), they will be more likely to want to help or work with you in the future.
Further study or certification required

It is possible to get into TV, Radio or Film without a postgraduate course, but having training on your CV, may help. There are many courses in various aspects of broadcast media. Some are very broad and theoretical (eg Film and TV studies), and others are much more vocational (eg MAs in Professional Practice in Visual Effects).

How to find employers or training courses

Follow organisations you’re interested in on social media as opportunities are often posted on Twitter. Examples include @creativeengland @filminengland @working_title and @thefilmoffice.

Broadcasting resources

Film Resources

Tips for succeeding in the application or selection process

Recruitment is not based on degree class, but rather on your skill, industry experience, and contacts. On your CV, put your relevant skills and experience above your academic record.

You may find some of the recordings of our past sessions, such as CVs for TV/radio/film runner jobs, useful to listen to.

What Cambridge offers to help with this career
  • A wealth of student media to cut your media teeth on.
  • Vacation work feedback – see where others had media experience and how they got it
  • Contact alumni now working in the media
  • Podcasts of speakers at previous media careers events
Other things you should know

There are some structured internships and graduate schemes, though there are typically very few places.  Many of the broadcast media and film schemes are actively encouraging diversity. Eligibility criteria often focus BAME groups, people with disability, or those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

See PACT Diversity Schemes for more.

Other useful resources

TV/Radio

Film