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It all depends on your idea of a "film career." If your dream is to be the next Steven Speilberg, to work on the big summer blockbuster films, or to be nominated for an Academy Award - then yes, it's as hard, and in all honesty, probably even harder than it sounds. Is it worth pursing? Absolutely, if that is where your passion is.

Getting into the industry is all about experience and reputation. Look online for student projects, or talk to the nearest university film school about volunteering as an unpaid intern for a while to build up your resume. While on the job, show up before your scheduled call time, listen attentively and carefully to instruction (you'll learn a lot here), do what is asked of you to the best of your ability, keep your ego in check (even if you know you could do a better job than the people in charge), be positive, helpful, hardworking, and always be willing to do more than required. This will all lead to a great experience, a great reputation as a go-getter and a hard worker, and it will lead to more jobs and more experience. If the crew likes you, they'll remember you for their next project.

Another thing you can do is create your own projects. Try not to get complicated with the productions if you don't have the means (budget and crew) to do so, but tell as many stories as you can through a lens. This could be a smart phone video, home video camera, digital photo camera with video.. anything that will record. Your productions don't have to look like blockbusters, just make sure your artistic talents come out. The more you do (practice) the better you will hone your skills.

This experience will also be very helpful to get into a great film program at a community college, trade school, or university. Grades and academic performance are very important, but equally as important is your experience and sometimes your film reel (those projects you've worked on).

If you do this and work hard, you'll see opportunities to keep doing what you love (and eventually get paid for it). For some the pay comes quickly, and for others it takes some time (this very much depends on your location), but it will happen eventually.

Now, by no means is this a definitive guide to starting a film career, but it's a playbook that has been proven to work. There's much more to learn about the film industry, though, and I would suggest reading as many books about breaking into the business as you can. Diversify your reading though and explore the points of views from several different authors as some may sugar coat the process and others may be a little more cold to the realities.

If you truly love film and want to make this a career, work hard, practice, learn as much as you can, have thick skin, and NEVER get discouraged. It's not as easy as getting a sales job, but the hard work will be worth it in the end.

Answered 9 years ago