Tips on How to Get Filmmaking Jobs with Mandy.com
With the winter lulls behind us and production season in full-swing, it’s important to start the hunt for killer film or photo jobs. Well, rest-assured we have a good resource for you to start the job hunt off right! We were lucky to sit down with Gina Hall of Mandy.com to talk about tips in finding filmmaking gigs in 2018. Mandy.com is one of the largest online job aggregates for the film industry so listen up! To kick it off, they were kind enough to share a promo code with all of you if you sign up! So be sure to not miss out!
Cover letters? Demo reels? Gear? We cover it all. Here we go!
What is Mandy.com?
GH: "The Mandy Network is the world’s largest community of cast, crew and creative professionals — we have 2.2 million members worldwide. Whether you’re a film/TV professional looking for paid work or a creator looking to hire, we’re here to help."
What do freelancers have to do now to increase their chances of getting hired than compared to 5 years ago? What has changed?
GH: "I think the film and television business is increasingly asking freelancers to diversify their skill sets. When I came into the business, you had producers and you had editors and those were very different jobs. Then employers increasingly wanted “preditors” — editors who knew how to produce, or producers who knew how to edit, pending your point of view.
As we’ve moved further into the gig economy, I see the people who consistently work have a primary specialization, like editing or cinematography, but they will jump into different crew roles when the opportunity arises just to keep working and the cash flowing."
Are cover letters still necessary?
GH: "A short, tailored note to the employer goes a long way, I think. Because you can apply to jobs with a click of a button, employers often get flooded with applicants. A short note that demonstrates that you read their posting and are qualified to fill their opening will go a long way to getting them to look at your resume and reel."
Is the one page resume rule applicable to everyone?
GH: "I think everyone has a rather short attention span these days, probably more so in the film and television business because you’re dealing with incredibly busy people. I don’t think it’s a knock against you to have a long resume, but I think people will typically take a look at the last two or three significant jobs you held and maybe your education.
If you’re well into your career, it’s unlikely that employers will care where you interned more than a decade ago. I would keep it to the most relevant and recent experience."
Are portfolio websites necessary?
GH: "I think it’s a good idea to have clips of your recent work available online and accessible to employers. We live in an era where employers will Google and check out your social feeds before contacting you about an interview. It’s great if one of the first things they see about you is your portfolio.
Mandy.com allows you to create your own profile page and upload your reel so you can easily direct employers to your work. I’d strongly advise to keep your reel relatively short, otherwise they’ll lose interest. Whet their appetite and if they want to see more, they’ll ask."
How should freelancers market themselves on Mandy.com if they also rent out their gear?
GH: "We have a very robust film and television production service providers section on our site where you can list your rental equipment, location services, post and audio facilities and production services.
The more you promote yourself on the site, the better the results. Of course list your gear on your profile and your rates with and without your kit. Also, list on our Production Services page and make sure to post to our notices page when you get a new, notable piece of equipment."
What have been some of Mandy.com’s biggest changes in the last decade?
GH: "I recently came onboard with Mandy, but I’ve used the platform, myself, for many years for freelance work. I think the biggest change I’ve seen is the recent site revamp which makes the entire experience very user friendly. If you haven’t visited the site for a while, definitely check it out. You can post a crew opening in less than 5 minutes (for free) and quickly get local crew applying wherever you're located. Applying for jobs is also a breeze.
I'm one of the major changes to our service, too — I'm a great resource for content creators looking to crew up. Please feel free to reach out to me — firstname.lastname@example.org or @capra_girl — if you want to post jobs on Mandy.com. I can find posted positions quickly and send emails to specific members who may be interested in your openings. I'm also working on partnerships with other organizations, so I'm a good resource to follow on social media for Mandy's industry networking events."
What are 3 of the most important tips you’d give a creative to stand out from the rest?
GH: "I think producers and employers are always looking for a way to speed up the hiring process and move forward, so highlight anything that makes it easier to pick you. Don’t be shy about boasting about your awards, high-profile shoots or your education — if someone else from a prestigious organization has already vetted you, it’s going to make the employer more confident about hiring you.
Continue networking in the real world and build a reliable reputation. In just about every industry interview I’ve had, the employer starts talking about the people we know in common. It’s a way of sussing out whether you are who you say you are and also a way of finding possible references who will vouch for you. I'm working to set up some Mandy meet-up events in the near future for members to connect — keep a lookout for those coming up.
Finally, find a way to keep doing the job you want to do, even if you have to do it on the side or for free. The more work you have in your portfolio, the better shot you have at convincing employers that you’re the person for the paying gigs. You don’t want a year or two to lapse between creative gigs, so keep writing, shooting or editing, even if that’s not what’s paying the bills right now — eventually it will."