Getting job experience in television

So how does one get their foot in the door? Here are some basic ideas for how that might happen:

  1. Narrow in on the area in television where you would like to work. Be as specific as you possibly can, given your skills, education, and background.
  2. Possibly have a degree in media, and be able to demonstrate your skills.
  3. Apply for jobs in television and cast far and wide. You might be able to find sites that notify applicants when a job opening occurs. Since many of these jobs are 'internships' and aren't paid, you might want to live closer to home where you won't have rent payments and so on.
  4. See if you can find a mentor, someone who is working in the area of your interest. A mentor guides and informs, and provides valuable realistic information about the job. A mentor might allow you to shadow them for a day or so, to get a better idea of the work experience.
  5. Make sure your CV is good quality and accurate.
  6. When you fill out applications, make sure it is legible and clear. Don't give the reviewer any chance to throw your application in the 'reject' pile.
  7. If you are turned down, ask you if you visit one day. If you get this chance, don't get in anyone's way. In short, don't be a bother.

Working as a Camera Man

Camera work can be physically and mentally exhausting. Having a degree in a field of media is a good start, but it doesn't guarantee anything. Make sure that you have reviewed all of the jargon associated with camera work.

At the interview, make sure to give strong evidence of your enthusiasm, how you apply what you have learned, your commitment, and your attitude. These are key ingredients that can make all the difference.

To anticipate some of the questions you might be asked, and also to make every chance to impress your interviewer(s), keep these things in mind:

  • Have a list of the team efforts you have been involved with, and exactly how it turned out. Be specific.
  • Demonstrate your enthusiasm for camera work by giving examples of extra work you did, perhaps at a family event.
  • Make sure you are well versed in on-the-job safety.
  • Critique your personal favorite programs, and be able to articulate exactly what it is about the programs that is attractive to you, i.e. camera angles, camera tricks, etc.

Working in Audio in Television

To obtain a job in the audio area of television, it is important to have the educational background that the employer is looking for. Also, be able to show your excitement and enthusiasm for audio work and all that it entails.

Audio people love sound and are sound enthusiasts. If this sounds like you, then maybe a job in audio would be just what you are seeking.

Keep in mind that the qualifications for a job in audio is basically the same as for camera work. A degree in media is very helpful. Getting experience that you can use to move along your career is not as difficult in that an audio person is also invaluable in radio. You can begin by volunteering for any specialized small radio station that would welcome the help. Then use this experience to launch yourself into TV.

Other Jobs in Television

Editing

Editing requires experience in an editing room, and therefore, it is best to obtain a media degree. The student should take every opportunity to get as much experience as possible in the editing room while in school. This is what the television industry is looking for - experience.

Editors don't often see the light of day. Most of their work is done in a confined room, so keep that in mind. Editors must take footage that has been shot and bring it all together. It takes a special person to do this work well.

Because of the communication needed to do this job, editors should:

  • Have a pleasant personality and get along with people.
  • Be an empathetic person who is sensitive to others.
  • Enjoy telling a story through their work.
  • Enjoy computers and technology, and enjoy emerging technologies.

Spend a good deal of time preparing for the interview, and this means reviewing terminology and going over the jargon used in this industry.

Dubbing

This job requires some steady nerves and also a very good ear, to hear subtle sounds that disturb the quality of the work. Having some musical talent is a good thing; the skill sets seems to carry over.

Floor Manager

To be a floor manager, it is best to have some course work started towards a media degree. There are levels of floor manager, and normally, a person works their way up from the bottom rung of the ladder. Theater experience is also a plus. Being a good organizer is important. Being a good listener is also important. This job requires someone who has achieved some level of maturity.

Secretary

The secretary's keyboarding skills are extremely important. Accuracy means everything in television. Being somewhat mathematical and keeping track of time is important too. Some understanding of music is also helpful in this job. The secretary is right in the middle of everything, and so should be capable of keeping a cool head and also being a good communicator.