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The Red Planet Blog

Feb 14 2013

Gizza Job, Go on Gizza Job! #icandothat

or how to find work as a newbie

I used to get many CVs, I don't so much now. Is that because there are fewer people out there wanting to work in TV/Video production? Is it because Red Planet is not as good a name as The Accidental Film Company? Somehow I don't think so.

It may be that people are looking to make contact with prospective employers in a different way.

Social media now offers a more personal and direct way to get straight to producers, directors etc rather than firing out CV after CV.

I am on Linkedin and, though I don't use it to its full potential, even I as an old-fart luddite can see the opportunities it offers for networking and contacting people you would not previously have been able to get near.

Twitter offers a different challenge. I am pretty good at using Twitter, but not necessarily for work. I have a personal account and one for Red Planet. The latter tends to get somewhat neglected as I fail to find anything pithy, witty or incisive to say. I don't want to just put "In an edit on a conference programme for Interserve" or "submitting my VAT return #suchfun" so instead it gets left neglected, which of course is worse.

The challenge is to use Twitter to speak to who you want to. On my personal feed I can talk football with one group, politics with another and complain about X Factor to the whole world. The key is in knowing what you are aiming for.

Now if I was looking for a job, there are plenty of people and companies I could and would follow on Twitter, and spend my time trying to get them to reply to me, retweet me or the holy grail - I could get them to follow me.

Producers, directors, writers, editors, they are all out there holding forth and, vitally, engaging with other people. They tell you when they're starting a job, when they're moving into production, when they're going to post and where they're doing all this. In short they set up the perfect opportunity for an informed CV pitch. 

However, as Jimmy Cricket would say, there's more. Companies are now advertising their jobs on Twitter. Channel 4 put all their jobs there along with the details of their production trainee schemes. The BBC College of Production staff are there. And yet there is still more. 

Everyday there are roles advertised, from Runner to Editor, for productions all over the country all on a single source - The Unit List. By maintaining a simple list and checking it regularly, the aspiring film-maker can see and react to a huge swathe of opportunities, so why do anything else?

Treading the streets of Soho with a was of CVs to hand in at every door seems like a total anachronism, who in their right mind would do it? The simple answer is the individual who really deserves a job does it. That individual undoubtedly uses Linkedin and Twitter but they know that not every producer is on there. They also know that some producers are on there but don't use it as a business tool.

The hardy soul hawking his or her CV round companies, will probably also have joined Film Groups, like the North London Film Partnership. They will have sniffed out shoots and turned up asking to make the tea, carry an umbrella or polish the clapperboard. They are the dedicated self-starter individual with initiative that every single job advert is looking for.

As they troop into the reception area of the 34th company they have visited on a wet Thursday morning, they may not look like it, but that person is the one who not only deserves a break but the person that will give most back to the far-sighted individual that gives them one.



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