Grad Link Article: Getting Into TV
1) What experience you need
It always helps to have relevant experience. Remember, a TV production company isn’t a teaching establishment. Schedules are short and budgets are tight, so your CV and introductory e mail needs to convince them you’re going to be productive from day one. Previous work experience is invaluable (it shows someone else has already had faith in you!) and your CV must show you have a genuine interest in TV and have already acquired some skills. Do University TV, radio and / or journalism. Perhaps even film, edit and upload videos to your own YouTube Channel. It shows you’re resourceful and motivated!
2) How to get experience
Send an introductory e mail and CV to as many TV production companies as you can. Don’t be choosey – blitz it! The more seeds you sow the more chance you have of success. E mail addresses for production companies can be found from their websites. Production company names come up at the end of the programme credits. You may even try to guess the e mail addresses of producers and production managers (they’re on the credits too) and get in touch with them. You should also join my facebook group ‘tv:insidersguide’ to find out about work ex openings.
3) How to approach producers
See above. Your introductory e mail needs to be succinct. Remember they’re very busy people and do not want to read your theories discussing the role of television in modern day society. Just write what you want (work experience or a runner job probably) and why they should give it to you (outline your skills and relevant background) Make sure your CV is TV oriented. Your GCSE in Needlework / Captaincy of the Rugby Team / Grade 8 in Piano and other non-relevant achievements should be deleted!
4) How to decide what area you want to work in
Personally I prefer factual programmes because you get to meet fascinating people, go to amazing places and hear (and film) remarkable stories. You get fantastic life experiences and you’re never short of an anecdote to tell your mates! For other people, drama is more their thing. But whatever your ambition, don’t be too choosey to begin with. Just get your foot in the door, work hard and create a good impression. Start to work your way up and then look to direct your career towards your preferred area.
5) Whether a media specific degree is necessary
Many people in TV do not have media specific degrees so it clearly isn’t necessary. Some media courses are useful if they are practical based and help you make contacts in the industry, but they certainly aren’t a guaranteed passage into TV. You need to do everything you can whilst at University or College to boost your skill set and CV. It’s very hard to get into TV because it’s the best job in the world, so your CV has to be extremely impressive to get your first chance and then you need to excel from day one. Good luck!
If you have any direct questions for me, feel free to e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
TV Series Producer
Author:’ TV: An Insider’s Guide’