Film internships are highly competitive and can be very difficult to find, especially outside of New York City and Hollywood. You have to know where to look and what kind of internship to look for to make the most out of the experience.

Choosing the Right Film Internship

The first thing you must decide when trying to get a film internship is what kind of internship you want. What area of film interests you the most? If it is screenwriting, you should look for script development companies and companies that try to match scripts with producers. If your interest is film production, you might want to look at production companies and production assistant internships. If editing and effects is your interest, look for post-production houses.

You must also decide what scale you want to work on. You may love the idea of interning at a big film company like Paramount or NBC. The opportunities at these companies are certainly great, but you should realize that at a bigger company you will likely get less hands-on experience and more getting-coffee duty than you would at a smaller production company.

How to Get an Internship as a Film Student

  1. Start early. Start looking for prospective film internships as early as possible. Many of the best internships are filled months before the position actually starts.
  2. Use your school. Most schools have a career services department or internship advisor whose job it is to help you find the perfect internship. Talk to them about your goals and see what they can do to help.
  3. Use the internet. Look for positions anywhere you can. Craigslist often has film internships, as do various other job web sites, some of which are dedicated to film jobs in your area. Look on as many sites as you can to maximize your chances. Be careful, though, in applying to places online, as there are scams on the internet to get your personal information.
  4. Use your contacts. Think about the people you have met who have links to the film community. Do any of your teachers have links to companies you would want to work for? Have any of your friends had an internship in the past that you would love? Ask these people to put in a good word for you, or just ask them for the best person to contact in those companies. Having a personal link will really help your application.

Internships can be really useful in any industry to get real-world experience before you graduate. Film internships, however, are doubly important because they serve another, equally important purpose. The secondary purpose of film internships is networking. While you’re working at your internship, you have access to many people who are already making a living doing what you want to do after graduation. Make sure you meet people and stay in contact with them, as you never know who may be able to help you get a job down the road.