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What is a regular day like for a television company employee

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I want to go to VCUarts and do the cinema program to hopefully work for a television or movie company. #career #television #movie

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David’s Answer

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The more you know how to do -- writing, shooting, editing -- the more viable an employment candidate. Jeff is exactly right in that advice and I'd add audio, too. Podcasts are big business and an easy entry point -- though doing them well is far from easy.

Internships are a valuable way to get real-world experience. Some are paid, some aren't. I know that's a consideration if you have to weigh doing an internship or earning money to help pay for school. Even a day a week at a local TV or radio station or digital content operation is better than no days. Most internships, in my experience, are what you make of them. This is particularly true for programs that have more one intern per cycle. The people you will be interning for have full-time jobs. Managing an intern or interns is additional work for them and the manager's natural tendency is to focus one the interns who are eager (but not annoyingly so), inquisitive and willing to work.

When I was hiring for entry-level jobs, I was more interested in the applicant's experience than I was in where he/she went to school and what they studied. A journalism student who spent his/her summers lifeguarding at the local country club was much a much less attractive candidate than the history major who balanced school work with an on-campus job and a internship with the local paper or TV station. I can teach you how to be a journalist or how to make television. I can't teach you to think, have a strong work ethic or a good attitude

As for your original question. The days are long. 10-12 hours was a reliable minimum day-length for me for much of my career. Depending what aspect of TV production you decide to pursue, plan on working nights and/or weekends and holidays. Films shoot year round regardless of the calendar.

It's a great way make to make a living and a lot of fun, but you really have to want to do it. The money stinks in the early years and can be pretty mediocre later on, depending upon what you choose to do. And, you have to be willing to sacrifice much of your personal life to succeed -- certainly when you are just getting started.

Hope that's helpful.

-d
This helped a lot! Thank you so much! :) Jonathan D. Translate
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jeff’s Answer

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The competition for jobs in film, tv and video is fierce. TV jobs are dwindling and film is very tough to get into. No school can guarantee you a job, but if you must go to college, look for one that has good connections to the film industry and internships. Are you making video now? On You Tube, writing directing, editing?? why not? begin your career on your laptop by being creative and teaching yourself now. You can take tons of free online courses and training in editing, writing, directing and more - if you aren't doing now then you won't be successful when it comes to competition.

jeff recommends the following next steps:

  • start shooting
  • learn editing
  • begin writing scripts
Thank you so much! Jonathan D. Translate
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