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Getting Your First Job Series: Screen Credits

Updated: Jun 6, 2022

Each week this blog series will tackle some of the common questions we hear about people trying to get into the industry.

Problem 1 - How to get credits when you’ve not got any!

It’s that age old problem – how do I get experience when everyone wants me to have experience to give me experience?? (I’m sure I could have shoehorned another ‘experience’ in there if I’d tired!).

Screen credits of any description can be the difference between getting that first job and not. They show that you’re genuinely interested in screen content, that you’ve got some on set experience and understanding of set etiquette and that you’ve got an overview of the different roles on set.

Screen credits, to get your first gig, don’t have to be professional. In this case anything really is better than nothing. So here’s some easy ways to get some!

Student Films

Every major city has a university, or five, offering screen courses. Every screen course asks the student to make a film and every studentfilm needs a crew willing and able to work for nothing! This is a perfect opportunity for you!

Google ‘crewing nights’ –these are evenings when students pitch their film projects to potential crew. Like you!

Email lecturers on screen courses and ask them how you could volunteer on their student’s films.

Check out FB groups for the various courses e.g. AFTRS Noticeboard – you don’t need to be an AFTRS Grad to join their projects.

FB Groups

There are film making collectives all across the country and they’re all looking for a runner, driver, PA, 3rdAD, catering assistant, data wrangler, cable grip, sound assistant –you name the role –someone will want one! Also check out FB I Need Crew Entry Level for unpaid roles

Community TV

If you’re lucky enough to have this (Channel 31, RMITV, Channel 44) then volunteer. Not only will you get great studio experience, but you’ll meet a bunch of fantastic people who will be your peers long-term.

Make It Yourself

This is definitely the hardest way to get credits, and you’ll need to find crew to work with you (unless you’re a superstar solo operator like Ella Watkins) but it might launch a fabulous career for you and it will count on your CV.

Pick projects that are simple to make –leave the period costume drama for later!

Now what if you’re a screenwriter?? The process is same same but different. Create scripts for shortfilms and see if you can get them made. If you get a film festival mention it will help your career. Offer to be part of a writing room for a non-professional project so you can see what it’s like. Think about whether your script could be an audio drama, a podcast, a novel (there’s a lot more published that features made).

Directors? You still need the on set experience so you can understand how a set should be run. Don’t worry about trying every role of set –it won’t make people think you can’t be a director. In fact the opposite is true –you’ll look engaged, enthusiastic and humble –all great characteristics!

OK off you go to get your credits!

Got more questions? Join us at our free, fornightly online networking or you can book an intensive 2hr session where we work with you through all the steps to get your first job.

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