The inevitable question anybody starting out in film wants to know is how to get a job — their first job. The film industry seems to operate inside of a walled-garden: unwelcoming to those on the outside, and bearing fruits of labor to those on the inside.
Getting your first job is huge. It’s shoving your foot through the door and blazing onto the freelance scene. When you do that, you catch the attention of the room and you better have the goods to deliver. And while the first job is indeed important, it’s really your 2nd job that you should be more worried about.
The results of your first job will be directly represented by your ability to get another. In an industry heavy on networking and connections, making an impact on your first job is everything.
One of the reasons getting your second job is bigger than your first is because it shows you impressed somebody and that you’ve got the chops to make it.
Maybe it was the director of photography who saw you bust your butt, or maybe it was the first assistant director who thought you handled set etiquette better than any other PA.
Either way, keep in mind that crew are always watching and they want to surround themselves with hard workers. Crew members tend to recommend other crew because when films require strong teamwork, they want to be with the best.
I personally keep tabs on all the people I work with to perhaps work for me in the future or recommend them to others.
But you won’t always be recommended for your 2nd job — it may be your 3rd or 5th gig by the time you get called because so and so commended your work ethic.
That’s OK. Your second job will still be important.
It shows that nobody said anything bad about you, for one, and that your lone credit or experience was enough to warrant somebody hiring you again.
That 2nd time you step on set is big because it gets the ball rolling and once that ball is rolling, there’s nothing but yourself to stop it.