If you’ve been trying to find work to no avail, consider expanding this rack. When you go home at the end of the work day, you hang up one hat and put on another.
The Problem with Ladders
When we hear about working through the industry as crew members in filmmaking, we mostly hear about paying dues and “climbing up the ladder.” This is the same metaphorical ladder that every person, no matter their career, hangs onto the rungs of.
But the problem with the ladder approach is that it implies that the only career growth you can make is vertical.
Instead, let’s talk about another business cliche: wearing multiple hats.
There are plenty of people I know who manage to get gigs as a camera assistant, grip, and electrician. Since they have the ability to wear multiple hats, they have more opportunities to get work.
When the well for one of their jobs is starting to run dry, they simply dip into another one and start from there. You can benefit from the same arrangement.
New Hats = New Opportunities
If you are struggling to find more work, it’s time for you to start thinking about growing in the film industry horizontally (adding more hats) as well as vertically (climbing that ladder). Many of the basic skills, etiquette, and training you have from on set experience is transferable to new departments.
What other positions on film sets have you seen that you might enjoy doing? Or you think you would be good at? Have you ever been interested in a different crew position on set?
The opportunities for you to take advantage of already established skills are there, you just have to be willing to seize them.
Tap into your network of already established contacts and let them know you want to start working in that position. If they are hesitant, offer to work for free in exchange for the training and line on your resume.
You won’t be a master of your new job immediately and it might involve going out of your comfort zone at first, but it will open a whole slew of extra possibilities for work in the future.
When the rungs of the ladder get tough to climb, it is simple to toss another hat on your head and venture forward. Don’t be content with just one hat on the rack if there are five spokes for you to place it.
How big is your hat rack? And how many hats are you willing to try on?