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How to Draft a Resume for a Filmmaker

by Ellie Williams, studioD

In a competitive industry such as the movie business, it’s crucial that you portray yourself as a committed professional with both the technical knowledge and the passion to bring film projects to life. In your resume, highlight your training and showcase your track record of movie-making success.

Tailor your resume to the type of film position you’re seeking. Many filmmakers handle multiple and diverse aspects of the film production process. For example, maybe you worked as the director on your last project but handled post-production for your two previous assignments. Create multiple resumes that showcase each of your areas of expertise. Before you submit a resume, review the job description and highlight the skills and experience that most closely match the listed requirements.

Discuss your academic degrees. List your major and minor fields of study, your graduation date or expected graduation date, and the name and location of the school. Only include schools where you received a degree. List your grade point average if it’s above a 3.0. Also include academic honors such as graduating summa cum laude, making the dean’s list or membership in honor societies or other merit-based organizations.

Showcase additional studies, even if they didn’t culminate in a degree. Create a separate section for training you completed outside your college education. This can include group efforts such as seminars, workshops and masterclasses, and one-on-one training such as mentoring or coaching. If you completed coursework at a university you didn’t graduate from, note that here as well. List the title of the class and describe what you learned.

Emphasize film-related knowledge by including a skills summary at the beginning of your resume. For example, note the kinds of cameras you’ve worked with, the film editing software with which you’re proficient, and your experience with sound equipment or lighting. Also describe your role as a filmmaker. Mention, for example, that you have extensive experience both in directing and in screenwriting.

Note any awards and other honors, such as placing in film festivals or earning acknowledgment from industry associations. List the name of the award, the name and location of the film festival or the awarding organization, and the date.

Highlight your production credits. List prior film work on your resume in the same manner you would note previous jobs. Instead of simply including your job title and the project’s name, discuss your role in detail. Describe the type of project, for example, if it was a full-length documentary or a short film. Also mention the year, location and production company. If you didn’t direct the film, note the name of the director. Point out all roles you played on the project, such as writer-director, producer or editor.

About the Author

Ellie Williams has been a journalist since 2001. Her work has been recognized by her state's press association and by her local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Williams graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications and humanities, with minors in French and theater.

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