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Being a Media Student – What to Expect in the TV, Film and Music Industries

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  • Just like with the latest complaints about contract terms causing SoundCloud to adjust its Premier contract for artists’ monetization, the world of music, film and TV is an ever changing one. They’re moving so rapidly now that what many students learn in a college class falls short of the current reality.

    Here are a few tips about what it’s really like to work in the music, TV or film industry.

    It’s Rough Starting at the Bottom

    You don’t get started at a music label as the A&R person – you have to work up to that position. Similarly, if you’re planning on managing some bands, it’s difficult to get your foot in the door unless you have previous management experience with success artists that other musicians have heard of; hopefully in the same musical category.

    Rather than being an instant gratification world, you’re most likely to start at the bottom even if you graduate with solid grades. The difference is, some of your fellow graduates won’t get a job at all, whereas you might. Once you have the job, it’s up to you to show initiative and ingenuity to get where you ultimately want to go. No one can do that for you unless you have pre-existing connections you can leverage on the way up.

    Forget Work/Life Balance

    The concept of a work/life balance is all well and good, but in the up and down worlds of media, don’t expect a standard 9-5 job. Many of the roles in media involve especially early starts or late nights. If you end up taking a job in these types of projects, there’s no work-life balance to speak of, but there’s the satisfaction that you’re working in the area that you wanted to be in.

    The majority of people who work in media understand the nature of it. They’re full of peaks and troughs. For instance, the crew on a long running TV series are happy to have the steady gig. They have bills to pay, kids of their own to bring up, and so on. For every highly paid A-list actor or actress in a film, there are 100 crew members working behind the scenes. These are the unsung heroes; you only hear about the famous personality.

    Up the Stakes with Personal Projects

    To get noticed, sometimes you need to up the stakes by producing something yourself. Think of it like a project at college. People in these industries respond to interesting content and not vague ideas about what you can do.

    Whether you’re putting together a little showreel or a mock reality show to showcase your talents, use professional equipment and a team that truly know what they’re doing. Hiring a Miami video production company with up to 8K video equipment and excellent sound recording capabilities is necessary to be taken seriously. Then, maybe you can leap frog over the competition.

    Getting ahead in media jobs is as much about applying yourself as it is what’s on your resume. Being creative and inventive goes a long way to showing your usefulness.

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