Careers in Film & Video
These days our film business is performing above and beyond what you would expect from a population of our size, with Australian talents highly sought after all over the world. We have a reputation for hard work and creativity, and a laid-back attitude that sees us thrive under stress.
Our local film industry seemed to be lying dormant for a little while there, after the massive triumphs of the 1990s, but it’s really come back with a vengeance in recent years thanks to a streak of great movies like Wolf Creek, Snowtown and Red Dog. The same goes for our great TV productions, with shows like Wilfred and Rake being remade in the US with a lot of the same creative teams.
Beyond Hollywood, a lot of major local companies have moved towards having an in-house film crew to create internal and external communications, while others have outsourced this now-necessary work to freelance companies specialising in building video narratives that get a strong, branded message across.
Either way, there is a lot of work out there for film makers who aren’t afraid to follow directions if it means getting to spend their days honing skills and exploring new frontiers. Corporate work pays very well, and can often mean you have access to equipment and a crew when it comes to working on your own creative projects.
According to government reports, Australian film is solid, with employment for technical workers such as videographers looking strong (and wages above average compared to all industries). As is the case with directors, the majority of employment options are coming from Information Media and Telecommunications, Arts and Recreation Services and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services.
Mostly the roles aren’t full-time, which means you will find yourself moving from production to production, working in a variety of areas and picking up different techniques as you go. That gives you the scope to play around with a huge range of positions, deciding which suits you best – camera operator, post-production manager or editor? – and honing complementary skills.
The future of film making in Australia seems like it is going to revolve around the growth of digital media and expansion of our television options. As we build more distribution channels both through TV sets and the other screens around our houses, we’re going to need more innovative and interesting content to fill those spaces in order to retain audiences. And that’s not even counting the fully online content being developed at places like ABC’s iView streaming service or by small teams through YouTube.
That means both companies and individuals will be looking for people with the skills, creativity and insight to work on their projects – and to pitch fresh programs that combine traditional televisual skills with truly interactive and addictive ideas to compete with other forms of media.
That doesn’t mean the usual career options in feature films will go away, but that there will be a wider range of outlets for your creative and technical savvy.