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What Working in the Film & TV Industry is Really Like

Is it really as glamorous as we think?

By Katie BurnsidePublished 3 years ago 2 min read
Top Story - August 2021
Credit: Katie Burnside

Working in an industry that the world views as glamorous has quite its perks. However, it has more downsides to its pros. It also has a dark side.

Why do we view it as glamorous? Is it because we only see whats on screen and reported in the media? We see the red carpet events, the award ceremonys, the premieres. What we don't see is the blood sweat and tears from behind the scenes.

So What is it Like?

Credit: Katie Burnside

For the duration of a job you sign your life away. A normal day on set is anywhere between 13-16 hours. You don't get cozy evenings in or fancy trips to the pub during the week. You get in and it's straight to bed.

Now you're thinking well at least you have the weekends to spend with family and friends. That's not always the case. Be prepared to work many Saturdays or Sundays especially if the shoot is running behind schedule. Film sets will often require you to work 7 day weeks or 11 day fortnights. It's intense and it's tough. TV is a little more relaxed. Even if you're lucky enough to have both days off at the weekend, you'll more than likely be too tired to go out.

I was incredibly underprepared when I started working in this industry. I had no idea I'd be stood on my feet for 13 hours straight, every single day. It was difficult getting used to the hours and the toll all the work and the driving to different locations every day took on my body.

What are the Pros?

Credit: Katie Burnside

However, it is one of the most rewarding industry's to work in and I wouldn't change it for the world. When you've worked non-stop for four months and you finally hear "that's a wrap" on the very last day of shooting, that feeling is just indescribable. It's a moment where you say to yourself you survived and you did it and it's an immense feeling.

When the show or film comes out and you see your name appear in the end credits, that's when you know it was all worth it. All your hard work produced this.

It's an industry like no other. You'll work yourself to death and you'll feel like giving up most days, especially in winter but you will get through every single job and the best thing is knowing that the job will end eventually and then you can have a break.

If you're thinking about going into the film and TV industry please do your research. It's not for the faint-hearted. If you're thinking of going into the Assistant Directors department please send me an email at [email protected] as I would love to offer advice and a way to get into the industry as this is my department.

So, is it A Glamorous Job?

Credit: Katie Burnside

In fact, it's far from it. You'll be trudging through mud up to your ankles. You'll stand outside in torrential rain and snow. If you think it'll be fun in summer, think again. There's nothing worse than running around carrying heavy equipment in hot burning sun. It's hot, it's sticky and there's no shade or breeze. Most of the time you'll look like you've been dragged through a hedge backward but you're all in it together and the entire crew becomes your family.

I promise you, it's a job that's worth it but it isn't glamorous.


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Katie BurnsideWritten by Katie Burnside

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