We all know that one person who wants to “make it big” in the entertainment industry. It’s only natural to want to work in an industry that appears to have all the glitz and glamour. Wouldn’t it feel amazing to say you work for a grand production house or that you’re an actor? The fame and the fortune that follow it are so attractive that many people dream about joining this industry. But what if what you see is not what you get?
Here’s the great news. The entertainment industry will always have a place for anyone who’s willing to go through the struggles. And yes, the struggle is real. However, with streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime, the possibilities are really endless.
f you wish to try to bag a job in the entertainment industry, you are more likely to find a substantial job with production houses and agencies. While becoming an actor is the popular choice, there are many other hats you can wear when it comes to filmmaking. These roles include – but are not limited to – editors (offline and online), colourists, costume designers, line producers, casting directors, scriptwriters, sound designers and sound engineers. They may not have the same glam quotient as acting, but if you’re passionate about films, these are the roles you can play when a film is being made.
Careers in films do pay well, but the opportunities are hard to get. Sometimes, it takes decades to start making real money and sometimes, it could take mere months. Apart from the finances, there’s also the fame and other perks that come along. If you’re a creative person, your biggest perk is watching your ideas come to life on a big screen. Plus, there’s always the bragging rights that come with working on a large production!
When you’re trying to make it big in the media or film industry, you’ll typically come across four major challenges. Keep an eye out for these so you’re better equipped.
#1 Migrating to the Land of Bollywood
Bollywood is mostly based out of Mumbai. That’s where all the production houses, talent scouts, casting directors and actors are. You cannot get a piece of the pie if you’re not in the city. And Mumbai is not the cheapest city to live in. You’ll have to find accommodation, take up odd jobs to be able to afford rent and food, and attend as many auditions as possible if you wish to make it in this industry.
#2 Prepare for cutthroat competition in every corner
There’s competition in every field. However, going by the sheer popularity and numbers, the competition is fierce in the media and film business, especially if you wish to become an actor. When you try for auditions the next time, just count the number of people auditioning with you and you’ll know what we’re talking about. This piece in Times of India covers the struggles of these “strugglers” quite pragmatically.
Due to this, the entertainment industry is always looking for fresh talent or someone with exceptional skills and achievements. Some methods of choosing a cast can be quite unsavoury; actors have openly spoken about the casting couch in Bollywood.
#3 Who’s Your Mentor?
Unless you’re producing your own films or have an extraordinary stroke of luck, the chances of you succeeding in the film industry all on your own are very slim. Producers and production houses invest a lot of money in their projects and usually hire a team that has been endorsed and vetted. If you don’t know anyone, it’ll be difficult for you to get your foot in the big leagues. Faraz Malik, an offline editor for over 18 years now, says, “It’s very important for a person of power or influence to back you in the entertainment industry. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait for that golden opportunity for a very long time.”
#4 The Long and Arduous Wait
You’re not going to achieve success right off the bat once you get in. You need to gather goodwill and credibility over the years to carve yourself a place in this industry and ensure a constant stream of work. Even star kids, with all their influence, find it easy to get in but much harder to stick around successfully. At the end of the day, you need both talent and influence with a tremendous amount of patience.
#5 Stability is hard to Come By.
When you work with the entertainment industry, there are good chances that you may work on a project basis. You can always get a salaried job at a production house, but if that’s not your vision, a career in the entertainment industry can be quite unstable. This takes us back to our point about taking up odd jobs to support yourself when you’re not working on a film project. Once your project is done, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be called back for another. Additionally, the hours are hectic. Ask anyone who’s worked on a film project, and they will tell you about the crazy shifts and late night shoots.
While the big screen may seem glitzy, the path there is long, tough and neither glamorous nor breezy. You’ll have to give it your all and then some more and you should know that before going in. If you have the passion for films but not sure which role you’re best suited for, head to our website and take the psychometric assessment to figure out where you belong!