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Filmmaker Resume: Examples and Guide for a Filmmaking CV

Filmmaker Resume: Examples and Guide for a Filmmaking CV

You don’t need an expensive budget or a massive crew to write an award-winning filmmaker resume. With our expert advice you’ll avoid those tricky continuity errors.

Ring, ring, ring. It’s your agent. He’s calling to ask if you’d like to make a film for A24. They know you’ve already committed to Amazon Studios next year, so they’re offering a juicy contract with additional royalties. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

 

Hold up—Not a familiar situation yet? 

 

If you’re early on in your film career and haven’t yet built up a portfolio that speaks for itself, you’ll need a bangin’ filmmaker resume to make the above scenario a possibility. Use this guide 'til you get your big break.

 

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

 

filmmaker resume templates

Filmmaker resume made with our builder—See more templates and create your resume here.

 

Interested in other behind-the-screen jobs? See these resume guides:

 

Sample Filmmaker Resume Template

 

Nathaniel Bennett

nate.w.bennett@gmail.com

(834) 875-2996

vimeo.com/natebennett

 

Resume Summary

 

Highly-motivated narrative filmmaker with 10+ years of visual storytelling experience directing, filming, editing, and producing video content. Eager to bring a fresh perspective to Turner Media. Produced and directed an award-winning mini documentary series for an independent film studio that has been viewed by 5M+. Have an extensive portfolio that demonstrates originality in everything from television series, short films, corporate videos, and commercials. 

 

Work Experience

 

Filmmaker / Director

Tigersgate Media, Los Angeles, CA

August 2018–May 2020

  • Executed creative vision on tight budgets that consistently hit production deadlines. 
  • Utilized sound design, lighting design, and the latest technical equipment to create video content for clients. 
  • Planned and scheduled video production schedules of 30+ cast and crew members.
  • Directed live video and audio staff to ensure adequate video, lighting, and sound on sets.
  • Edited video content using Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro on tight time constraints.

 

Filmmaker / Editor

Urban Independent Media, New York, NY

September 2014–July 2018

  • Managed the entire production process for 50+ projects from storyboarding to shooting to editing.
  • Operated cameras to shoot HD and 4K video during production.
  • Edited video using Final Cut Pro to put together narrative sequences seamlessly.
  • Collaborated with stakeholders and the entire creative team to create amazing experiences for audiences.

 

Education

 

2008–2012 BA, Film Studies

The Los Angeles Film School

  • Won Best Comedy in an annual student film festival for “A Simple Request”.

 

Skills

 

  • Leadership
  • Visual storytelling
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Cinematic lighting techniques
  • Final Cut Pro X
  • Adobe Premiere
  • Adobe After Effects
  • Avid Media Composer

 

Awards

 

  • Won Jury Award for “On the Water” at 2016 Austin Film Festival

 

Here’s how to write your own Oscar-winning filmmaker resume:

 

1. Select the Right Format for Your Filmmaker Resume

 

Filmmakers are involved in the making, filming, and production of films. Depending on the role, they could describe themselves as a producer, director, editor or cinematographer. The purpose of your filmmaker resume is to show you have both the technical film skills and the people skills to create compelling visual stories.

 

Employment in the film industry is the highest it’s ever been. But that doesn’t mean the industry is getting any less cutthroat, especially for up and coming filmmakers. To get off the ground, you’ll need your filmmaker resume to show you have skills worthy of an Academy.

 

Follow these tips like you would the classic three-act format to avoid writing a filmmaker resume that would confuse the hiring manager more than Primer:

Read more: Best Resume Outline

2. Pitch Your Pants Off in Your Resume Profile

 

Regardless whether you make independent films on a shoe-string budget or work in a corporate office, your resume profile is where you sell yourself and potentially the only thing HR will read. It usually comes in two forms: a resume objective and resume summary. 

 

Your resume summary or objective acts as an elevator pitch: a brief and concise description of your filmmaking experience/skills and why you’re the perfect film professional for the role. 

 

Here are tips on when and how to write a resume profile:

  • If you have years of filmmaking experience, write a resume summary to explain who you are and what you can do. Give proof of your experience, whether that is in hours of footage produced, viewership numbers, or by mentioning achievements and awards.
  • If you’re a recent film studies grad or transitioning from a different role in the film industry, write a resume objective to explain what kind of role you’re looking for and why you’d excel in it thanks to your filmmaking skills and qualifications.

Pro Tip: A great portfolio will speak for itself. Starting a resume the right way is important, but an online blog or website that can be easily sent to potential employers will show spunk and initiative.

3. Write the Best Filmmaker Resume Job Descriptions

 

Both Werner Herzog and a film student could call themselves a filmmaker. It’s broad enough to mean everything from filming to directing to producing to editing. Use your resume experience section to explain where your talents lie:

  • Include a job title, company name, dates of employment for every position.
  • Use up to 5-6 bullet points per position and start each bullet with actions words.
  • Reduce the number of bullet points as you get further back in your previous jobs. For old positions, just list your biggest achievements. 
  • Spend more time describing how your actions led to success, rather than listing duties and responsibilities. 

Pro Tip: The goal is to make your resume match the job description. If you’re applying to a corporate position, highlight your experience with commercials. And likewise if you’re applying at an independent studio, mention the quirky short film in your portfolio that won an award.

4. Capture the Spotlight with your Filmmaker Resume Education Section 

 

Film school won’t make or break your career. After all, only 50% of job openings for directors require a Bachelor’s degree. But if you have it, flaunt it. Here’s how to list your degree on your resume:

  • If you’ve been out of school for more than 5 years, only just the college name, location, attendance years, degree, major, and minors.
  • If school was something more recent, use the education resume section to show some interesting accomplishments or involvements like film clubs, student competitions, and campus organizations.

Pro Tip: If you’ve just graduated and are wondering how to write a resume with no work experience, put your education section first and follow it with your volunteer or freelance work experience

5. Put Your Filmmaking Skills on Display

 

Wondering what skills to put on your resume as a filmmaker? Follow these guidelines:

  • Make a complete list of the relevant job skills you have. Then you can select which skills are necessary for the job listing you’re applying for and incorporate them throughout the resume.
  • Add technical skills for a resume such as your experience with various types of camera equipment, video editing software, sound editing software, lighting equipment, etc.
  • Include both soft skills and hard skills, because the reality is no one will want to work with you if you’re as difficult on set as James Cameron.
  • Highlight your creativity skills. You can’t be a filmmaker without creativity, so you need to demonstrate you have a vision.

 

Use the list below for reference.

 

Filmmaker Resume Skills

 

Pro Tip: If you are lacking certain technical equipment skills, try networking and finding a project you can contribute to in order to build contacts and gain experience in the industry. It’s all about getting experience and building contacts.

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

6. Add Extra Sections on Your Filmmaking Resume

 

Use this part of your resume to highlight what you’ll add to the set that others can’t:

  • Depending on the location or crew, language skills can be a huge plus.
  • Add an award section to give yourself a place to brag.
  • Include any hobbies or volunteer work that might give you a unique perspective.

Pro Tip: List your biggest awards higher on your resume profile to give them more visibility.

7. Attach a Cover Letter to Your Filmmaking Resume

 

Not sure whether or not to include a cover letter or not? Don’t give any excuses for your resume to be left unread, let the HR manager decide the importance of your cover letter

 

Follow these filmmaker cover letter writing tips:

Pro Tip: Most importantly, you have to follow up on your job application. Show your enthusiasm and a get-things-done attitude by calling or emailing within a week of applying.

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

 

matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

That does it—

 

Now that you have a great resume for filmmaker jobs, you can get back to where you belong—behind the camera.

 

Do you have any advice for filmmakers resumes? What do you wish you had known when you started out making films and looking for gigs? Let us know below in the comment section. We’d love to hear from you!

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Cory Streiff
Cory is a career expert with extensive experience in manufacturing and consulting. He recognizes the life-changing impact great career advice can have, and that's why he shares expert tips with every job seeker out there.
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