Why training is important in the film & television business

By The Media Training Hub Team Posted at 22/07/2020 Training

Keeping your career on track


This article is focussed on training and career development in the film, television and media industries but the content will equally apply to many other industries.

 

Training is something we tend to do most at the start of our careers. You might have studied at college or taken a media related degree at university or even progressed to a Masters degree in a film & television subject. But once you enter the workplace, further training can really slow down or even stop altogether. 


As we progress through our working lives, we pick up experience on the way but often there is a lack of training on offer especially if you work in an industry where there is little or no formal training structure. This is particularly true in the freelance sector.

 

This article outlines the benefits and necessity for ongoing training and how it will massively improve your career prospects in the film, media & television business.   If you’re just starting your career in the film and television business, then you’ll already understand the need for education or training to give you the broad level of knowledge you need to enter the workplace. You’ll need to demonstrate to employers that you understand the business and that you’ve got the necessary skills to do the job you’re applying for.


But it doesn't stop there


Think of your career as a journey from where you are now to where you ultimately want to end up. This may sound like "stating the obvious" but without a plan or a framework to build on, it's impossible to visualise your current situation and the changes you need to make to reach your ultimate goals. 


Each of us will have a different “now” depending on what stage of career we’ve reached, and our end goals will be different. But what we have in common is the need to get from “now” to “goal” and it’s clear that this process can take many years. In fact, it’s going to take the entire lifetime of your career and that’s why you need to take a lifetime approach to training. It's called Continuous Professional Development or CPD and it's something we all need to pay attention to. In fact it's the single most important thing you need to address whatever stage you've reached in your career.

 

Is training worth the money?


But is it worth the investment? Training for the film and television business takes time and can be expensive. There are free courses and expensive courses, some are good value, others not so good. But either way, you’ll be investing your time and money. So is it really worth it?   The short answer is yes as long as you find the right course for you.


What are the benefits of training?


There are many benefits to attending a training course: you might gain a new skill or qualification, learn how to use a new piece of equipment, or just refresh your knowledge and keep up to date. But you’ll also be more motivated, energised and able to offer new thinking and solutions in your job and you’ll probably have networked and made new contacts in your field. You’ll be a better person with more knowledge and skills to offer in the workplace, all of which makes you more valuable to an employer so you’ll be more likely to get better jobs and along with that, a better salary.


Finding the right course for you


To have a successful career in whatever discipline you choose, you're going to need to learn your craft and continue to gain knowledge and experience as your career develops. Think of training as an ongoing process rather than something to do at the start of your career. It's a programme for continuous personal development throughout your career in film and television production.

Types of television & film training courses

Training can be delivered in quite a few ways and choosing what works for you will depend on several factors:

  • The stage you are at in your career
  • How much time you can commit
  • How much money you can afford to invest
  • How far you can travel
  • The subject being taught
  • Delivered online or in person


What to look out for in a training course

  • The tutor's experience.
  • Ideally taught by a working professional.
  • Is the course content up to date with current technologies or practices?
  • For technical skills, will you get your hands on relevant kit?
  • Beware of courses that over promise. You won't become a fully fledged cinematographer in 2 days!
  • Check any reviews & if possible talk to someone who has done the course already.
  • Decide what you want to learn & will the course achieve that goal?
  • Check how many students will attend. Craft skills should be taught in small groups.
  • Ideally there should be a completion certificate.
  • Is there any funding available?


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