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Jade Stokes (right) Jeanette Aguilar Harris (Left)

Featured Article

Want to Join The Film Industry?

It's easier than you might think!

Okay, let’s have a sit down and talk about pursuing a career in the film industry. Yes, it’s hella’ exciting and a wild ride, but you need to know what you’re getting into. Something to understand about filmmaking, it’s oddly like executing a military mission, so veterans of the military are well trusted and discipline goes a very long way, so does the ability to withstand less than savory working conditions. Yup, that’s right, it’s not as glamorous as you think, getting sand blown in your face out in the desert holding an umbrella for Morgan Freeman in the hottest part of the summer day. It’s not usually about being good as it is about being proficient. Anyone can get better at their task, but professionalism, consistency and reliability are the key to going far in the film industry. The secret sauce is being tastefully playful with your fellow moviemakers because then you become a pleasure to work with, a pleasure to solve problems with. There are so many jobs on set that will bring in great money and are in high demand. If you’re an electrician, look into grip/gaffing. If you’re good with recording music, look into recording and mixing sound on set. Are you into lights? Are you into art and building
sets? There’s even a behind-the-scenes photographer that documents the making of the movie. You can do this! Are you a good event planner? Look into the AD department. Are you OCD about things being right? Be a script supervisor and make sure they take a sip at the same time in each take. Do you like making a lot of food for a bunch of people? They hire caterers! There’s even a whole department of union drivers, and they get paid well and put their kids through college. Did you go to beauty school and are wondering how to make money? Movies need hair and make-up artists all the time! Are you into design and fashion? Come join the costuming department and help create the world that we get lost in. You may be thinking, oh, I am an accountant, I can’t work in the movies. Wrong! Movies are businesses, too, and need accountants and people working in the office and making sure the organization runs smoothly. Movies need an army of marketing and advertising soldiers, and a team of promoters. Anything you do, you can do for the movies. All you have to do is do the work.

Go get certified! Train meticulously, show up, execute and boom! You will get paid. The film industry needs people like that with healthy egos that come to create as a team. I hope you want to be a powerful storyteller because that drives the industry. Do you wonder what it’s like to direct and write? How about being a movie producer? All you have to do is get started somewhere and make movies.

Bottom line is this, you can work in the film industry if your heart is into getting dirty and making magic happen, even if it’s not comfortable. The final secret is this: it’s all about being a fun collaborator. No one likes working with a party pooper, they like working with fun problem solvers. Sometimes that means showing up and making people smile, or just staying positive no matter what.

How do you meet the right people? Go to film and media events to support the industry. Go to film festivals like Albuquerque’s, AFMX. Check out film contests that bring filmmakers together like the 48 Hr Film Contest. Go take classes at schools like UNM for filmmaking, CNM for crew, and Story Quest Studios for acting and above-the-line. If you’re ready and interested in discovering more, check out everything at  

Want to know more about Acting, Voiceover or Screenwriting? Reach out to the writer at

  • Jade Stokes getting ready for a scene
  • Jade Stokes (right) Jeanette Aguilar Harris (Left)
  • Jade Stokes (right) Jeanette Aguilar Harris (Left)
  • Jeanette Aguilar Harris going over the scene