What are the best sources to find documentary jobs?

by Jeff Bush
(New York)

Question: I am currently working in the online journalism field as a multimedia producer. I have produced several of my own video stories as a "one man band" as well as countless video packages for other reporters.

I would like to gain experience on a longer format, outdoor documentary as a videographer/DP. I have extensive DP experience, but always in a more formal, interview and ENG situation. I would like to gain experience at low-pay, no-pay.

Is there a clearing house for people such as me? I am aware of Mandy.com, but have not had much luck.

Desktop Documentaries:

Hi Jeff. Thanks for your question.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1) You are welcome to post a message to other filmmakers on our Documentaries Facebook page.

2) Browse the Documentary Jobs listings here on this site.

3) Craigslist often has ads in the "Gigs" section for volunteer/low-pay documentary and film jobs.

4) Check out Storyhunter, an innovative media company that connects freelance documentary producers and citizen journalists with publishers.

5) Join documentary groups on LinkedIn to see if there are any projects in the works that you could connect with and offer help to.

6) Other sites that have forums & job listings for video/film include Creative Cow and Production Hub.

7) Join the D-Word documentary community at d-word.com to listen in on conversations and see if there's anyone who needs help.

8) Attend Film Festivals and other media networking events such as SXSW in Austin, TX. You never know who you're going to meet.

9) Browse Kickstarter.com and IndieGoGo.com for documentary fundraising campaigns. Those are HOT projects in the works and an offer to volunteer may be just what they're looking for.

10) Sign up for a documentary workshop or film school to meet and collaborate with fellow documentary filmmakers.

11) My number one best advice I give to all filmmakers is this: DON'T WAIT FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO GIVE YOU PERMISSION (a job) to do what you want to do. If you want to shoot a documentary, then shoot a documentary. Find a topic that interests you and start shooting! So often documentary teams are formed between friends/colleagues and it can be really tough to join up with another documentary group. So the BEST (and fastest) way to get experience is to hire yourself! If you need ideas for film topics, browse the documentary ideas section of this website. New ideas are posted there almost every day!

12) Re-read #11.

Anyone else have ideas? Please leave comments and feedback below.

Comments for What are the best sources to find documentary jobs?

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Feb 08, 2013
Sources for Documentary Jobs
by: John Maslowski

Hi Jeff,
Twitter can be a good resource. It seems just about every filmmaker and or entity involved with documentaries is on Twitter. You may seem some opportunities. In addition, you can reach out to folks to do some networking. There is a Twitter account: @jobs_NY_film that lists jobs. I must give a disclaimer though. I have not used them so I would do some due diligence. There are similar Twitter accounts for L.A. and probably other major cities. Best of luck!

Sep 27, 2015
Team People
by: Monika (via LinkedIn)

Try Team People http://www.teampeople.tv/. They are a production staffing company. I've used them to hire local crew on travel shoots across the country. Hope that's helpful. Good luck!

May 18, 2016
Job sites in India
by: Samridhi Aneja

There are companies in Maharashtra, India named "Culture Machine" and "Red Chillies" and a company named "Prime Focus" in Chandigarh, in India, as well. :)😇

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