The Skills You Need for the Entertainment Industry

Filming with professional camera
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One of the more frustrating experiences I had when going to school was that there were very few classes I thought would adequately prepare me to meet my goal of having a career in the entertainment industry. I found myself ignoring many of my three Rs (writing, reading, and arithmetic) and taking any class that sounded even remotely like it had some relation to the entertainment field. But most of these classes were “media studies” where we discussed the various effects of the media on society, etc.

Although these were valuable classes, many of them did not give me the formal entertainment industry education I thought I would need. What I didn’t know back then was just how valuable all of my classes were and how many of them would indirectly prepare me for every entertainment job I would ever have.

One big misnomer in the entertainment biz is that to work in the field, you need to have some sort of formalized training. Although there is some truth to that for certain positions (e.g., camera operator, editor, director, etc.), the good news is that the majority of people who work in entertainment have backgrounds and educations that have little if any relation to the industry. Most of your experience will be gained while working on the job. But there are still a number of generalized skills that you should be developing now that you will find will come in handy and help make your entry into the Hollywood realm as successful as possible.

Valuable Skills to Develop

Even if you never take a formal entertainment class, more than likely there are a number of classes you are currently taking where you should pay special attention. Here are some valuable skills you should be developing:

  • Business & Math: Money makes the world go ‘round and Hollywood is no exception. People that master their financial accounting skills become extremely valuable commodities in the entertainment field. Those individuals that can effectively manage the budgets of all of the various television shows, digital productions and movies are like human bars of gold to most major entertainment companies.
  • Technology: There is no disputing that technology plays a huge part in the entertainment industry. From camera and editing equipment to lights, special effects, computers, and much more, without technology, many of the films we’ve enjoyed would never have come to be. By honing your skills in this subject you will automatically find yourself becoming an extremely valuable member of any production set.
  • Art & Graphics: From movie posters to set designs, there are a huge number of opportunities that utilize those people that have artistic ability. From architects to painters, there is a growing need for skilled artisans who can bring their talents a production set.
  • Fashion: If you studied fashion for years but quickly decided the fashion industry isn’t for you, then you might consider applying your skills to the entertainment industry. Wardrobe and cosmetic design are always in huge demand in Hollywood and those who have a flair for this particular field are held in high regard and are often paid accordingly.
  • Writing: Any writing skills you might have the chance to develop will become extremely valuable no matter which career path you choose. Obviously working as a television writer or screenwriter can be quite lucrative, just knowing how to communicate effectively through the written word will help jumpstart your career.
  • School of Life: Also, don’t forget the value of life experience. For most creative positions such as a writer or director, being able to call upon certain moments in your history will also prove quite valuable. Some of the best moments in entertainment have come through the memories of their creators.

Your education is preparing you better than you think for most entertainment related positions. Either way, don’t feel discouraged if you’re taking classes that don’t directly relate to the field. You will find that your education will serve you well no matter what area you focus on.