I’ve been looking at a lot of websites lately. No, stop where your mind’s going and wash your brain out with soap, it’s not that kind of blog. I’ve been looking in a highly efficient, compartmentalised way and not in a time-wastey, procrastinatey kind of way at all (honest) and it has struck me that there is a huge amount of information available to the aspiring media type person. There are blogs like mine where you can be inspired, horrified, confused and distressed, there are proper sites that advertise jobs, opportunities, give information, there are sites for production companies, funding agencies, media publications and even small time players like the BBC has a website these days.
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Now, this isn’t one of those ‘it was much harder in my day’ moans. I don’t go in for that for a number of reasons, then main one being that it is, in fact, much harder now. I went to university and did an arts subject (history)… for free (almost). I was able to sign on and do voluntary work to get experience. Having to do work experience followed by first rung on the ladder jobs that paid a pittance didn’t put me off because I wasn’t saddled with tens of thousands of pounds worth of debt. That’s the main reason why I support the charity Arts Emergency, because to me it feels that, just as information on how to get into the arts and media has widened, opportunity has narrowed.
As I’ve suggested in other blog posts, you have to be proactive in searching for ways in and not simply apply for jobs, funding or put your CV online and hope opportunity knocks. It’s unlikely that you’ll get your first job when you don’t have any experience at all. I’m not saying don’t do all those things, I’m saying that you’ll have to try and find a way to gain experience at the same time as applying for anything and everything going.
Still, looking at all the information is a great way to feel you’re achieving something and haven’t wasted your day sat in your dressing gown with a cup of tea and the internet even though you have sat in your dressing gown…
Here is a list of useful links. It’s neither comprehensive nor exhaustive so do feel free to add to it or email me any you think may be helpful.
http://www.arts-emergency.org/ If, like me, you have been blessed with, if not success then, an actual job that pays money then do give them some money.
http://www.ideastap.com/ Sadly this site has shut down due to lack of funding. A shame as it was full of Information, job posts, funding opportunities, articles, generally useful and inspiring stuff. Some of those opportunities have been taken on by another creative networking site https://app.hiive.co.uk/
http://www.creativeengland.co.uk Film body outside London.
http://www.bfi.org.uk/ Film body inside London.
http://www.creativescotland.com/ Film body for Yes, Nos and Maybes.
http://www.ffilmcymruwales.com Film body for others. Other film bodies do exist, I’m sure.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/academy I’ve not had a proper look round this site, but I hear good things about this BBC thing, so it might be worth a butcher’s.
http://www.pact.co.uk Television industry body – I used to spend a lot of time looking at the PACT directory imagining myself working for one of the companies listed in there. Then I wrote to them and most told me to sod off.
http://www.productionbase.co.uk/ A website for freelance television production staff – companies post jobs and search for crew. You have to subscribe, but there is a free trial.
https://www.thetalentmanager.co.uk/ Similar to above, but you can register for free and respond to job posts. There is a paid for ‘pro’ service.
https://the-dots.co.uk A fairly new site for creative industry networking that includes job posts.
http://jobs.theguardian.com/jobs When I were a lad, I used to get the Guardian every Monday and scour the Media section looking for jobs I could apply for. Now you can have those feelings of excitement, hope, despair and disillusionment all day, every day.
http://www.princes-trust.org.uk/ I am ideologically opposed to Prince Charles, but when I was a struggling media wannabe I got a grant to pay for a printer, so maybe I should shut up and say that I really think we should deffo have a King Charles III and it’ll all be brilliant.
http://creativeskillset.org/ Training, jobs, info and all that stuff.
I hope that’s useful. I’ve certainly found many of these sites helpful over the years.