I am a student in the UK and really enjoy screenwriting. I have applied to a program called "Work America" where UK students get a US visa to work and travel the States for 3-4 months during the summer. What are the prospects of getting a job in the film industry (any job)? Is there any type of job you would advise if I am really enthusiastic in working in film?
You don't need to be on a US set because they're more or less the same as British sets, except fewer tea breaks.
I would advise any aspiring screenwriter, director or producer who wants an intense learning experience to try to get a job (or internship) at an agency. Nothing else compares. Mailroom or assistant to an agent, those are the jobs to get. Or any kind of internship at an agency.
Get The Hollywood Creative Directory Online, get agents' names, call agents while you're still in Scotland, talk to them or their assistants, explain yourself, find out whom they think you should write to, write to those people, then call them. They'll cut you some slack because you're not from around here, and maybe because who doesn't like a Scottish accent; but not that much slack, because they have MBA's and lawyers volunteering for these jobs.
You can also try temp agencies once you're here but they're more likely to get you a job as assistant to someone in the DVD marketing department, say, or writing dunning letters to libraries who owe Disney money for motion picture rental. (Those were my two jobs from a temp agency specializing in showbiz.)
The prospects for any job in showbiz are the same. They are impossible to get, and yet somehow people get them every day. If you are daunted by impossible odds, consider another line of work. If you're not, just make yourself capable of the impossible.
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