How To Join Movie Industry In Kenya
Want to join the movie industry? This article will give some tips for joining the movie industry in Kenya.
First things first, let us clear the air regarding the way of making a career out of filmmaking.
How to join the film industry
Entrance requirements vary across the country, so take your time and find out more.
Many colleges will have scholarships available, which can be either for an entire degree or a section of a degree (such as electives).
If you have decided that it’s time to take on a film industry internship, you’ll need a letter of recommendation from your school or local council.
It is also advisable to look for internships that are specific to what you are passionate about, rather than something else. You can also look for free/affordable internships through your local Nairobi community center.
Your film internship mustn’t take over your day-to-day life. If your degree is just one year, you can make it happen by taking two-week shifts.
Depending on the length of your course, you might have to sacrifice your graduation party or your first-year house party. If you are looking to make a career out of a film, you must manage your time appropriately.
In the UK, you will also need a work permit.
First of all, what kind of person should you be if you want to get into film?
You must be comfortable and confident, with a naturalistic style and a certain level of maturity. Don’t just audition and hope for the best, this isn’t your first acting class.
In a film, if you’re not confident or experienced enough to decide on your own lines, then there’s no way you’ll feel comfortable behind the camera or in front of the camera.
Your first job
Begin by taking an acting course and also put yourself in front of a camera. Don’t worry if you don’t get a job straight away, it will come.
Following your acting course, find a fully paid internship with a real film production company. If you go to work for a production company, they’ll almost certainly train you for a short while, and after a few months, you’ll be put straight to work.
It’s worth mentioning that the success of an internship or training scheme is entirely up to the company.
Internships will usually have specific recruitment criteria, such as experience and working with different directors. A large company will have different criteria and a few may not accept anyone without experience.
The best internship I ever had was with a highly respected video production company called Tunewise.
They put me on camera for a film and brought me into a team environment, gave me training, and set me up on projects, which I could then take up myself.
Even if you don’t have any experience, you can still work as a film extra. Just make sure that you learn the basics before you get in the door.
You will also need a letter of recommendation from your school or local council.
My first paid job was with Watamu Films. They paid me a little for each job, but most of the time I just worked on the movie itself, for free.
That gave me invaluable experience, which I was able to use when I went looking for jobs later on.
Keep the respect of everyone in the film industry – this isn’t your competition
The most popular section in Kenya right now is commercials, but you may also be offered acting roles.
The most important thing is to have the respect of everyone in the industry, but it’s also useful to understand that everyone has their own story.
Some of the most respected names in Kenyan films are often only “in” due to a prominent relationship with a big name.
This is one of the most exciting times to get into film.
The industry is booming, but there is an ever-present threat of piracy. Be sure to keep your camera protected and record media locked in your phone.
It’s also important that you have a camera phone and a high-definition camera, just in case you need to capture something quickly.
Finally, I would recommend reading the excellent book, Inspiration for Screenwriters (although the true value of the book may not be realized until after you’ve become successful!).
Don’t be discouraged if you are not getting work immediately. This is the golden opportunity to learn the basics and to gain a foot in the door of a very tough industry.
If you make the most of this chance, your life will be changed forever.
Whether you decide to follow your passion or get a conventional job, make sure you do something creative every day.
The film is about creating, so stay away from the negativity and keep creating.
No matter how good or bad your day is, at the end of it, you have the chance to create something amazing and exciting. Make sure to take it.