Climbing the Ranks: How to Get Promoted in the Film Industry

Posted on: Jun 13, 2023

Production crew on set reviewing footage.Photo courtesy of True Touch Lifestyle // Shutterstock

By Tamarra Thomas

Ready to move up on-set, but not sure where to begin? Let’s explore three key areas that can help you get promoted in the film industry: negotiating rates, becoming a crew lead or manager, and setting goals for professional growth.


Negotiating Rates

Know your worth. Before entering any negotiation, research the average rates for your position and experience level. Websites like industry-specific forums, salary databases, or talking to industry professionals can provide valuable insights. Keep in mind many production jobs are union based, meaning there is a scale-rate associated with the correlating guild. Visit specific guild sites to learn about requirements, rates, the application process, and more.

Showcase your value. Highlight your achievements, skills, and unique qualities that set you apart from others. Be prepared to discuss your past successes and demonstrate how they will benefit the production you’re working on.

Be flexible and open to compromise. While it’s important to advocate for fair compensation, remember that negotiations involve give and take. Be willing to consider other factors, such as additional benefits, increased responsibilities, or opportunities for professional growth.


Become a Crew Lead or Manager

Show initiative and take on additional responsibilities. Seek opportunities to demonstrate your leadership skills by taking charge on tasks or projects. Proactively look for ways to contribute beyond your current role and show that you’re capable of handling more responsibility. Don’t be afraid to speak up about what role you want and the direction you want to grow your career in.

Develop Strong Communication Skills. Effective communication is essential for managing a crew. Practice active listening, providing clear instructions, and fostering open dialogue to create a positive working environment. Show respect and support for your team members to build trust and establish yourself as a team player.

Continuously improve your technical skills. Stay up-to-date with industry trends, equipment, and software. Take advantage of training programs, workshops, and online resources to enhance your technical knowledge. The more you can bring to the table, the more valuable you become as a crew lead or manager.


Setting Goals for Professional Growth

Identify your aspirations. Reflect on where you currently are, and what you hope to achieve in the film industry. Set clear, measurable goals that align with your long-term vision. Break down large goals into smaller, achievable milestones to keep yourself motivated and focused.

Seek mentorship and guidance. Find experienced professionals who can offer guidance and support. They can provide insights, share their experiences, and help you navigate challenges along the way, and potentially share their network and contacts. Actively seek out mentors and maintain professional relationships with industry veterans.

Network strategically. Attend industry events, film festivals, and workshops to expand your professional network. Building connections with fellow filmmakers, producers, and industry insiders can open doors to new opportunities and collaborations. Stay active on professional networking platforms and join relevant online communities to stay engaged.


Tamarra Thomas is an Impact Producer from Sparta, Michigan. Her love of film began when she was in high school leading in both theater and student news. Since then Tamarra has worked on award winning features and documentaries. Her love for narrative work and community goes hand in hand. Her goal is to create impactful films that influence and expands the creative mindset.

Browse thousands of jobs and find your next gig! Sign up or login to Staff Me Up and get on-set today!

You may also like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *