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Jobs in wildlife filmmaking – Where are they?

Wildlife filmmaking is a competitive industry, but there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of finding and landing a job

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Wildlife filmmaking is a competitive industry, but there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of landing a job. Jobs in wildlife filmmaking are most often freelance positions, although fixed-term contracts and full-time positions are occasionally available. Here we give you our best insights into finding and securing positions, both freelance and full-time, in the natural history and wildlife film industries. 

Specialization in a Niche Area:

Specializing in a niche area within marine biology can set you apart as a potential Shark Week host. Riley Elliot, a marine biologist and shark scientist, focuses on shark-human interactions. Developing expertise in a specific aspect of shark biology or behavior allows you to contribute unique insights to Shark Week programming. It can also make you an invaluable resource for producers seeking hosts with specialized knowledge.

Showcasing Creative Talents:

Creativity is a key component of hosting Shark Week, as it involves presenting scientific information in an engaging and entertaining manner. Andy Casagrande’s skills as a cinematographer and Riley Elliot’s passion for storytelling showcase the importance of incorporating creative elements into your work. Consider developing skills in videography, editing, or storytelling to enhance your ability to create compelling content.

Building a Strong Online Presence:

In the digital age, having a strong online presence can significantly contribute to your visibility in the industry. Create and regularly update your professional profiles on platforms like LinkedIn. Share your research, fieldwork experiences, and any relevant content to showcase your expertise. Riley Elliot, for instance, utilizes social media platforms to share his love for sharks and marine conservation, further establishing his presence in the field.

  1. Build your skills. The most important thing you can do is to develop your skills as a wildlife filmmaker. This includes learning how to use camera equipment, edit footage, and tell stories visually. You can take courses, read books, and watch tutorials to learn more about wildlife filmmaking.
  2. Get experience. The best way to learn wildlife filmmaking is to get experience working on projects. Volunteer for wildlife organizations or film festivals, or intern with a wildlife filmmaker. This will allow you to learn from experienced professionals and build your portfolio.
  3. Network. Get to know people in the wildlife filmmaking industry. Attend film festivals, workshops, and conferences. Connect with filmmakers on social media. The more people you know, the more likely you are to hear about job opportunities. In a freelance industry, referrals between colleagues may be one of the most powerful methods to give and receive job opportunities.
  4. Use a Jobsboard. Many full-time or fixed-term positions are advertised on job boards or producers’ websites around the world. Gloworm takes the stress out of finding niche positions in a giant job market. We daily curate our natural history media jobs board to include all wildlife and natural history film positions advertised around the world. This is a free asset for members of Gloworm and an essential ‘port of call’ for all aspiring wildlife filmmakers looking for positions. 
  5. Create a strong portfolio. Your portfolio is your most important tool for getting wildlife film jobs. It should showcase your best work and demonstrate your skills as a filmmaker. Make sure your portfolio is well-organized and easy to navigate. The member of the Gloworm network showcases their abilities through an online profile that includes showreels, photographs, production lists, production specialities and much more. 
  6. Stay up-to-date on industry trends. The wildlife filmmaking industry is constantly changing, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. Read industry publications, attend workshops, and follow filmmakers on social media. This will help you stay ahead of the curve and make sure your work is relevant to the current market.
  7. Be persistent. Securing a wildlife film job takes time and effort. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear back from every job you apply for. Keep networking, building your skills, and creating great work. Eventually, you’ll find the right opportunity.

Here are some additional tips for securing jobs in wildlife filmmaking:

  • Be flexible with your location. Wildlife filmmakers often have to travel to remote locations for work. Be willing to relocate if necessary.
  • Be prepared to work long hours. Wildlife filmmaking can be a physically and emotionally demanding job. Be prepared to work long hours, often in challenging conditions.
  • Be passionate about wildlife. Wildlife filmmakers need to be passionate about wildlife in order to do their jobs well. Your passion for wildlife will come through in your work and make you more attractive to potential employers.

Finding and securing jobs in wildlife filmmaking is challenging. However, with hard work and dedication, you can achieve your dream of becoming a wildlife filmmaker.

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