Professional Filmmaker CV Guide + Tips + Example

Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW
By Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: September 01, 2023
Filmmaker CV Template
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A well-written CV is a great place to start if you seek a professional filmmaker job. Not sure where to begin? Don’t worry! Our guide to crafting an effective professional filmmaker CV will help you make the most of your creativity and communication skills so you can get the job. 

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Professional filmmaker CV example (text version)

Soia Gonzalez

Brooklyn, NY 11201
(555) 555-5555
example@example.com

Summary Statement

Highly imaginative filmmaker with over six years of experience making a variety of films for diverse industries. Strong passion for creating independent films, but also have a knack for creating commercial productions, documentaries and short films. Knowledge of the latest camera, video and audio equipment and editing software. Enjoys working with a variety of scripts, actors and crew members at many different experience levels. Expert at bringing out the best in an actor, script or production.

Core Qualifications

  • Production management
  • Visual storytelling
  • Equipment operation
  • Final Cut
  • Adobe Premier and After Effects
  • Avid Media Composer
  • Detail oriented
  • Time management

Education

  • June 2019
    New York Film Academy, New York New York, NY
    Master of Arts Film & Media Production
  • June 2016
    New York Film Academy, New York New York, NY
    Bachelor of Fine Arts Filmmaking

Work Experience

November 2018 – Current
Argo Stories – New York, NY
Filmmaker

  • Assist with casting to make sure the right actor/actress brings out the most in the role and works well with other cast members.
  • Direct cast members to see that they understand their character and the part they play in the entirety of the production.
  • Secure funding for productions, often doing so at least 5% below budget and well above expectations.
  • Work with 100 crew members to ensure the production remains on schedule, that it looks its best and that the final product is as polished as possible and matches the head director’s vision.

September 2015 – October 2018
American Documentary Inc. – Brooklyn, NY
Documentary Filmmaker

  • Investigated potential documentary subjects to understand their relevance and what would be required to create a solid production that conveys the right message and meaning.
  • Interviewed over 80 documentary subjects and participants to uncover their stories and to imbue the film with their voices.
  • Shot, edited and added music tracks and selections to documentaries.
  • Identified and approved equipment and elements required for five productions.

June 2014 – August 2015
YouTube – New York, NY
Intern

  • Reviewed scripts for flow, proper character development, consistency and for errors.
  • Assisted the director, assistant director and script supervisor in their tasks to ensure the production went smoothly and remained within budget.
  • Recommended changes to productions and offered suggestions, most of which were used and saved the cast and crew time and money.
  • Logged and organized one of the video department libraries of 2,000 videos.

Filmography

  • Alleviated issues between actors on set to keep projects on track and avoid delays or budget overages as an assistant producer in “City Living”, (2021).
  • Developed schedules for production, editing and duplication for timely delivery as producer lead in “Call me Yesterday”, (2019).
  • Directed preproduction planning and schedules, and worked with lighting and sound crews to coordinate efficient production operations as an assistant crew director in “Carrying On”, (2017).

Conference Attendance

  • Shortie Film Festival, New York, NY – (2023)
  • Brooklyn Film Festival – (2023)
  • Tribeca Film Festival, NYC, NY – (2022)
  • Georgia Latino International Film Festival – (2022)
  • New York Film Conference, New York, NY – (2021)
  • Sundance Film Festival – (2021)
  • Los Angeles Film Festival – (2019)

Professional Affiliations and Memberships

  • New York Film Group – (2023)
  • Women in Film (WIF) – (2022)
  • American Film Institute – (2021)
  • American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) – (2019)

Certifications and Licenses

  • Adobe Certified Professional – (2022)
  • Film & Television Production Certification, online Georgia Film Academy – (2021)

Profession Relevant Skills

  • Well-honed time management skills, which are essential to keeping productions on schedule and cast and crew on task.
  • Written and verbal communication skills allow me to coordinate with cast and crew members and other individuals, which is essential to making sure a product is successfully started and completed.
  • Creative skills are necessary to interpret scripts and make necessary changes to improve the production and help cast members bring the scriptwriter’s vision to life.

Languages

  • English
    Native or Bilingual
  • Spanish
    Full Professional

Hobbies and Interests

Besides making films, I also enjoy watching them, especially those in the suspense and neo-noir genres. On the weekends, I like going for bike rides on the paths close to my home and venturing up into the hills when the weather permits. I like to read biographies of filmmakers to better understand the craft, improve my filmmaking abilities and broaden my creativity.

5 essentials of a top CV for a professional filmmaker job

  1. Contact details

    Create a section at the top of your CV for your contact information. Without it, a potential employer cannot reach you to schedule an interview. Display your contact information as follows: Your full name, then your city, state and ZIP code, followed by your phone number and professional email address. If you have a LinkedIn profile and professional website, add those last.

  2. Personal statement

    A personal statement, also called a professional summary, is where you introduce yourself to the hiring manager and pitch your best skills and related work experience. Your CV should include job-relevant skills, the number of years you have been in the industry, and one or two of your most notable professional accomplishments. Your personal statement must be compelling and no longer than five short sentences to grab the hiring manager’s attention.

  3. Skills

    Every hiring manager wants to know what skills you bring to the table. Create a separate section for your job-relevant skills and display them with bullet points to make them easy to read. Include a mixture of hard and soft skills that range from your thorough understanding of film equipment to your expertise in cinematography, as our professional filmmaker CV example shows. If you are applying for your first job, include transferable skills.

  4. Work history

    Whether or not you have work experience as a professional filmmaker, your CV must have a detailed employment history section. List current and previous employers in reverse-chronological order and provide company names, locations and the dates you worked for each. Add three bullet points of measurable achievements for every job you list. If you don’t have work experience in the field or if this is your first job application, display extracurricular activities, volunteer experience, community service and professional and personal projects — anything that shows you have relevant work experience.

  5. Education

    Hiring managers want to see your education credentials, so a CV for a filmmaker must include an education section. Add all the schools you’ve attended after high school, if any. Use bullet points and display the name of the school and the year you graduated; however omit the year if you graduated more than 10 years ago. List your high school information and any post-high school classes taken if you did not attend college.

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Do’s and don’ts for building a professional filmmaker CV

  • Use measurable achievements to describe your professional filmmaker abilities and experience.
  • Use action words to make an impact on your professional filmmaker CV.
  • Tailor your CV to your target professional filmmaker job.
  • Use keywords from the job description throughout your professional filmmaker CV.
  • Format your professional filmmaker CV so that it is easy to read by ATS software and human eyes.
  • Lie about your professional filmmaker experience and skills.
  • Boast that you’re the “best professional filmmaker ever.”
  • Include irrelevant personal information such as your ethnicity and age.
  • Add skills and experience not related to film production.
  • Forget to proofread. A professional filmmaker CV with errors is unprofessional.

Top 4 tips for acing a professional filmmaker interview

  1. Learn about the organization first.

    Before the interview, take the time to learn about the company’s history, goals, values and people. Being able to show that you have in-depth knowledge about your potential employer shows real interest, dedication and commitment, which hiring managers love to see.

  2. Practice makes perfect!

    To practice for your interview, start by reviewing some of the most common interview questions, such as: 

    Write down possible answers as you review potential questions, and have a friend or relative practice your interview with you. This way, you can get comfortable with the questions and imprint the answers in your mind. Ask your interview partner to review your answers. You’ll feel confident and ready when it’s time for the real thing.

  3. Have questions ready.

    Your interviewer will likely ask if you have any questions at the end of your session. And even if they don’t, it’s best to arrive equipped with questions about the job. Job candidates who ask questions are more likely to get hired than candidates who do not because it shows genuine interest and enthusiasm. 

    Some questions you might ask for a professional filmmaker job are: 

    • What are the biggest opportunities available to someone in this position?
    • What are the biggest challenges someone in this position might expect?
    • How do you evaluate success in this role?
  4. Gather references.

    You’ll need professional references quickly if the hiring manager is interested in hiring you. Prepare a list of two former colleagues and a former manager willing to speak to your abilities to perform the professional filmmaker job and who you know will give you a stellar review. 

    If you are applying for your first full-time job, then ask a former instructor, volunteer coordinator, classmate or community leader who can vouch for your character and skills.

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