How to write a filmmaker CV (with template and example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 9 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're interested in cinematography and have good technical skills, a career as a filmmaker may be rewarding. A good filmmaker CV highlights your suitability for the position by detailing your relevant education, experience and skills. Knowing how to write a filmmaker CV ensures you tailor the document for each position and boosts your employability. In this article, we outline what a filmmaker CV is, how to write one and provide a filmmaker CV template and example to facilitate better understanding.

What is a filmmaker CV?

A filmmaker CV is a document used by media professionals to secure a position in this role. Filmmaker CVs outline any education, experience, skills and professional certifications that qualify you for the position. The content of a filmmaker CV may vary depending on the job description hiring managers provide candidates with. This is because companies establish their own entry requirements for a role or look for individuals with certain filmmaking expertise.

It's important for candidates to tailor their CVs to the job description to highlight their suitability for the role. Filmmaker CVs are applicable to several sectors within the media industry, including sales agents, broadcasting companies and independent production houses. The sector you're applying for a job in may impact which unique responsibilities from previous roles you include on your CV. Some general responsibilities included on filmmaker CVs are:

  • reading scripts and providing feedback

  • overseeing film rehearsals

  • working with casting directors and producers to select actors

  • determining locations for filming

  • ensuring films remain on budget and schedule

  • collaborating with art, camera and costume departments

  • selecting music or musical scores for the final film

  • directing actors throughout filming

Related: Resume vs. CV: what are the differences?

How to write a filmmaker CV

Here's how to write a filmmaker CV in seven steps:

1. Choose the correct CV format

Choosing the correct format for your filmmaker CV ensures you highlight the most important information first, making it visible to hiring managers. Most employers prefer candidates to use the reverse-chronological order format. This means your most recent qualifications and work experience come first. Choose an appropriate font size of no less than 10-pt so your document is easy to read.

2. List your contact details

Start by listing your contact information at the top of your CV. Consider saving space by including it in the header for online versions. Including this information at the top of the document makes it easier for hiring managers to contact you regarding the next stages of the application process. Contact details to include in your CV are your full name, phone number, email address and home address. You can also include URLs to your professional profile, website or portfolio.

Related: How to create a CV on Word (step-by-step plus tips)

3. Write a professional CV summary

A professional summary is a short paragraph that summarises your most relevant achievements and experiences for the role. This paragraph is short and concise, consisting of no more than three to four lines. Make sure to use a straightforward voice and tailor this section to the requirements of each job you apply for.

Since this is the first section on your CV hiring managers are likely to read, include impressive numbers or statistics that serve as demonstrable proof of your achievements and expertise. Frame your sentences in a way that shows how your skills and qualifications can benefit the employer. Add a brief sentence at the end of your professional summary outlining your career goals as they relate to the position.

4. Include your employment history

Demonstrate the experience you've earned from previous roles by adding an employment history section. Use a reverse-chronological order by starting with your most recent employer and working backwards. If you've had several jobs, stick to mentioning the ones most relevant to the position. You can also include work experience if you're lacking professional roles.

Under each job title, include the company name, address and dates of employment. Add five bullet points under your most recent experience detailing your responsibilities and three bullet points under subsequent entries. Give a lively component to your CV by using action verbs. Quantify your responsibilities and achievements for each role where possible. This serves as demonstrable proof of your abilities. Make sure to tailor your employment section to include duties and achievements relevant to each position.

Related: A guide to 10 different jobs in media (with salary info)

5. Note your educational history

There are no specific education requirements for becoming a filmmaker, yet a bachelor's degree in film production or a related subject is usually requested. Start with your most advanced qualification and work backwards. State the name of your degree, the awarding institution and its location and your dates of attendance. It's not necessary to include your secondary school results if you have a degree unless the job description states otherwise.

6. Detail your skills

Include a skills section that bullet points the key competencies you have that apply to filmmaking. Only include skills you're proficient in and limit your list to between five and 10 skills. Some important filmmaker skills to consider highlighting include creativity, leadership, communication, editing, project management and cinematography skills.

Related: How to choose the best video editing software for YouTube

7. Consider adding your interests

Consider adding a short section on your interests. This allows you to demonstrate any personal attributes relevant to the role. For filmmaker jobs, you may include your favourite film genres or relevant activities you conduct in your free time, such as photography or attending film conferences.

Filmmaker CV tips

Here are some tips for writing a filmmaker CV:

Read the job description first

Review available jobs online and pay attention to the job keywords employers are using in their postings. These keywords refer to short phrases or words that relate to the requirements of the role. They describe the essential qualities and primary duties of candidates. Reviewing the job description first allows you to optimise your CV for these keywords.

Related: Alternative Ways To Say 'Please Find Attached My CV'

Keep it short

When starting with a blank page, it can be easy to get carried away when it comes to filling it all in. Avoid adding too much information to your CV by instead focusing on what's most relevant. Remember that you can always elaborate on any skills, qualifications or experiences in your cover letter where necessary.

Proofread your CV

Always proofread your CV before submitting it to your prospective employer. Applying with mistakes in your CV can make a bad first impression. Check the document for any grammatical or spelling mistakes to increase its accuracy. Ask a friend to read over the document when you're finished to determine where it's easy to understand. Review the document for any formatting errors too. Ensure the font and spacing are consistent throughout your CV.

Related: 6 universal rules for writing your CV

Filmmaker CV template

Here's a filmmaker CV template:

Full name | Phone number | Email address | Location

Professional summary

Three to four lines detailing your experience and achievements relevant to the role and relevant skills and career goals.

Professional experience

Job title | Company name | location | Date range of employment

  • Responsibility or achievement you performed

  • Responsibility or achievement you performed

  • Responsibility or achievement you performed

  • Responsibility or achievement you performed

  • Responsibility or achievement you performed

Job title | Company name | Address | Date range of employment

  • Responsibility or achievement you performed

  • Responsibility or achievement you performed

  • Responsibility or achievement you performed

Education history

Degree | Institution name | Location | Dates of attendance

Skills

Necessary skill or competency | Necessary skill or competency | Necessary skill or competency | Necessary skill or competency | Necessary skill or competency

Professional certifications

Certification name | Institution | Year you attained the certification

Filmmaker CV example

Here's a filmmaker CV example:

Jonathan Drew | Jonathan.drew@myemail.co.uk | London | 07234591038

Professional summary

Ambitious filmmaker with seven years of experience in visual storytelling. Proficient in editing, producing video content and cinematography techniques. Directed an award-winning miniseries for an independent production house. Looking to enter the documentary genre.

Work experience

Filmmaker Media Masters | London | Aug 2018–Current

  • Directed an award-winning miniseries that has over 10 million views

  • Planned the video production schedules of 25+ cast and crew members

  • Edited video content using Final Cut Pro to meet time-sensitive deadlines

  • Directed over 50+ films of varying genres, including horror, romance and comedy

  • Collaborated with lighting, sound and costume teams to create the perfect motion picture

Filmmaker | Independent Media | London | Sep 2017–July 2018

  • Installed and updated technical equipment to keep in line with industry enhancements

  • Operated cameras to shoot 4K and HD video

  • Put together narrative sequences seamlessly using film cutting software

Education

BA (Hons) in Film Studies Film University | London | Sep 2014–July 2017

  • Won Best Motion Picture in the student film festival in 2017

Skills

Leadership | Cinematography | Adobe After Effects | Cinematic lighting techniques | Communication | Editing | Visual storytelling

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