Film, Television and Talent

Princeton alumni work in these fields in a wide range of roles both in front of and behind the camera. 

A common point of entry into film or television is to start as an assistant. Assistants support multiple projects and their responsibilities are varied and frequently change by the day. Assistant roles provide broad exposure to the field and set the stage for learning about what types of roles one might choose to pursue down the line. 

Another option to consider is working in representation as a member of an agency. Agents find work and endorsement opportunities for the professional writers, performers, athletes and others who are their clients. Like film and television, entry-level roles in this field require a significant amount of administrative work and long hours, but provide the opportunity to get to know the industry and develop connections. 

If you are interested in being a writer or performer, you will need a resume that can be quite different from a "standard" resume and is customized for your particular field. You will also need a collection of work samples or previous experiences to demonstrate your qualifications. The entertainment industry is driven by relationships, so it is important to network. Knowledge and advice from experienced professionals is helpful, and it is also the most common way to learn about job or internship opportunities. 

You can learn more about these fields in the Firsthand Guides to Film Jobs and Television Jobs.

Gaining experience

Get involved in media and performing arts student groups at Princeton. You don't necessarily have to be a performer or director; there are many supporting roles from marketing to stage design that will provide you with hands-on experience. Volunteering, interning and working part-time at related organizations or on independent projects are all great ways to learn more about this field.

Make time to perform, create and broaden your network. Contact Princeton alumni to learn about how they broke into the field and get their advice.  

Hiring process and timeline

Because this field spans multiple types of organizations and roles, there is not a single hiring process or timeline. Many organizations typically hire close to the start date for the position. Identifying organizations of interest and then checking their websites regularly or speaking to alumni who work there will offer insights into their specific recruiting cycles.

Examples of job titles and roles
  • Actor
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Location manager
  • Set decorator
  • Key grip
  • Gaffer
  • Film editor
  • Runner
  • Program researcher
  • Casting director
  • Props manager
  • Costume designer
  • Production designer
  • Sound designer
  • Media production and post-production
  • Arts and entertainment management
  • Media analysis and criticism
  • Talent management assistant
  • Talent manager
  • Booking agent
Professional organizations and associations

Professional organizations and associations are membership-based groups comprised of people working in a similar field. They can be helpful resources for students to learn more about a field, develop connections and discover related opportunities. An example for this field includes the Association of Talent Agents

You can search for additional organizations and associations using a database provided by the Princeton University Library.

More Information