Can you work in film without a degree?

The answer, again, is Yes!

The answer is Yes! (Image from

But first, you probably need to know the “short cut” – “the non-degree-paying route” – to a film job: The BAFTA Screen Actors Guild. Or as the guild puts it, “This is a short path to a career in film where actors gain substantial experience as they do more commercial work, gaining experience where there isn’t an expectation of making a major money in a major motion picture. It is not a career path for everyone, but for those with an ambition to create work that has value for the world, it’s a great thing.” But, as a disclaimer, the BAFTA does not give any guarantee that jobs in film will be full time. And, as a general rule, there just aren’t enough jobs for everyone.

Still, it can be quite an option, especially if you’d be happy to take low-quality working days at home or in your parent’s basement – or working on your own. It also depends on what kind of job you want to do. Here are some ways to earn a living on the side.
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1. Film Producers

Film producer is another short path to a career in film, but not the most glamorous. It’s not a career path for everyone. Film producer is like the “non-degree-paying route,” where you can earn a living by just doing it. These days, film producer jobs are mostly held by directors, executive producers (VPs) and producers generally – producers who specialize in making movies – with an option to become a co-writer or executive producer.

“My dream is to create a new film every year until I hit the 40-year mark.” (Photo courtesy of BAFTA Film Producer)

Most producers earn between $25,000 to $40,000 a year, but that doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed a paycheck. Often, producers will work as a freelance consultant or make a lump-sum payment of $10,000 a year (this is not a guaranteed income). Also, production costs are generally cheaper than in the film and television industry, so making a living production-wise can be a good thing when you consider the expense of living. With the caveat I will mention now, producers of feature films can make anywhere from under $50,000 to as high as over $250,000 in salaries.