Side Hustles
October 1, 2017 • Caitlin Flowers

The first step to moving upwards to higher-level films is building a strong film reel. A couple of key features in your portfolio will be the difference between landing your dream job or being stuck in a 9 to 5. Indiana has tons of ways to get that experience in side hustles outside of a traditional job.

Join the Database 

Film Indy has developed a database to connect skilled film workers of all kinds. Signing up keeps your name on a list that Film Indy pulls from when film companies request local talent. Spend less than five minutes registering here to get connected with potential projects for Indy filmmakers.


Freelancing is a flexible way to make money and gain experience. By freelancing, you are in control. You can pick projects that interest you and work on your own schedule. Freelancing also gives you the opportunity to connect with other people in the industry and make contacts that can last a lifetime.

"Good Will" Filmmaking

You may not be making money, but volunteering your video skills can provide invaluable experience. Volunteer to make promotional videos for your kids' sports team or club. Offer to film a friends’ wedding or your favorite nonprofit to gain experience. Nonprofits often don’t have the budget to hire special talent positions, but could greatly benefit from your knowledge. During the spring, high school graduates need slideshows for open houses. Look for opportunities your skills could be put to use and truly hone talents while helping others.

Corporate Promotions 

Smaller companies often hire outside help for projects such as interviews, training, or tutorials. Yes, this is probably going to be less creative than other projects, but it gives you different skills: you’ll gain experience working with clients and add a more professional look to your reel. Also, if you make a good impression it could be a longstanding connection that could be an asset later down the road.

Independent Filmmakers 

This is where it gets fun. While most are, not every independent filmmaker is a starving college kid. Some indie movies have money behind them and hire quality talent. Being part of an indie film is a great way to launch your career and give you exposure and credibility. Collaborating with fellow creatives can stretch your abilities as an artist and provide incredible industry connections. 

Need inspiration? Check out the Heartland Film Festival coming up in October!

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