Film Accounting – Training
April 23, 2010 2 Comments
The person wanting to break-in to Film Accounting as a profession has a very hard time of it. The film producers don’t budget for “training” – they want somebody to walk into the position and GO-GO-GO. Meanwhile, there are several States, like Louisiana, Michigan, Georgia, etc that have a plethora of productions but need to bring in film accountants, and their assistants from out-of-State (primarily Los Angeles and New York).
Is Film Accounting That Different?
It’s not that film accounting is particularly difficult. It’s the same principles as other industries, like construction for instance. The big three functions of Bookkeeping, Auditing and Reporting are true for film accounting just as they are for other industries. The biggest difference is rooted in the old “apprenticeship” mind-set of the film industry. Most film accountants aren’t certified accountants in any other field. They are simply smart people, not allergic to fast pace and long hours, who have apprenticed into that position. The apprenticeship system still works, but when more and more demand is put on film producers to produce faster, cheaper, better, there’s less and less room for an apprentice.
Who Can Apprentice?
Any accountant or bookkeeper would find it a fast rise to the top, provided they can fit in with the industry – that is, their personalities don’t clash with the rough and tumble scene of filmmaking – long-ish hours, good pay, contract work, some travel, etc.
How To Solve This Quandary?
The only way I know of is to train film assistant accountants in the film industry specific practices, terminology and systems in a controlled environment where practice at a slow pace is permitted and then more practice brings the pace up to a standard acceptable by film producers. Do an intensive workshop, like the one I’m doing next in Louisiana on May 15/16, 2010.
See my website at http://www.talkfilm.biz for more details and when/where. I have done workshops in Los Angeles, New York, Detroit and Florida.
Link with me on LinkedIn for workshop announcements in your area.
Regards to all,
Veteran of 45 film and television productions in 5 different countries. See IMDb for credits.