How to Become a Set Painter

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If you are a professional painter, or you enjoy painting houses, buildings and fences and want to branch out careerwise, consider becoming a set painter for the film industry. The pay and benefits are great and you will be working in a creative environment. Follow these steps to become a set painter.

  • Contact film commission offices in local communities or your state to see if you can be added to the list of set painters available for work.

  • Start as a set painter on a non-union film. Have business cards ready to procure more work after the film is wrapped.

  • Get to know production designers. Make your enthusiasm for the job known. It can escalate from there. One production designer will tell another production designer who will tell another production designer and, well, you do the math-that's a lot of references.

  • Carve a niche for yourself as the only set painter in a 100-mile radius who works for films, television and commercials.

  • Work hard and be professional. Word of mouth has a great deal of impact on whether you work in the industry or not.

  • Move up in the ranks and become a member of the film and TV crafts union. Establish yourself as a "lead painter." Your reputation will lead you to more work.

Tips & Warnings

  • You don't have to be located in Hollywood or New York to be a film set painter. Movies and TV shows are filmed all over the world-even in your backyard.

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