A film agent works with actors to secure good roles for them in films by acting a liaison between studios and acting clients. The career is a lot of hard work, but it can also be very fun and rewarding, as well-known film agents often get to see movies before they are generally released, and they also get to network with a wide variety of people all over the world. In order to become a film agent, you need to be persistent, have excellent people skills, be a great negotiator, and have a good idea for talent. While it is not a career you can jump into overnight, most film agents agree that the work was worth the effort.
No specific education is required to be a film agent, although you may find that attending film school and learning about the basics of how a movie is made will assist you in your work. A liberal arts education is also a good grounding for a film agent, because it will provide you with strong written and verbal communication skills while also giving you a well rounded education. A basic knowledge of history, the sciences, and mathematics will serve you well as a film agent, allowing you to assess potential films for accuracy and viability to decide whether or not they are suitable for your clients. Math is also a valuable skill, because talent agents often deal extensively with numbers. You may also want to consider taking some basic psychology classes, because most of your work involves people and their emotions.
The best way to become a film agent is to start out by interning. If you can, attend a college in a city known for film talent, such as Los Angeles or New York. Start networking early, and try to get a summer internship after your second or third year in college so that you can work in a talent agency and experience the job environment. In addition to laying the groundwork, this will also help you decide whether or not the career is right for you. After your first internship, you could choose to return to that agency over the next summer, or switch to a different agency for a new experience. Either way, you should plan on working in the talent industry every summer until you graduate, so that you have a strong resume to provide when you start looking for jobs.
When you enter the job market, you will probably not be hired as a film agent right away. To begin with, you may find yourself interning or working as a personal assistant. Be patient, and use this time period to network, make connections, meet the firm's clients, and learn about the business. By making yourself useful and a strong member of the team, even if it involves working long hours, you will set yourself up for promotion. Once offered a position as an agent, you can begin the real work as a film agent: securing great movie contracts for your clients, and promoting unknown actors.