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Camera Pathways FAQ

Is Camera Pathways right for me?

    • Are you willing to work long and hard to build your skills?
    • Are you committed to a career in the camera department?
    • Are you committed to high professional standards fostered by NZCS?
    • Do you understand and accept the freelance career lifestyle prevalent in the New Zealand screen industry?

If you honestly answered yes to those questions then you should enquire about joining Camera Pathways. However, this program should not be the only avenues you are exploring for getting work experience. Seek advice not only from NZCS but also from your tutors, crewing agencies and working professionals.

Does Camera Pathways create positions?

No. Unpaid work experience positions, paid trainee positions, and entry-level crew positions, are created by the industry. Camera Pathways makes it easy to find suitable people to fill those positions.

Why are photographs on the website?

It is much easier to remember a face than a name. People may remember meeting you, or seeing you work, that does not mean they remember your name. But if they see your photograph they may remember you and give you a call.

How do I ask someone to be a referee?

It is the same process as when you apply for any ordinary job. You find someone you encountered, or worked for, or worked with, and ask them if would they mind acting as a referee when you apply for a crew position. At the beginning use your film school tutor. You should also ask your referee if you can publish their mobile number in your profile.

If the person you ask says they don’t know you very well, explain that they should be honest about that if they are called.

This is why unpaid work experience is so valuable - NZCS members, camera assistants and those you’ve helped, may not have the money to pay you, but at least they can put in a good word for you for the next position.

What happens if someone declines to act as my referee?

Sometimes people have their own reasons for not wanting to act as a referee, or, yes, it could be that they would rather not support you. If this is the case, move on and try and do better job next time. If you consistently have trouble getting referees think about another career.

Can a referee say anything they like?

If you have asked someone to act as your referee, they are free to give their opinion about you to a potential employer to whom you have given their name. A concept known as common-law qualified privilege means a referee can give an honest opinion without defaming you.

How do I exit the program?

You will exit the program when you move past the trainee/new entrant stage and change your status to ‘seeking paid work’. Given time you should move up to associate membership of NZCS. Associate members may participate in further NZCS professional development programmes and workshops. When you successfully exit the program we recommend you register with a crew agency who will appreciate your referees.

You may retire from the program by request, or because you don’t get suitable referees over a period of time. Membership is reviewed every quarter.

What do I need to do?

  • Apply via your participating film school or directly to NZCS (download the application form [link] and email to
  • Update your profile online at
  • Update your availability status regularly
  • Ask relevant people to act as referees (three is enough), and update the list regularly as you get better contacts
  • Attend NZCS events to introduce yourself and ask for opportunities

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