StaffMeUp is a job board for the film and television industry that allows both employers and job seekers to post and search for free
Expected pay: Minimum wage or better
Commissions & fees: 0 – $19.99 per month
Requirements: Be of legal working age
StaffMeUp is a job board for the film and television industry that allows both employers and job seekers to post and search for free. However, participants can opt for a premium plan ($149 per year or $19.99 per month) that provides more services, including job analytics aimed at helping you handicap your chances of getting any individual position.
How it works
Setting up on StaffMeUp is as simple as posting a profile.
The site gives you two options to start. You can sign up with your email (what we recommend). Or you can sign up using your sign-on credentials with Facebook or Google.
However, if you take the second option, the site gets access to your contacts. That includes your contacts’ names, phone numbers and any other saved data you have shared with Google or Facebook about them. And it can use that data — or sell it — to companies that want to market to them. In our view, the tiny bit of convenience that goes with signing up through Google or Facebook isn’t worth the potentially significant damage you’d do to your friends.
The StaffMeUp system will encourage you to add a photo and details of all the places that you’ve worked. The site has the ability (but not the obligation) to fact-check the information you’ve provided. If you worked on multiple episodes of a single-season show, you cannot list each episode as a separate credit. Those credits need to be combined.
If you lie on your profile, the site can boot you. You need at least two credits (i.e. past experience in film or t.v.) to apply for a job.
The site also allows potential employers to post jobs for free. However, StaffMeUp imposes rules on employers posting here too. Specifically, the jobs must pay at least minimum wage (a rate that varies by jurisdiction); and must reflect an actual open position with a specific start date. In other words, you can’t solicit applicants for jobs that may or may not be offered in the future.
The site doesn’t accept broad “casting calls” for a variety of open positions. It requires that each job posted be specific about what it is and what’s required. StaffMeUp also does not accept posting for pornographic content. And it requires that every production be insured with coverage that includes employee benefits. Producers must make good on their promises in the posted position or they will presumably get booted and not be able to solicit employees through the site in the future.
You do not need to buy a premium membership to apply for up to five jobs through the site. However, if you want to apply to additional jobs — or if you want other premium services, such as access to job analytics that can handicap your chance of getting this work — you’d need to pay for a membership. Memberships cost $19.99 per month or $149 per year (which works out to a monthly rate of about $12.50).
What we like
Memberships can be cancelled for a full refund, within 10 days of purchase (or 24-hours, if you’re buying a monthly membership). Partial months are not refunded, but you retain your membership until the end of the month, even after you cancel.
Reviewers on Reddit (who can be pretty brutal about companies that charge membership fees) are generally positive about this platform and maintain that paying the membership fee is often worth it here. (See “What their users say,” below)
We also like that the site demands minimum pay standards for all posted jobs. This is a differentiating factor between StaffMeUp and sites like Backstage and Mandy, which will post jobs that pay nothing or token amounts.
And, we like that you really can post a profile and find jobs here for free. That’s rare in the entertainment industry.
What we don’t like
We’re nitpicking a bit here. But, subscriptions are automatically renewed here, like they are at most places. Automatic renewals are often a source of complaints. But because this site allows you to cancel your membership at any time and get a refund for unused months, we consider this a very minor complaint.
If you’re looking for a job in the entertainment industry and have at least two credits on your resume, this is our top pick among entertainment industry job platforms. If you don’t have two credits, it’s worth joining Backstage or Mandy to try to get them. Also consider signing up with ArrayCrew, which staffs all below-the-line positions.
What their users say (from Reddit):
When I was in LA, I got a PA gig on American Idol through StaffMeUp. After that, I didn’t have much luck in that city. Since moving back to Chicago, however, I’ve had probably 5-6 gigs come via StaffMeUp. A lot of times it’s been LA-based production companies that don’t know the region’s talent pool all that well, so they default to SMU. I have never paid for the site and I do not plan on it. I’ve been able to get enough gigs from other sources that it just didn’t seem worth it.
Premium is worth it
I’ve used it for years and found 99% of my gigs there. Worked with NBC, BBC, Travel, A& E, etc. If you are new to the industry, your biggest hurdle to clear is building up your resume. You can do that by ticking to box for “Low Budget” and setting up Job alerts (premium version only). The jobs in low budget can be fairly decent pay $500/day+ (they no longer accept passion projects anymore so everything must be at least minimum wage in the state of posting). And there are also some heavy hitters that post there–they simply have smaller budgets for those projects. Proof of Concepts are also found in Low Budget.
I would also create job alerts for other roles that you’d enjoy that will also give you valuable Network experience. There’s a lot of competition so there’s value in the job poster seeing who you’ve worked with before. Have someone look over your resume to give honest feedback. Hope this helps! P.S. Someone once told me that if you can hang in there for 8 years, you’ll make it. And it’s totally true. Year 5 or 6 I got invited to work for a NY-based production company. Around year 7, producers started inviting me to apply for jobs or they’d reach out via Staff Me Up. You start seeing the same people on sets. It becomes a smaller world. Everyone I started with as a Production Asst is now a PM, Story Producer, etc.
Experience vs. competition
I’ve gotten film work from Staffmeup. I have friends in L.A. who get jobs off there too. I also have a friend in New Orleans who grabbed a casting assistant gig for Jurassic Park if memory serves but it might have been 22 Jump Street. Anyway I think it might have to do with the amount of activity in your area as well as the amount of competition for work. I’ve seen it work though.
Reality PM here. I’ve done most of my hiring for the last ten years on SMU. From my POV, I often find that I get about 50 candidates for every post and maybe 3 or 4 who I am actually interested in hiring. If you don’t have relevant credits, you’re not getting a call from me. I put more weight into the cover letter than you would expect. I’ve hired hundreds of people from producers, camera dept, sound, and even post from SMU over the years. My guess is your profile is bad or you are applying to jobs that your experience does not clearly qualify you to tackle. If you want feedback on your profile DM me, and I’ll give you a free – no holds barred – review of what I see.