The Growing B-Movie Industry

The history of the B-movie has had its ups and downs. Back in the 1960s, Hollywood cranked out the low-budget flicks, but as the years passed, B-movies lost their hold on their already meagre funding options. Digital filming techniques and distribution, however, is starting to reverse those trends, and those looking to start their entertainment career might have a new pool of low-budget productions to cut their teeth on.

The combination of digital releases, social media hype and awesomely bad titles have fueled a new wave of B-movie monster flicks. Consider the success of Asylum, the infamous production company in charge of such hits as “Sharknado”, “Sharktopus” and “Ghost Shark”. In the last three years, the company quadrupled its profits.

For job seekers, more movies in production means more work. Every movie needs a crew, administrative staff, distributor, marketer, etc. etc. Getting started on “Transmorphers” (instead of Transformers) may seem less glamorous, but a job is a job. And Internet users are starting to pay attention.

The first “Sharknado” blew up Twitter threes ago. Today, “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No” gained a cast of well- known names although its storyline featured the protagonist “Fin Shepard” (Ian Ziering) and “Gil Shepard” (David Hasslehoff) flying to space to stop shark-based storms. You know…because.

Big(-ish) names attached to the movie included Frankie Muniz, Mark Cuban, Ann Coulter, Ne-Yo, Chris Jericho, Bill Engvall, Penn & Teller, George R.R. Martin and all four NBC Today hosts. Who knows what opportunities might come your way when you’re working on a movie with such a cast?

Plenty of actors and directors have used low-budget films as stepping stones to find something better. George Lucas began his career with “American Graffiti”. Jonathan Demme directed “Fighting Mad” (a movie about an angry farmer with a crossbow out to take out corrupt land developers) before filming “Silence of the Lambs”, “Philadelphia” and “Beloved”. It used to be standard operating procedure for actors to play a few smaller roles in a hokey B-movie before making their big break.

The entertainment industry is an amalgamation of different career paths and finding the first rung on the ladder can be difficult. Those early in their career might want to consider putting a few B-movie productions on their resume before moving onto bigger and better things. “Sharknado” and its sequels may not be the best films, but they can be an applicable launching pad to a great entertainment career. Search through our database of job listings, and don’t be afraid to apply.

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