5 Useful Personality Traits for Big Success in the Film Industry

5 Useful Personality Traits for Big Success in the Film Industry
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Personality traits have been found to strongly influence the types of jobs in which we’ll thrive, versus the types of jobs for which we’re ill-suited. 

You've probably come across people who don't seem well-suited for or content with the jobs they have.  It may be that their personality traits are a mismatch for their jobs and they'd be much happier doing something else.

This is certainly true of the high-pressure, extremely competitive film industry.  A film set is not your average office setting, and not everyone can handle the demands of working on set.

Some personality types just will not find working on a hectic film set a satisfying career choice.

The Big Five Personality Traits

So what exactly are personality traits?  The Big Five personality traits list is a scientifically validated classification of the nature of personality traits.

The Big Five traits are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.  

The film industry, with its high degree of uncertainty and unpredictability, favors those who can adapt to a constantly changing environment.  

A study published in Frontiers in Psychology found that three of the five personality traits influenced career choices the researchers labeled as “Maker, Expert, Presenter, Guide, Director, and Inspirer role preferences.”  

I would argue that the categories of Maker, Expert, and Director could categorize most jobs on a film set.  

3 Personality Traits That Influence Career Choice

Here are the 3 personality traits found to influence career choice and that I believe set you up for success in the film industry:

     1. Openness

Some of the facets of this trait include being prone to fantasy and open to diverse behaviors and different ideas.  I would say these traits are a solid indicator of success in filmmaking. 

Have you ever heard of a great filmmaker or actor who wasn’t prone to fantasy?  It’s a requirement in a business that turns every type of creative, fantastical script into reality on the screen. 

Many of us who work on set thrive in an environment that can turn fantasy into a believable version of reality.

Openness to diverse behaviors and new and different ideas is a given, as these are traits that fuel creativity.   Diverse behaviors are the norm on film sets.

Close-minded people with rigid beliefs would probably be happier working in another industry.  

     2. Conscientiousness

Filmmaking requires drive and self-discipline, both of which are facets of the trait of conscientiousness.  So are deliberateness and competence. 

In a tough freelance business, no one seeking a successful career will last for long without being self-disciplined, competent, and driven. 

Even the most successful people in the industry are constantly learning, keeping up with industry changes, and making new contacts. 

Undisciplined slackers will not have long-term success in the film industry. 

     3. Extraversion

Filmmaking is a process that involves a large group of people, often working in close quarters. 

The traits of extraversion include gregariousness, assertiveness, and excitement-seeking.   These are certainly useful traits to have in an industry of constantly changing people, locations, and jobs. 

Shyness is not an asset for those wanting a career working on set, as most crew members interact with others in a high-pressure environment all day long. 

Less gregarious types might be more content working in post-production than in the hustle and bustle of the set.


Personality traits may not be an absolute predictor of who will succeed in an industry and who will not, but they do indicate who’s better suited to its unique demands. 

Life is too short to spend working in a job or business for which you’re ill-suited.  Those wanting to work in a quiet, contemplative environment may find an area within the entertainment industry where they can truly thrive. 

But it probably won’t be on set. 


For more about personalities in the workplace, here are some suggestions for further reading:

Disclaimer: I have an affiliate relationship with Amazon, the seller of these books.  That means I make a small amount of money from every sale.  It helps cover the expenses of running this blog.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable, by Patrick Lencioni – LINK

This best-selling book is about building and managing successful teams.  What's often very dry material is presented in the form of various engaging fables, so this book will hold your interest.


The Artist's Way: 25th Anniversary Edition, by Julia Cameron – LINK


This best selling book has sold millions of copies and has been on my bookshelf for over 25 years.  It's an exceptional book that should be read by anyone pursuing a career in a creative field.  If you've never read this book or written the morning pages Cameron describes, I urge you to give them both a try.

Surrounded by Idiots, by Thomas Erikson – LINK

This bestselling book has insights into communication with different personality types, handling conflict with confidence, and improving team dynamics.




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