A Collection Of How-To Guides For Anyone Who Aspires To Act, Write, Direct or Work In The Entertainment Industry

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Even A-list actors start their careers as aspiring hopefuls and the TomCruise.com team is here to help give you a leg up on the competition with comprehensive guides about the most influential jobs in the entertainment industry. Whether you are an aspiring actor, director and filmmaker, film editor, producer, screenwriter or visual effects artist, we want to help make your dreams come true.

We will be updating our #aspiring2actwritedirect guides periodically and since these guides are a collaboration with the community and YOU, we would greatly appreciate your input. If you have any feedback or suggestions for additional links, resources or information we should include in our next update, please let us know in the comments section or by using #aspiring2actwritedirect in your social media response.

Aspiring Actors Guide

Resources, Training, and Tools to take you to the top. Including a guide to Mobile Apps for training in an acting career.


Aspiring Directors and Filmmakers Guide

Find out about numerous filmmaking techniques (including mobile!), film festivals, contests and competitions that could give your project exposure, award much-needed funds or offer training programs to advance your career in films. 


Aspiring Film Editors Guide

Tips and Resources to help you launch a career in film editing.

Aspiring Stuntman Guide

Tips, Resources, and Information to help you launch your career as a stunt performer.

Aspiring Producers Guide

From finding the perfect screenplay to securing funding to locking in distribution rights.

Aspiring Screenwriters Guide

Tips on what matters most when writing a screenplay, and resources for television and teleplay writing.

Aspiring Visual Effects Artists Guide

Tips, Training, and Resources for a job in the field of post –production.  As technology advances at lightning speed, the need for visual artists is on the rise.

Aspiring Actors Guide

A Call to Aspiring Actors: Resources, Training & Tools to Take You to the Top!

Whether you want to break into the business or have mastered your craft, sometimes WHAT you know is just as important as WHO you know. Be “in the know” when you use the resources, tools and training in this guide for actors.

Aspiring Actors Mobile Apps Guide: Smartphone Applications For Training In An Acting Career!

Need someone to run lines or give you a prompt? There’s an app for that! Whether you are an aspiring actor or know someone who is, we have searched high and low for the most useful smartphone applications to keep you in touch with the world of acting while you’re on the move.

Aspiring Directors and Filmmakers Guide

Aspiring Filmmakers: Change the World With Your Movies!

Movies can make you laugh, cry or scream and many movies may move you to tears but only a few films have the power to help change the world. From the destruction of the Kosovo war to the Darfur refugee crisis, these films are about more than box office receipts and these filmmakers are committed to bringing stories of survival to the world.

Aspiring Filmmakers Take Heart: Passion for Directing & Screenwriting Can Lead To The Top

You have written your first screenplay, produced your first film or directed your first movie, so now what? For all those independent filmmakers just waiting for their big break, find out about the numerous film festivals, contests and competitions that could give your project exposure, award much-need funds or offer training programs to advance your career in films.

Aspiring Mobile Filmmaker Guide Part I: Learn How to Make Professional Quality Films With A Smartphone or Tablet Computer

You’re the designated family videographer, memorializing weddings, anniversaries, parties and graduations, but secretly, you spend hours editing your footage into a fast-paced mash-up like a Mission: Impossible trailer or experimenting with the color options to turn your family memories into a creepy homage to Edward Scissorhands.

If you are an aspiring mobile filmmaker ready to take your creativity to the next level, learn how to use your smartphone or tablet computer to create a professional quality film with a compelling storyline. In Part I of the Guide, we describe what a mobile filmmaker does, provide a glossary of terms, offer professional resources and college programs to master your skills and as well as information about film festivals and contests that are open to mobile filmmakers.

Aspiring Film Editors Guide

Aspiring Film Editor Guide: Tips & Software To School Yourself For Cutting Room Jobs!

If you love movies but prefer to be behind the scenes rather than in the spotlight, the ‘invisible art’ of film editing may be the perfect role for you. For budgetary reasons, movies are usually shot out of sequence and film editors have the challenging task of weaving countless disjointed scenes into seamless movie magic. We’ll cut to the chase with numerous tips and resources to help you launch a career in film editing.

Aspiring Stunt Performer Guide

Stuntman Guide: Information, Skills and Training To Become A Professional Stunt Performer

Known as stunt performers within the entertainment industry, these men and women rarely have the same day twice. One day a stunt performer may be racing down a highway, while the next day he may be dueling swords on a sinking ship, so it is important that these individuals are in top physical shape, mentally prepared to deal with stressful situations, have been fully trained in the appropriate equipment and know how to avoid injury.

Aspiring Producers Guide

Aspiring Filmmakers Guide: How To Become A Movie Producer!

What exactly does a producer do? We’re so glad you asked! From finding the perfect screenplay to securing funding to locking in distribution rights, movie producers are the behind-the-scenes people who truly take a story from page to screen.

Aspiring Screenwriters Guide

Guide for Aspiring Screenwriters Part I: Story Matters Most When Writing a Screenplay!

A gifted actor brings a character to life and a brilliant director turns a simple story into Oscar gold but without the screenwriter, there is no story to tell. Whether a screenplay is an original script or adapted from an existing publication, screenwriters bring a story to life by first putting it on a page. If you dream of A-list actors one day performing your words on the silver screen, the tips and resources in this screenwriting guide can start you on your way to making your dreams come true.

Aspiring Screenwriters’ Guide Part II: Television and Teleplay Writing Resources!

Is your prose is better suited to the small screen? No ready for your big screen debut? No worries, the TomCruise.com team has got you covered! While Part I of the Screenwriters Guide focused on resources and tools for aspiring film screenwriters, Part II provides screenwriting resources specifically for the world of television.

Aspiring Visual Effects Artists Guide

Aspiring Visual Effects Artists Guide: Training for a Dream Job in Post Production!

How’d they do that??? If you were captivated by the world of Pandora, tickled by the antics of ‘WALL-E’ or terrified by the alien invasion in ‘War of the Worlds,’ you may want to consider a future in visual effects. As computer-generated imagery (CGI) technology advances with lighting speed, directors are finding new ways to successfully blend modern technology into compelling stories. As long as audiences continue to flock to theaters, awed by bigger and more spectacular special effects, a talented visual effects artist will be continue to be in demand.

Aspiring Cinematographer’s Guide

How To Become A Cinematographer

In this edition, we’ve put together an excellent introductory resource for working your way behind the camera. The cinematographer, also known as the director of photography (DP), is one of the most prestigious jobs in The Industry. Who isn’t familiar with the iconic image of the man hunched intently behind the camera, filming? Well, sitting behind the camera and rolling film is just one step in what can be a months-long collaboration with the director, actors, lighting technicians, costume designers, visual effects specialists and anyone else responsible for what ends up on the Silver Screen.

Aspiring Guide To Making Web Series

How To Make A Web Series

Loosely speaking, a web series (also known as web originals, web shows, webisodes, and online series), is a show in episodic form released online or, in some cases, across various mobile platforms. The series is created to live on the web, and given the nature of online viewership, individual shows within a web series tend to run between 3 minutes and 6 minutes, with an entire season, from beginning to end, averaging an hour to an hour and a half. That’s both the appeal and complexity of the industry: Trying to say something engaging in matter of minutes. The hook, however, must come even sooner than that. According to the Youtube Creator Playbook, viewers decide within 15 seconds whether they are going to spend the next few minutes with your web series, let alone the next 90.