How does one grow? – You get on set!
Doing any kind of labour for free sucks, BUT there is another way to look at it.
You’re investing time in learning, and right now this is less a job than a passionate investigation/internship/mentorship. (you would be paying more for Film School)
Should people be paid for all work? Yes.
But a good way to get to know some people doing this is to find ways to get close to them and helping out free of charge in your spare time is one way to do it. You are getting experience on set!
Find some folks shooting something and offer your services in a department that interests you, just to learn.
The more people you get to know that are shooting things, the more you’ll find these opportunities. Pretty soon you’ll likely be turning things down, and only wanting gigs that pay because you’ll know what you’re doing, and you’ll be worth it. Because your showreel proves it! Music videos are a lessor baptism of fire compared to high-risk TV commercials where a mistake will end your career!
As a professional, I may choose to shoot a project for no fee, because, it gives me a risk-free environment to experiment with a new technique or style – which if successful becomes part of my showreel which gets me those next few big paying jobs!