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Don't Quit Your Day Job...


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#1 Gino Terribilini

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 04:46 PM

I am a student trying to get "in" and I was wondering what it is you all do for money. I realize that being passionate about film is very important and one shouldn't worry about money, but when it comes to feeding yourself and paying for rent, etc etc, I get a bit worried about how that will all pan out. Should I just continue making movies and not worry about that and let things just fall into place or would it be wise to get a paying job and keep filmmaking on the backburner?
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#2 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 04:52 PM

Whatever you do don't put survival on the back burner!
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#3 Michael Nash

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 04:59 PM

There was a thread about this a little over a year ago, mostly about non-industry jobs. Sorry I don't recall the topic name exactly.

Many people try to get work within the industry, so they can both earn an income and make contacts at the same time. There's no one method that works for everyone. Good luck!
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#4 Kirk Anderson

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 10:27 PM

So, here's what i Do.

I work at an UPSCALE hotel at the front desk. It's a pretty mindless job and you get used to a whole bunch of snotty millionaires yelling at you pretty quick. After all that, you get to meet a whole bunch of cool industry people, I've met, Spike Jonze, George Lucas, Mischa Barton, Jimmy Kimmel, Sarah Silverman, DL Hughley, and a crap load of DP's, Directors and Industry People. I just keep a DVD on hand to slip under a door and some party favors for celebs so you're always the cool guy. Plus and I can pull a K in two weeks if I work hard and I'm still in school, with no prior experiance in hotels. I work in SF, but check out the Mondrian in LA, or the Hudson in New York. Places like that are a shoe in to make connections. All the extra money pays for my film and half the people i work with are aspiring actors.

Or

Wait tables or bar tend in a High scale place, this takes experiance, but you can make more money than I can dream of.

either way, don't work in Dive bars or Motel 8's, you're not going to meet many people with a foot in the industry there.

Look up to where you want to be and put yourself there. Even in the mail room.
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#5 Dino Giammattei

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Posted 15 April 2006 - 08:04 AM

As someone who has been making my living with cameras, lights, and microphones for over thirty years, I can say honestly that even though the industry keeps growing, it's getting harder, not easier to work exclusively in any one medium or genre. I'm sure it has everything to do with the fact that supply has outpaced demand. Be willing to do anything, anywhere, because your competition certainly will. I have had to re-invent myself many times over the last three decades, and not always in ways I have wanted. Video replaced the trusty Arriflex and Nagra, and quick & dirty became the preferred production practice. The industrial market, once a great place to hone your production chops, is now almost all available fluorescent lighting, fix it in post, boring same old $#!+.
Your darn right I'm bitter. I spent a lot of time trying to improve as an artisan, tearing up my body hauling gear, putting up with "talented producers" who saw everything they did as brilliant, to go down without a complaint.
The one other thing to be afraid of, is getting too comfortable in what your doing for a living. I didn't take advantage of several opportunities simply because I had grown comfortable with the steady pay check. Before you know it, a decade will have passed, with you no closer to your goals.

DinoG

Edited by Dean, 15 April 2006 - 08:05 AM.

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#6 samm Parnell

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Posted 15 April 2006 - 09:11 AM

first of all supply has not been outpaced by demand, quite to the oppostie especially in canada and the states but any country where digital cable and satelites are available have way too many channels of television and most of which have not even a third original programming, and are looking to change that. Alliance atlantis in canada accounts for sooo many channels and production venues its not even funny. Don't even lets get started on podcasting, it tv, etc....

I have been running a production company with my partner out of toroto ontario canada for about 9 months now, we have made maybe 3 grand throughout that time and have mostly lived on loans, selling off old items not needed anymore and changing lifestyles to be able to live much cheaper. Thanks to this i am a non smoker now and can't remember the last time i wasted a cent. Also, because we have not taken day jobs we have been able to take every little volunteer and low paying job that has come around, now at the start of our first summer as a formed company we are on the verge of making money and at what we want. it just took nearly a year of suffering, argueing and starving.

My advice is to not get your cushy job, do whatever you can to stay away from that as long as you can... your not on this career path because it is easy or because there is no competition, but because it is somthing that you are passionate about and need to be doing. I can't even imagine what would have happened to me if I hadda taken the truck driving job I was thinking of instead of going to film school and starting a company.

a few tips to the starving film maker who chooses to tough it out and not pour half their time and blood into "mindless" occupations.

Food banks don't ID
No one really cares if you shoplift toilet paper (in fact they deep down want you to)
smoking sucks anyways

just my silly opinion,

samm
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#7 Dino Giammattei

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Posted 15 April 2006 - 09:42 AM

Didn't want to sound so angry, but I'm facing another re-invention phase in my career. I've given up a lot to keep my hands on the equipment. I truly love this work, but it seems that there are fewer and fewer opportunities to use the film making techniques I have spent years trying to master. Much of my dilemma is my own making I must admit, we all have to make decisions and I have made good ones and bad ones and safe ones, like anyone else. I still have hope of finding people who can appreciate my quirky old school way of doing things.
d
Don't hate me because I use a light meter

Edited by Dean, 15 April 2006 - 09:44 AM.

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