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#1 Chris Pritzlaff

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 01:54 AM

I am trying to assemble a film production resume. I was wondering if any of you have suggestions on the correct format for a resume in film production? I have held various positions on productions and wanted to format this correctly.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 11:16 AM

Over the years, I've never seen a consistent format for crew resumes, other than the general one, which is work experience first, in reverse chronological order (most recent work first), then education and training, and recommendations contact info at the bottom.

But in terms of people who have done multiple jobs, personally my pet peeve is when people are being deliberately vague or confusing as to what job that they have done on a specific show, so you can't tell if they were 1st AC on A-camera or B-camera, or if they were the Gaffer for 1st Unit or 2nd Unit, or if it was a short film or a feature, etc.

So as a DP reading these resumes, I'd prefer that they be broken down first into job category -- separate lists for 1st AC or 2nd AC or Gaffer or Key Grip, whatever, and then within that list, it is marked whether this was A-cam or B-cam, 1st Unit or 2nd Unit, and who the DP was that you worked for.

But if you have very few credits, obviously it may be too short a list to separate into categories, so you could just list the work in one list and simply describe the job you did on each. Or use larger categories, like listing the 1st and 2nd AC work in one list, marking which was which. And if it was a small production, you don't have to say "A-cam / 1st Unit" if there was only one unit and one camera.

But if you are applying for camera work, list the format too (35mm, Super-16, DV, 24P HDCAM, whatever.)
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#3 Adam White

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 11:41 AM

But if you are applying for camera work, list the format too (35mm, Super-16, DV, 24P HDCAM, whatever.)


A guy was hired at very short notice based on his 1st AC resume, he didnt mention 'til the first settup that he had never touched film, only video. . .

Edited by Ad8m, 10 May 2006 - 11:44 AM.

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#4 Chris Fernando

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 12:28 PM

A guy was hired at very short notice based on his 1st AC resume, he didnt mention 'til the first settup that he had never touched film, only video. . .


Not his fault though, right? He applied for a job and he got it. Everybody shows up not knowing something, it's just matter of how much you don't know. He (or she) has got to get his first film gig at some point. Did he have all the tools to pull/1st properly on film?
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#5 Stephen Williams

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 12:32 PM

Not his fault though, right? He applied for a job and he got it. Everybody shows up not knowing something, it's just matter of how much you don't know. He (or she) has got to get his first film gig at some point. Did he have all the tools to pull/1st properly on film?


Hi.

With respect a 1st who has not worked with film is not qualified to do the job IMHO. A 1st does more than pull focus!

Stephen
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 01:06 PM

I think he should have been more forthcoming with his level of equipment experience, but on the other hand, whoever interviewed him for the job should have asked about any important info missing on the resume, like having used a film camera for an AC job, which film cameras have they used, etc.

Of course everyone has to start somewhere, but they shouldn't have to misrepresent themselves to get the job.

The 1st AC is basically in charge of the camera package -- they not only have to pull-focus and thread the camera, check the gate, etc. but they have to know the gear thoroughly to be able to troubleshoot. If the guy had only used a DV camera and a fuse burned out on the film camera, does he know where it is and how to replace it? Does he know how to change the shutter angle? Does he know how to switch the camera over to Steadicam mode or attach remote focusing units? Does he know how to prep a package and the lenses, shoot a registration test, check the groundglass, scratch test the mags, etc.?
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#7 Chris Fernando

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 02:55 PM

Hi.

With respect a 1st who has not worked with film is not qualified to do the job IMHO. A 1st does more than pull focus!

Stephen


Stephen,

Agreed. He is not qualified, yet. My point being (a question even) is that it was not his job to confirm that he did not have the relevant film experience (he already knew that). He is free to apply to whatever job he chooses. Should it not be the responsibility of his employer to confirm that he had the relevant experience? As far as what it takes to first, I agree wholeheartedly, that it involves more than just pulling focus, thus why I called it "pulling/1st(ing)", and I put pulling first intentionally; because IMHO that is the most important aspect, perhaps that will change with time/more experience.

David,

Agreed as well. There are far-reaching aspects to the job that one can only become most familiar with through repitition and actually doing it, herein lies the catch-22, I suppose. I guess if you don't know how to scratch test a mag, check focus marks on a lens, etc., etc, you might not find yourself at the prep in the first place. But this is not to say that every first that goes into a prep knows everything about every camera on that facilities shelves. I may know how to chage a fuse on a Moviecam Compact but that doesn't mean that I know how to change one on a 535. Isn't this part of what a prep is supposed to entail, and partly why a prep tech is present for the duration of your check-out/prep?
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 04:31 PM

It's a project-by-project judgement call as to how much you want to deal with hiring a novice in an important job. I've done freebie short films that don't pay anything and see those as opportunities for a 2nd AC to move up to 1st AC, or 1st AC to operate, or a Best Boy to become a Gaffer, etc. Why else would someone work on something that didn't pay if not for the credits, experience, etc.?

But as the budget climbs and the expectations from the director, producers, studio, etc. you tend to have less tolerance for anything that will cause you to work at less than your best level, and everyone at the top depends on the crew below them to get things accomplished, so you always go for the most experienced people you can get for your budget, if not someone over-qualified and being underpaid. Everyone wants a bargain.

The HD feature I did in Austin, TX last year had a fairly inexperienced crew, and it was frustrating for me to deal with, and it occasionally hurt my work or lowered the quality of the final product, but on the other hand, considering that the production only wanted to pay most people $70/day, and a certain percentage were unpaid student interns, it wasn't like I expected top-notch experienced people to be begging to work on the film. Training some people on the job was just part of the experience, and some people rose to the occasion. And some didn't.

The question originally was about writing a resume and my main point is that it should be accurate and not misleading as to your level of experience.
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