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#1 Dajan Bozanic

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 01:28 AM

Im not sure if this is the right place to post this but, I was given the email adress of a producer of a large big budget production that will be comming to my area later this year and I'm planning on emailing them for work. Im a recent film graduate and have a small showreel of student work, and just want to get on set as a PA or an unpaid position.

How do I go about it? My first instinct was to beg, but i know that would be stupid and unprofessional. So do I explain who I am, what I've done as a student and give a link to my showreel? Do I tell them that I would love to get onto a set and work as a PA or for free?

What is the best way to go about it based on your experiences?

Dajan.
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#2 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 08:52 PM

Im not sure if this is the right place to post this but, I was given the email adress of a producer of a large big budget production that will be comming to my area later this year and I'm planning on emailing them for work. Im a recent film graduate and have a small showreel of student work, and just want to get on set as a PA or an unpaid position.

How do I go about it? My first instinct was to beg, but i know that would be stupid and unprofessional. So do I explain who I am, what I've done as a student and give a link to my showreel? Do I tell them that I would love to get onto a set and work as a PA or for free?

What is the best way to go about it based on your experiences?

Dajan.


I would imagine that your resume is more important than your reel for a p.a. position. I'll tell you,
I am so sick of people sending me links to their reels, headshots, resumes. It takes so much time I
often don't bother with links. If you can (perhaps contact your local film commission or make a friend at
the local rental house) get the mail address of the production office, often a hotel or temporarily rented
office suite, and send a cover letter with hard copies of your resume and if you want your reel. Short,
busineslike cover letters are appropriate but I did get p.a. interviews and work sometimes by finding
out about the film and writing a more personal letter. Good luck!
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#3 Dajan Bozanic

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 01:39 AM

Well i dont think they are in town yet and dont know any details apart from the email adress i was given, but I do know the project and have read the book so i think i will take your advice on writing a more personal letter, sounds like a good way to stand out i suppose and show my enthusiasm.

Thankyou very much for your help.
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#4 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 09:28 AM

Well i dont think they are in town yet and dont know any details apart from the email adress i was given, but I do know the project and have read the book so i think i will take your advice on writing a more personal letter, sounds like a good way to stand out i suppose and show my enthusiasm.

Thankyou very much for your help

The fact that you've read the book may be a great asset, depending on how you present yourself.
In my earlier years I was often hired as a p.a. because my non-film background, e.g. construction
was of interest to the producers of one feature about an ironworker since I was going to be in the
art department (and I got paid, including five weeks of pre-production.)

It helped once I was on board that I wrote a paper
offering insights from a real ironworker on the script, which I got from spending an hour going
through the script with my cousin who had been an ironworker for years.

I didn't write that letter/paper/report until AFTER I was hired (based on
my construction experience) and they ASKED me for my thoughts. What I wrote helped a lot
though in gaining their esteem.

On another film, I was hired because I wrote a humorous, but SHORT, letter about how I parralled
the main character of the film. It interested the line producer enough to want to meet me and I
got the job. That tactic could have backfired for sure but I was in a slump and so took a shot and
they told me that
they had four hundred applications for that p.a. job (it was set p.a. which was a blast, way better
than the art department; you're next to the camera, the D.P., the whole show most of the time
and you can learn a lot, whereas an art department p.a. may be fifty miles from the set buying
a picture frame or something.) So, withh 399 other more experienced p.a.s; I probably
would not have got that job.

Setting yourself apart will help but they sure don't want another director. If you like the book or
can say something positive about it, particularly one sentence that poetically expresses that
you "get" it and would love to be a part of the team; that's good. Keep it short but if the
book is about say dolphins and you've worked with, ridden or taught English to dolphins then
yeah you might want to (humbly) mention that.

Use the brevity of your letter to show that you can communicate a lot without taking up a lot
of their time (a good quality for a p.a.) and that you're businesslike (and therefore imply that
you won't be a pain in the neck on the set) and yet that there's something special about you
that makes you worth interviewing despite your lack of experience. Good luck!

Read Michael Shurtleff's book "Audition", a great book, about how he got a job with the Broadway
producer, Joshua Logan.
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Abel Cine

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Rig Wheels Passport

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

The Slider

Visual Products

rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera