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The AC Resume


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#1 Tim Venchus

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 02:57 PM

I'm just starting out in the industry and I'm really interested in becoming an AC. I am curious to know your opinions on what makes a good AC resume. As Directors, DPs, Gaffers, Writers, and Editors all get to show off reels of the end product of their work, ACs are stuck with a resume and the words of a kind coworker. Any suggestions on what should go on a resume or what should be left off? Is there some sort of standard resume format? Do student films count for anything (most of my experience so far)? I know I'm not just going to start out as an AC, but I would at least like to make it clear that it's the path I'm pursuing. Would anyone be kind enough to send me their resume or a sample of a decent one? Any help on the subject would be great.

Thanks!
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 04:54 PM

I'm just starting out in the industry and I'm really interested in becoming an AC. I am curious to know your opinions on what makes a good AC resume. As Directors, DPs, Gaffers, Writers, and Editors all get to show off reels of the end product of their work, ACs are stuck with a resume and the words of a kind coworker. Any suggestions on what should go on a resume or what should be left off? Is there some sort of standard resume format? Do student films count for anything (most of my experience so far)? I know I'm not just going to start out as an AC, but I would at least like to make it clear that it's the path I'm pursuing. Would anyone be kind enough to send me their resume or a sample of a decent one? Any help on the subject would be great.

Thanks!


There isn't really a standard format, other than what reads easiest and quickest. I list student filoms, but only the ones I would still be proud to show to prospective employers. Nobody knows it's a student film unless you tell them, really, they just know it's a short. Then I list camera systems I am familiar with. I list that second because I am comfortablke working with a pretty good long list of most of the popular systems out there right now. Then I have education that consists of my soon-to-be BFA in Film and ANimation and a Camera Assistant workshop in Maine.

I can send it to you if you would like. I have got a few jobs on its merit thus far in my young career.
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#3 Rory Hanrahan

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 10:50 PM

Agree w/ Chris. My res begins with a list of the last 8-10 (good) projects I've worked on, including my role/whether it was a feature, short or commercial/the DP's name (which sometimes can take you further than you're own). I follow that up with a breif list of the cameras/tech I've worked with (Don't go overboard! If you can use an Arri 535 you can probably use many of the older models for instance...). Brief mention of where I graduated film school, but more to grab the eye of somebody else who might have attended there rather than to impress some muckity-muck. Truth is, you could've been trained by wolves so long as you know how to do your job...

Look at the Local 600 AC directory. It is a very simple listing of the gigs a particular AC has worked on, and a good starting point for someone just starting to flesh out a res.

By the way, I did once have a producer/director/writer/caterer/toilet scrubber ask me for an AC reel. Confused, I showed him a film I shot and directed on my iPod... I learned later (from the DP) that there was already an AC attached (the DP's regular crew) and the interviewer had no idea what was going on/how to hire a crew. Y'know I don't think that feature ever got financed...
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#4 Tim Venchus

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 08:16 AM

Thanks a lot for the input. I know this is a minuscule issue, but I feel that it's still an important one, maybe more so for someone just starting out than someone who's well established. Cool.
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#5 Rory Hanrahan

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 08:53 AM

When it comes to getting yourself paid work, nothing is miniscule. Most landlords don't accept karma or credit/copy for rent. Good luck!
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#6 Matt Workman

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 06:19 PM

Hey Tim,

Most of the time the AC is hired by the DP. You should really ask DP's what they look for. Or if you are a 2nd or Loader by the 1st AC.

For the last music video I did in LA, where I couldn't interview the AC's in person I had to rely mainly on the resume and phone conversation.

- AC's should only list jobs done as an AC. It is annoying and confusing to see jobs they worked as a DP/Gaffer/Grip/Director/etc. Its cute but irrelevant.

- Listing other DP's and 1sts they have worked for is also great. The film industry is very small and if you start listing names of working DP's you will eventually find a common ground.

- I like to see the jobs sorted by date, the most recent first. Listing the DP/Film Production/Camera for each also.

- A little personal statement like "I thrive under pressure and I love the smell of 7218" is always cute.

The resume only gets the first call. I hire based on how well I think I'll work with them. In the case that another DP I know has worked with them I will give that DP a call. i.e. don't list DP's that don't like you.

These are just my thoughts, there are no rules. Hope that helps.

Cheers,

Matt :ph34r:

PS: I've seen AC's lately who have websites. I like me a good website with set photos. Although the AC I hired in LA didn't have one, just a monster text resume. Hey Aram, if you read these forums.
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#7 chris bangma

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 03:27 AM

Usually you keep the resume pretty simple. Have sections for features, tv, commercials, music videos. List the project name, director, and DP. That is all you basically need. I get many resumes sent to me, and if they list education, I usually throw them in the trash, since it is quite obvious they havent done anything. Experience is always more important that schooling.
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#8 Tim Venchus

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 01:50 PM

I get many resumes sent to me, and if they list education, I usually throw them in the trash, since it is quite obvious they havent done anything. Experience is always more important that schooling.



But does that mean that schooling counts for nothing? Did you go to film school? Just curious!
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#9 Jamie McIntyre

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 01:56 PM

Usually you keep the resume pretty simple. Have sections for features, tv, commercials, music videos. List the project name, director, and DP. That is all you basically need. I get many resumes sent to me, and if they list education, I usually throw them in the trash, since it is quite obvious they havent done anything. Experience is always more important that schooling.


If they list experience and education what do you do? Do you consider education to be something that someone shouldn't have?

Edited by Jamie McIntyre, 20 May 2007 - 01:57 PM.

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#10 Dylan Kress

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 04:41 PM

I'm working on mine right now and I'm a little stumped on what to put in the section where you list the equipment you're familiar with. Obviously you would list the camera systems you have worked with first, but do they want to see more? What about lenses and other stuff like that? I just don't want to bombard them with information that doesn't even effect their decision to hire me or not. Any insight would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.


Dylan
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#11 Chris Keth

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 05:10 PM

I hate to hear that simply listing education may discount my resume entirely in somebody's eyes. It's an important step in a person's upbringing. It doesn't mean they will immediately be a great AC but it doesn't immediately mean they will be terrible. It probably means they will be a more interesting person than someone entirely taught by work since they have experience other than "this is just how it's done." Besides, education is a good life experience. That said, listing education first would probably be a bad sign. It means that their experience, in their opinion, is less valuable and important than their education.


For tech stuff, simplicity and brevity is key. Nobody wants to read a novel for a resume. I would limit the tech experience to camera systems and remote equipment. Support stuff is basically all the same functionally as are lenses. If you can stick a standard speed on a camera and mesh the FF gear, you can do the same with super speeds, ultra primes, master primes, S4s, and anything else.

Also, there are cameras that are a lot alike such as the SR series. Don't bother to list all of them, just list the newest or most complicated. It's pretty much assumed that if you can run an SR3 that you could do an SR and an SR2.

Edited by Chris Keth, 26 November 2008 - 05:15 PM.

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#12 Chris Keth

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 05:16 PM

Wow, I just noticed how old this thread is. Oh well, it's still valid information and there is a new discussion going on.
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#13 Dylan Kress

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 06:38 PM

Thanks for the input. Seems pretty logical, but you just never know. I'm getting ready to graduate in about 10 weeks so I just want to have it perfect. It's time to enter the real world. HA HA. Which brings me back to the whole education argument.... I really owe a lot of what I know today from going to film school. It's not like I learned any crazy piece of knowledge that will get me on to any set I want, but what I really enjoyed about film school is the fact that I had a place to learn and make mistakes and ask questions, all without having to worry about losing my job because I didn't know something or because I messed up. For me, film school was a place where I could experiment and build confidence in my work so I knew for sure that (1) this is really what I want to peruse as a career, and (2) I have the skills and knowledge to survive on a real set.

Don't get me wrong. I still believe that experience is the best way to learn, but for some of us our education is what opened the door for many of those experiences. I wouldn't discredit anyone for taking that path. If anything you should try to hire them if they are qualified, because you know they have BIG loans to pay back. :rolleyes:


Dylan
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#14 Edgar Dubrovskiy

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 10:08 PM

I have listed personal info, professional goal, brief statement, achievements, job list, technical experience, education.
Decided to list mine in chronological order. Though I also want to make one based on the type of job and in pdf (always good idea) sometime soon.

http://www.edgarmedia.co.uk/cv1.htm

Edited by Edgar Dubrovskiy, 29 November 2008 - 10:09 PM.

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#15 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 10:41 PM

I always list everything. Every experience counts, even if it was small and/or a bad one. There is something to be learned from every situation.

That said, I've probably been asked for a resume fewer than ten times in twenty years in the film and TV business. The vast majority of work comes from recommendations and from/with people I know.

But writing/updating resumes can be annoying, so many years ago, I created a website that I could keep updated as I went along. On the rare occasion that I'm asked for a resume, I can just refer them to the website (www.dzyak.com) instead of rushing home to update the thing and having to mail it. It was very simple to begin with, but has since expanded and now includes exciting pictures and videos of me actually working! :) If nothing else, it'll be a nice outline for my memoirs. :P

Anyway, the information I include is fairly simple... just project name, what it was (feature, episodic, documentary, etc), what format it was (35mm, HD, etc), and production company. I have different pages for the various jobs I've done, so Loader has it's own page, Second AC, Operator, etc. If someone wants to know everything I've done, it's all there to look at at their leisure.

But that's just me. ;) I don't think that there is a "best" way.
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#16 Gus Sacks

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 01:59 AM

I just went short and simple... and kept myself to the HD side of things...

http://www.gussacks......HD Resume.pdf

Don't know when this was updated, though.
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#17 Marque DeWinter

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 11:25 AM

I tend to list a few highlight projects first and then list projects by date. I do mix AC/DP/Cam Op/DIT (even some PA jobs since they are on large known studio features and the DPs know me because of it) jobs all on my resume because I feel it shows that I understand the entire department and I work in all the fields currently. I also list education but its listed towards the bottom. I always make sure its a PDF and that the type is clear and easy to read. I never make it more than 2 pages (so I have to decide what projects to cut out or it turns into a huge list). If a DP is ASC make sure you list it. Some DPs can easily get offended if you don't list them as ASC if they are. If you're not sure just call call them ask.

For instance my resume goes

Marque DeWinter
IATSE Local 600 AC
1-800-379-0442 ext. 100
Marque@MarqueDeWinter.com

Brief Personal Statement

Hightlights
Nine Dead - FF - ND Productions - Mark Vargo, ASC DP - AC
CSI:NY - TV - "Eye Productions" - Marshall Adams DP - AC
Quiznos - CM - East Pleasant - DP
Buck Cherry "Sorry Live" - MV - Atlantic Records - DP
College Road Trip - FF - Walt Disney Pictures - Theo van de Sande, ASC DP - PA

Recent Jobs By Date
Burning Palms - FF - Films In Motion/Burning Palms - Red Camera Consultant
Quiznos - CM - East Pleasant - DP
One Enchanted Evening - SF/CM - Snapple Inc. - DP
Nine Dead - FF - ND Productions - Mark Vargo, ASC DP - AC
etc. etc. etc.

Camera Systems
Red One
Panavision Gold, Millennium, etc.
Arricam, Arri 435, etc.

References
Mark Vargo, ASC
Michael Endler
etc.etc.etc.

Previous Staff Positions
2001 NBC Inc. etc. etc. etc.

Education
BFA Film
BA I/O Pysch
SOA Steadicam Master Class

Equipment
Full Red Camera Package
Primes, Full set of 5x5 Filters
Arri MB-20, Arri FF-4, O'Connor 2575, etc.
Full AC package including Magliner


Repeat Contact Information & IMDB http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2126707/
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#18 Stephen Williams

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 11:35 AM

But does that mean that schooling counts for nothing? Did you go to film school? Just curious!


Hi,

I would say it's what you can do that counts, I didn't go to film school but know many who did that no longer work in the business.

Stephen
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#19 Joel Phillips

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 12:35 AM

Also, think about becoming a prep tech at a camera house. That's all you will need- at least to get your foot in the door. You shouldl know exactly what you need to know to become an AC after training in a camera house.

Edited by Joel Phillips, 02 February 2009 - 12:37 AM.

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