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LA - TV Camera Op wants to learn 35


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#1 Timothy Riese

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 11:54 AM

Hey everyone. I've been doing television as an operator for about 5 years but my main passion is in narrative film-making. I recently moved to LA to pursue my real dreams. Although I have done some shorts and indies and have quite a bit of HD experience, I realize the pros are using 35 and will be the same people who move into more HD productions.

With that being said I believe I need to get 'in' with this caliber of film-makers to really pursue a true career. Although I have quite a bit of book knowledge, I've only been on a few film shoots as a camera pa. I've read all the books on AC work and have practiced dummy loads at panavision and believe I'm ready to start ACing or at least camera 'traineeing' on real shoots. Be it for free or pay I'm just looking for the opportunity to work with great people, train under talented DPs, and make connections to propel my career forward.

I know there are a lot of operators in television that would rather be making films but I'm willing to take the step down from operating to start at wherever I have to, to make it happen. Thanks for your time and patience with my long winded explanation, any suggestions, tips/tricks, comments, opportunities, or job offers would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Tim Riese
310-880-4172
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#2 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 12:48 PM

Sounds like you need to NETWORK like crazy!
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#3 Timothy Riese

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 09:04 PM

Sounds like you need to NETWORK like crazy!


Hence the post ;) Any and all work welcome as long as it's with a talented crew! paid or not...
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#4 Bruce Greene

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 09:48 PM

Hey everyone. I've been doing television as an operator for about 5 years but my main passion is in narrative film-making. I recently moved to LA to pursue my real dreams. Although I have done some shorts and indies and have quite a bit of HD experience, I realize the pros are using 35 and will be the same people who move into more HD productions.

With that being said I believe I need to get 'in' with this caliber of film-makers to really pursue a true career. Although I have quite a bit of book knowledge, I've only been on a few film shoots as a camera pa. I've read all the books on AC work and have practiced dummy loads at panavision and believe I'm ready to start ACing or at least camera 'traineeing' on real shoots. Be it for free or pay I'm just looking for the opportunity to work with great people, train under talented DPs, and make connections to propel my career forward.

I know there are a lot of operators in television that would rather be making films but I'm willing to take the step down from operating to start at wherever I have to, to make it happen. Thanks for your time and patience with my long winded explanation, any suggestions, tips/tricks, comments, opportunities, or job offers would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Tim Riese
310-880-4172
www.timriese.com



Responding to Tim's post, he recently worked with me as a gaffer on a small HD project.

Tim proved extremely helpful and brings a wonderful work ethic and attitude to the set. I would highly encourage others to take advantage of his work on their projects.

Thanks Tim for your service, and we'll work together (hopefully soon) in the future!

-bruce
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#5 Timothy Riese

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 01:27 AM

Responding to Tim's post, he recently worked with me as a gaffer on a small HD project.

Tim proved extremely helpful and brings a wonderful work ethic and attitude to the set. I would highly encourage others to take advantage of his work on their projects.

Thanks Tim for your service, and we'll work together (hopefully soon) in the future!

-bruce


Thanks Bruce! I appreciate the kind words and the opportunity... :) Whether it be big time or small time I'm just looking for the chance to stay active in the film-making community...
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#6 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 09:05 AM

Hi, Tim. I was in a similar situation when I moved to LA. I never shot news, but had spent several years in television as an Editor, Videographer, and Producer. It was my goal, way back when, to simply shift over to motion picture Operating because, after all, a camera is just a camera. I came from a place where real knowledge about how the industry really works wasn't available, so needless to say, the transition wasn't as easy as I had hoped. In fact, for me, it never really happened. I fell into the AC trap/routine and never managed to move up.

I only write because I hear myself (from then) in your post. It sounds as if you likely have more experience shooting/lighting than I did when I was starting out here and it sounds like you have a better idea of how it all works than I did. Because of that, my advice to you would be to avoid falling into an AC career which may or may not get you to where you want to be. I do think that it is valuable to at least know what the Loader, Second, First, and Operator do. It is also valuable to have at least a little hands-on experience doing those jobs just so you understand some of the problems/limitations. However, I would suggest that you not spend years doing that. Instead, earmark a few months to work on a few low-budget and/or student films just to get a feel for it. Maybe on your own, get some 16mm and practice shooting a couple different stocks and learning how to expose them differently with a light meter.

Then, start building a film reel if you can. More than a few student films and indy projects may actually shoot in HD, so you could get a start being a DP with relatively little problem. Do that for a little while (two or three projects) just to get the feel for being in charge of a narrative set. You'll have a decent reel going in no time and then you can seek out film projects more aggressively.

After that, it becomes a matter of networking, opportunities, time, and even simple luck to get larger projects to shoot.

Point being, if you want to be a DP, you could go the AC route, but there is an alternative.

Good luck!
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#7 Timothy Riese

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 06:40 PM

Thanks for the comments Brian...My current plan is to do a little bit of both. I've been DPing the small indie projects but would also like to get on the bigger sets as an AC to learn from the big kids and with the big equipment. I figure if I can do a little bit of both that will help me meet people in both circles, the indy world and the professional world...sometimes those circles mesh together and that's what I'm counting on.

I agree completely with the concept of everything you said in regards to understanding what the other positions do and working in them. I believe for you to expect things from your crew you need to see things and have an understanding from their perspective as well.

Hey man, you speak about your career like it's post-mortem! If you are still working in the industry you'll always have the chance to move up some day...
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#8 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 09:02 PM

Thanks for the comments Brian...My current plan is to do a little bit of both. I've been DPing the small indie projects but would also like to get on the bigger sets as an AC to learn from the big kids and with the big equipment. I figure if I can do a little bit of both that will help me meet people in both circles, the indy world and the professional world...sometimes those circles mesh together and that's what I'm counting on.

I agree completely with the concept of everything you said in regards to understanding what the other positions do and working in them. I believe for you to expect things from your crew you need to see things and have an understanding from their perspective as well.

Hey man, you speak about your career like it's post-mortem! If you are still working in the industry you'll always have the chance to move up some day...



Well, I moved from the exciting world of pushing carts around into the marketing side of things, shooting EPK/DVD content as well as other corporate video. :) While I wouldn't necessarily turn down an offer to Operate on a feature (or the like), I'm not actively pursuing it anymore either. Not that there is anything wrong with that career path at all (save the 14 hour days), but as I've learned about the business, my aspirations have changed a bit. So, it's not post-mortem at all. :) Just the evolution of an ever changing career.


By the way, because of my specific experience with the industry...meaning, I didn't really know what I was getting myself into before I started... I have written a book that hopefully will help other people who are in the same situation that I was in. It's in the editing stage with the publisher now and if we keep to the schedule, it'll be ready to go in the Spring.
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Glidecam

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Wooden Camera

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Technodolly

Willys Widgets

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

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rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks

FJS International, LLC

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