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#1 Eric Perez

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Posted 03 August 2007 - 01:15 AM

I am currently in a Film and Video Production Program at New York City. I would like to know from those with experience in the field, what are some great stable career jobs after graduating with a degree? What are my options? and what should be my next step?Thank you.
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#2 Bruce Greene

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Posted 03 August 2007 - 03:54 AM

I am currently in a Film and Video Production Program at New York City. I would like to know from those with experience in the field, what are some great stable career jobs after graduating with a degree? What are my options? and what should be my next step?Thank you.



If you're talking about the cinematography business...I'm not sure that there are any "stable" jobs.

I think for most in the business, it's a life of always looking for the next job, without the certainty of a paycheck next week, or next month, or (when just starting out, the next year perhaps).

I'm really being serious here. If you get very nervous just thinking about not having a steady paycheck, cinematography, or the entertainment business, might not be for you...

On the positive side, after 20+ years of making a living in the business, there is the stability of not depending upon one company or boss for your living. Changing jobs becomes so common that you won't be in the position of working 10 years at Enron and then...poof!

Best of luck though,
-bruce
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#3 Eric Perez

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Posted 03 August 2007 - 10:49 AM

If you're talking about the cinematography business...I'm not sure that there are any "stable" jobs.

I think for most in the business, it's a life of always looking for the next job, without the certainty of a paycheck next week, or next month, or (when just starting out, the next year perhaps).

I'm really being serious here. If you get very nervous just thinking about not having a steady paycheck, cinematography, or the entertainment business, might not be for you...

On the positive side, after 20+ years of making a living in the business, there is the stability of not depending upon one company or boss for your living. Changing jobs becomes so common that you won't be in the position of working 10 years at Enron and then...poof!

Best of luck though,
-bruce



I was thinking more like working in the Television business first and get some experience that way, and perhaps have a decent position there. While doing that, I could have side projects and making several independent films whenever I can.
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#4 robert duke

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 11:42 AM

get in at a local tv station. PBS affiliates hire guys right off the boat. they usually dont pay much but it is frequently steady. Local staions hire guys frequently and provide a steady check.

Steady checks are hard to find in this industry. remember you will be competing for a steady check with a guy who has 20 years of experience. you might also try getting in at a rental house.
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#5 Adam Dautry

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 02:33 PM

commercial work is pretty steady
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#6 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 05:40 PM

What Filmschools don't tell you is that working in the film business is less of a "job" and more of a lifestyle choice.

The degree is essentially meaningless, particularly when working below-the-line in one of the crafts, like Camera, Grip, Electric, Makeup, etc. Nobody typically cares where you went to school or how brilliant your college short film was. The town is littered with some very qualified cameramen who just never got that professional break and/or opportunity to carry on with their work as a DP. The cream does NOT always rise to the top. There are some talented people working at the highest levels as well as some hacks, who are capable of the basics and who are also very good schmoozers. Talent and skill are not always the deciding factors in who works and who doesn't.

The upside to finding a "stable" job in television (like a local network affiliate or PBS affiliate) is that you'll have a fairly steady paycheck. Many broadcast companies as well as independent production companies that do industrial or commercial projects sometimes hire staff cameramen at a cheaper rate than they would get a freelancer. Doing that you gain some level of experience with the security that a company job can offer. The downside is that you can get "trapped" by the paycheck and benefits. The security of those is difficult to let go of if and when that itch to go off on your own eventually pops up in your mind.

Remember too that working "at" a place (production company, tv station) means that you are working there. Probably five day weeks including a fair number of weekend days depending on your specific contract. That doesn't leave a lot of time for extracurricular activities like shooting narratives for free for the local college students. And don't ignore your own overhead. The more you grow roots into a "life" (house payments, car, wife, kids, etc.) the harder it is to let go of the weekly paycheck and "go freelance."

You might have a college degree and some skill as a budding cinematographer, but that means nothing without the contacts and networking resources to change that into real profitable work that pays for rent/mortgage, food, clothes, health insurance, car insurance, college fund for the kiddies, vacations, hobbies, etc.

This isn't to say that creating a successful and profitable career in film and/or tv isn't possible, it just means that you should think through all the issues before making any decisions that may impact your career choices and direction.

Good luck!
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Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

The Slider

Opal

Technodolly

Wooden Camera

Glidecam