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Opportunities in a down US market place?


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#1 John Thomas

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 11:17 AM

With the US Writer's strike dragging on and the holidays here, there's not much work around. Early 2008 does not look too promising. How are you going to make the most of this downturn? Are you willing to take a step back and work on some art project for free to try to meet some new people? Is it time to work on your reel? The rental houses are in flux and will need some new cheap blood. How about that screenplay you put away in the drawer, is it time to make that no-budget movie? There's lots of talent available.... If you work at it you'll find some opportunities out there. Good luck to all and happy holidays, JT
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#2 Walter Graff

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 12:06 PM

With the US Writer's strike dragging on and the holidays here, there's not much work around. Early 2008 does not look too promising. How are you going to make the most of this downturn? Are you willing to take a step back and work on some art project for free to try to meet some new people? Is it time to work on your reel? The rental houses are in flux and will need some new cheap blood. How about that screenplay you put away in the drawer, is it time to make that no-budget movie? There's lots of talent available.... If you work at it you'll find some opportunities out there. Good luck to all and happy holidays, JT


I believe the current economic condition will thin the herds quite nicely. Not that I wish it on anyone, I don't, but frankly there are simply too many people trying to get involved in an industry that just can't support them. As for me when I am down I don't find myself looking to do any art projects as I am in 'find work mode' and while doing something to pass the time is nice, families need to be feed. Actually it's the opposite for me. When I know I have the summer off, or a nice stretch after a project, I get artsy.

People are the key. Meeting as many people as you can and more importantly making an impression is a good way to find work. I often tell folks to fish when talking to someone and find something you both have in common. It makes it far easier when you call them down the road to say, hey it's John, remember we talked about those 67 Barracuda's at that party than to say, hey I met you at a party a while ago, remember?

I think the sad part about the writers strike is that it is going to create the next evolution of the relationship of the guild to the industry, and not in a good way. As producers find that they can get along without writers in some arenas, it simply makes it harder to justify the guilds demands down the road the next time this happens. Broadway just saw their ranks reduced with this strike as the Producers wanted IA to trim the staffs on shows considerably and got it. And each passing strike reduces the numbers, and the importance of the guilds even more. Not a good thing, but part of the changing economic condition of how business is done. There was a day when it was about qualified staff. And a strike meant you simply could not replace strikers in many industries. Now with all those folks who want to be in the industry waiting for their chance, as strikes are set in the future, I am predicting the day when someone says, okay, well we are not going ot negotiate, and simply draw form the pool of folks who are waiting to take your jobs.

Yes I know some of you think this scenario is silly. Don’t tell that to Circuit City. With the economic crunch and not many folks buying electronics as they would like, they saw dwindling profits. So what did they do? Fired all their oldest and most skilled employees a while back, and hired 'greenies' who got far less benefits and far less money. Of course these folks knew nothing about what they were selling. And of course Circuit City's stock fell by something like $6 down to a dollar and something when Circuit City released the quarterly results the other day that showed what came about by that decision. So it was not a good decision, but I will guaranty you that down the road in this industry, strikes will mean that entire unions find themselves flat on their face. No, not a good thing, but as I said, part of the changing economics and way business is done. And the difference in the Circuit City scenario and this industry is that there is quite a large workforce not allowed to work in certain scenarios who are getting plenty of on the job training anyway working in very similar scenarios so that when the day comes, they will be able to step into certain scenarios with out much problem.

Actually, it is already happening. Certain national media organizations with Union contracts are now slowly and continuously hiring both non union cameramen and audio people (all perfectly qualified) to do their work. I can give you a few other examples but would have to reveal too much. But I can assure you, the contracts that unions have in ten years will mean far less and you will see a certain shift in many areas of production. That home-filmmaker of days past is now mimicking the industry so much in terms of knowledge and experience that it will certainly be detrimental to all areas of the industry. I have one example where it is about to cause an explosion. You'll have to wait and see about that one.
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#3 Tim Brown

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 12:33 PM

Don?t tell that to Best Buy. With the economic crunch and not many folks buying electronics as they would like, they saw dwindling profits. So what did they do? Fired all their oldest and most skilled employees a while back, and hired 'greenies' who got far less benefits and far less money....


With all due respect Walter it is not my intention to be argumentative, but in my?dare I say foolish?quest for internet accuracy, I have to comment on your post above. I do believe you meant to say Circuit City as they're based where I'm located and there was indeed a great deal of outrage in the community for their disrespect toward their "valued" employees. This, however, certainly has no bearing on your point of which I mostly agree.
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#4 Walter Graff

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 12:35 PM

With all due respect Walter it is not my intention to be argumentative, but in my—dare I say foolish—quest for internet accuracy, I have to comment on your post above. I do believe you meant to say Circuit City as they're based where I'm located and there was indeed a great deal of outrage in the community for their disrespect toward their "valued" employees. This, however, certainly has no bearing on your point of which I mostly agree.


Whoops!! I confuse the two. I''l fix it.
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#5 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 03:26 PM

Unfortunately it seems like a lot of the rental houses are on hiring freezes....I might have an opportunity for work down in Savannah but I don't know yet and haven't decided yet if I want to do it.

I'm up in MA at my parents' house for the holidays, along with my brother, my uncle, and my grandparents. My grandparents both grew up kinda poor, and particularly when the Depression hit, they had to work ANY job just to get by. We were talking last night about learning to survive when work is scarce or when the economy is hurting. My mom was saying how back in the late 90's when the dot-com boom came to a halt and suddenly none of those guys had jobs, she kept looking for work and simply trying to stay ahead by continuing to make money, because it was better than not working at all.

I feel like it's far more productive to try to keep moving on than to grit your teeth and repeat the age-old, "It'll pick up." I mean, not only do we have the strike going on, but it's winter, too..and at least in New York, winters are SLOW. I fell prey to "It'll pick up" LAST winter and it sucked. Oh yeah, it Picked Up eventually...but when I moved to Brooklyn in March, I had $25 in my bank account. Not cool. If I had "admitted defeat" a few months prior to that by taking a part-time job, I think life would have been easier. I've been pretty much swinging at every pitch since I left school when it comes to jobs, because I'm one of those people who feels better when they are working, even if it's a crappy job for low pay.

As terrible as the strike is, I can't help seeing it as a way to step back a little, reflect, and get some perspective on things. And yeah...to create, to give back, like what Walter was saying. It's really easy to fall into a doom and gloom way of thinking about this...but why bother?

My 2 cents...
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#6 Walter Graff

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 04:56 PM

What part of Mass Annie? I run the advertising division of a large car group in western Mass in Springfield and have my office in Amherst.
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#7 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 08:39 PM

Walter, I just looked at your site, actually. My parents live in Beverly. And before I went to college, we lived in Needham for a while. When I first got out of school I was looking around for work in MA just to kinda get off the ground and find something to do...I didn't come across much at the time, but it seems like things have changed a little since then. There's actually a production/post house right in Beverly called Van Ness, maybe you've heard of them.

Anyway, I don't want to go too off topic on the original thread! Is anyone planning a vacation these days? Where to? If next month isn't too tough for me, I'm probably gonna do a weekend trip to either Killington or Okemo and do some snowboarding. :D
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Abel Cine

Visual Products

rebotnix Technologies

The Slider

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

Opal

Wooden Camera