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Crew calls, is cover letter a good idea?


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#1 Phil Gerke

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 08:55 PM

Hey everybody.

There have been a few open crew calls in my area that I have been thinking about submitting a resume to. I have never responded to one of these. Is a cover letter a good idea? Any other advice? The positions are mostly local G&E as well as general PA's. Should I tailor a resume specifically for this?

Seems like these companies pretty much just cast a net and see what comes up. A crap shoot.

Thanks a lot!

Phil
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#2 timHealy

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 09:44 PM

Personally I have never had a job I got through resume. I would call them and schedule an appointment for an interview. You can put down whatever work experience you have and whatever your grades are but it won't matter until they meet you and see what kind of person you are and if you could be a match for them (IE work for cheap to get experience)

Having said that, with the internet the way it is, people do look up potential candidates names on IMDB just to get a quick look at someone's work experience.

Best

Tim
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#3 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 09:53 PM

Agreed, resumes are not the norm for getting jobs in this industry. While I do have a resume, and have actually used it in the past (not in a long time though) those instances are few and far between.

That being said, with the internet and the craigslists and the mandys out there, it seems as if sending out your resume to about 100 different ads and hoping that maybe ONE bites, is to be one of the primary outlets for someone who is just starting out PA'ing or doing freebee work. So to answer your question, I'd say yes, include a cover letter -- perhaps in the way of a short paragraph about yourself personally in the body of an email, and send the resume as an attachment (if the ad says that's allowed -- some people will not open/look at attachments). Make the cover letter personal, friendly, however you want it to be, so they can get a feel for you before your interview.
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#4 GONZALO PARRA

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 04:24 PM

I have had answer posts that requests a resume. I normally send them a brief paragraph of my intentions. If I can, I ussually ad a "credit sheet" or list of my past assignments in the field. Other than that, I invite them to review my website, look me up in IMDB and look forward for an interview with the DoP.

Hope this helps,

Gonzalo Parra
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#5 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 03:25 AM

Most production companies need a resume, standard procedure for any corporation. You don't really need a formal cover letter if your resume states your experience and equipment you're familiar with. Just a short introduction in your application will probably be enough, your work and resume speaks more for your abilities than anything.

I was just on a shoot, and I'm not kidding, they were hiring and passing on people according to their credits on IMDb. So it's good to keep that up to date! There was a very experienced AC I worked with on that who only has 2 credits on his IMDb, he was still hired, but it caused some momentary controversy among the staff.
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#6 Richard Boddington

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 10:43 AM

And if you do have a lot of experience you may consider "dumbing down" your resume, especially if you are applying for work on a lower budget shoot than you normally work on with people that have less experience than you usually work with.

For some reason people get very intimidated by people that have more experience than they do.

One funny thing that happened to me last year is that I applied for a DP job on a show and the producer could not get over my car, never stopped talking about it. Kept insisting I was too successful and over qualified for the job. So he hired some one else.

No big deal I probably was over qualified but I would have taken the job. So next time I'll drive the "lesser" car that we have and take my awards and education off my resume. In Canada many "bosses" are intimidated like heck by people that have letters after their names, "soon you'll be after my job," they figure.

R,
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#7 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 11:21 AM

For some reason people get very intimidated by people that have more experience than they do.

Good point. I find this particularly true with television producer-types, and other line producers, etc. Unfortunately, the people who do much of the hiring. Although I find it quite amazing (and absurd??) that you missed out on a job because of the car you drove.


I was just on a shoot, and I'm not kidding, they were hiring and passing on people according to their credits on IMDb.

This is one of the real disappointing things about IMDB, and I find it really terrible that people have begun to do this (hire based on it). IMDB is NOT a resume. It is an incomplete and sometimes misleading list of what one has worked on. Suppose someone has worked on hundreds of commercials and music videos, and their IMDB page only contains maybe 2 credits. Does this mean they are not qualified for the next job (talking about ALL crew positions)? Or, maybe someone dayplayed on 100 different high-profile studio features, but only worked 2 days on each, carrying sandbags around. They have 100 credits listed on IMDB. Does this make them qualified to head up his/her department on their next $20mil feature? In short, if whoever is doing the hiring is only looking at IMDB, then s/he is not doing their full job, IMO.
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#8 Walter Graff

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 12:17 PM

[quote name='Daniel Wallens' date='Apr 12 2008, 12:21 PM' post='226828']
Good point. I find this particularly true with television producer-types, and other line producers, etc. Unfortunately, the people who do much of the hiring. Although I find it quite amazing (and absurd??) that you missed out on a job because of the car you drove.



This is one of the real disappointing things about IMDB, and I find it really terrible that people have begun to do this (hire based on it). IMDB is NOT a resume. It is an incomplete and sometimes misleading list of what one has worked on. Suppose someone has worked on hundreds of commercials and music videos, and their IMDB page only contains maybe 2 credits. Does this mean they are not qualified for the next job (talking about ALL crew positions)? Or, maybe someone dayplayed on 100 different high-profile studio features, but only worked 2 days on each, carrying sandbags around. They have 100 credits listed on IMDB. Does this make them qualified to head up his/her department on their next $20mil feature? In short, if whoever is doing the hiring is only looking at IMDB, then s/he is not doing their full job, IMO.

[/quote]

One of the best posts of the week. Just a few weeks ago I mentioned that IMDB is a very misleading place to look up someones career or experience. In fact have taken my name off much of it over the years. I just looked and now see somethign else was added since my last visit a few months back. I apperently worked on a TV minseries called

"Big Deals: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly"
Who knew. I guess I did. But don't remember. I have worked for rthe company that produced it so probably did. I'll have to clear my IMDB database again it seems. I just don't care about my name in credits. I've worked on over 2500 programs, films and docs that could have me listed on IMDB but have little concern if I am, and in fact don't want to be listed. Just my thing. Never liked credits. I remember my mom once saying to me she never sees my name in the credits f programs I work on and asking how I can expect to get work? I aways loved that one. Even better, I have seen folks listed often on programs I worked on and for the life of me, I can not remember them working with me. I'm preyty good at remembering people so something is fishy.

Regardless of what folks tell you here, resumes are important. Even more imnportant is a good cover letter. A good cover letter is not a a cookie cut out you send to everyone. It is a personal letter that tells me about who you are, any commonalities with me or productions we may have sheard and why you deserve to work with me. I look at a cover letter as a look inside a persons personality. If its cookie cutter, I throw it out. If it makes me smile or shows me a real person writting me a leter, I put that resume at the top of the list. And after you send a resume, follow up. Cal and speak to the person you sent it to or find out who it was and even if you don't talk to them cause they hide behind voicemail, leave a nice message to say you'd love to work.

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Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineTape

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Wooden Camera

The Slider

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Opal

Metropolis Post

Rig Wheels Passport

Ritter Battery

Willys Widgets

Visual Products

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Paralinx LLC

FJS International, LLC

Abel Cine