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approaching film sets for work


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#1 Niki Mundo

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 05:29 PM

Since I've been in Los Angeles (two days), I've seen 5 film shoots at various locations around town. All had rental equipment trucks parked and I saw a Panavision camera at one shoot. These are the professionals I'm guessing, not the Graigslisters.

What about walking up to these sets and asking for a PA job, giving out a business card and being brief. Or would that be unprofessional and piss off the "small community" I'm trying to get into. But there they are, no phone tag or emailings.

Should I do that?
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#2 Walter Graff

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 05:49 PM

In 1982 I walked into what was a bread factory when I was a kid. Man did it smell good in that neighborhood back then. I told them I wanted to work for free. The facility had just opened. It was mostly raw, dirty space with three stages out of many they planned for the future. They said sure, come in. I did. I worked for free, got to meet lots of great people who liked my work ethic so much they started hiring me on commercials and features outside of Silvercup studios. Without me making that move and meeting some of the greats in film and gaining great mentors, I don't know if I'd be where I am today. I say why not. Give it a try. If it doesn't work, try studio senarios like I did and say you want to work for free. Can't hurt. Didn't hurt me.
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#3 Sterling Silva

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 06:02 PM

But wait, that was back then. Would they REALLY let you work for free today? I mean if you got hurt and had to go to the hospital the productions company would be totally effed, right? Someone would get in big trouble at least. Do those people take those chances on people walking down the street?

If so I'm totally gonna do it too.

-S
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#4 Jim Keller

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 06:30 PM

Since I've been in Los Angeles (two days), I've seen 5 film shoots at various locations around town. All had rental equipment trucks parked and I saw a Panavision camera at one shoot. These are the professionals I'm guessing, not the Graigslisters.

What about walking up to these sets and asking for a PA job, giving out a business card and being brief. Or would that be unprofessional and piss off the "small community" I'm trying to get into. But there they are, no phone tag or emailings.

Should I do that?


As long as you're professional and polite, not interrupting someone who is clearly working, etc., you won't piss anyone off. I've seen people try this from time to time. I've never seen it work, but in the off chance that they're actually short some help and you can truly drop everything and sign in, you never know.

But, remember, professional and polite. And when you're told, "Sorry, we don't have anything," say "Thank you" and walk away.

Many sets also don't mind people hanging around to observe, if you want to get a vibe on the set before approaching people.
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#5 Max Jacoby

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 06:36 PM

Regular crew members don't have the authority to allow you to work on set. They would get into trouble if you broke something, got hurt, etc...
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#6 James Baker

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 09:08 PM

Definitely hang out. Talk to people. Don't be pushy, arrogant. Be nice, diplomatic. Making connections is what it's all about. Sooner or later you will connect.

As you get to know more people, you will eventually get a contact who will offer you some work. Be very, very, very, very patient. In the meantime maybe get a day job somewhere else.

Be nice. People like to work with nice people. Bad people are remembered.

This is a union town. Get work, build your cv, become a member.
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