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Looking to take that next step...help.


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#1 Joaquin Elizondo

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 04:30 PM

Hi there.
I'm a 28-year old videographer/editor working for the local ABC affiliate in the production department, meaning I produce commercials and promotional spots. Prior to that I was a photojournalist for a leading Spanish television network. I also currently run my own freelance 'business' where I work on everything from corporate videos to documentaries.

My dream has always been to work in film and I've reached a point where I'm ready to move on from this corporate/local TV environment. I want to be surrounded by artists/filmmakers.

I've already picked two routes to take: graduate film school (AFI's cinematography program) or try to somehow get work on a crew.
From the small amount of experience that I have, I have to realize what you can learn alot from the workplace as opposed to the classroom. I did, after-all, study film and communications at UM-Ann Arbor. But that was very theory oriented. I pretty much picked up my technical skills on my own or on the job.
Now why go to film school? Well, I picked AFI because it's very production oriented and I have minimal film experience. And like I said, I want to work with people who have the same interests as I do and learn from folks that are masters of the craft.
My biggest issue with AFI is the cost.
My biggest issue with working on a crew is well...finding and being given that chance.

So there you go, I'd appreciate any feedback/suggestions.
Looking to take that next step.
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#2 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 04:34 PM

My biggest issue with working on a crew is well...finding and being given that chance.


I guarantee that if you're willing to work for free for a year or two, you will have no problem getting experience. Then once you have a resume, you can start asking for a small wage and work your way up. Experience is easy to get if you're willing to work for nothing and are a good listener.
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#3 abel alvarado

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 09:30 PM

Hi there.
I'm a 28-year old videographer/editor working for the local ABC affiliate in the production department, meaning I produce commercials and promotional spots. Prior to that I was a photojournalist for a leading Spanish television network. I also currently run my own freelance 'business' where I work on everything from corporate videos to documentaries.

My dream has always been to work in film and I've reached a point where I'm ready to move on from this corporate/local TV environment. I want to be surrounded by artists/filmmakers.

I've already picked two routes to take: graduate film school (AFI's cinematography program) or try to somehow get work on a crew.
From the small amount of experience that I have, I have to realize what you can learn alot from the workplace as opposed to the classroom. I did, after-all, study film and communications at UM-Ann Arbor. But that was very theory oriented. I pretty much picked up my technical skills on my own or on the job.
Now why go to film school? Well, I picked AFI because it's very production oriented and I have minimal film experience. And like I said, I want to work with people who have the same interests as I do and learn from folks that are masters of the craft.
My biggest issue with AFI is the cost.
My biggest issue with working on a crew is well...finding and being given that chance.

So there you go, I'd appreciate any feedback/suggestions.
Looking to take that next step.



:o
whoa!.... im in the position as you my friend .....i'm 23 and i work for a local fox/univision affiliate and i also produce commercials and promos but my dream is to work in film as well. I also wanna go to AFI school and go into the cinematography program. I worked at my job for a year now but its not enough...i already surpassed the level of work here and i just wanna work with filmmakers. I love cinematography..... My best bet would be to leave my city and be surrounded by filmmakers. anyways keep me update on ur progress with AFI


add me

www.myspace.com/just_abel
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#4 todd folts

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 07:53 AM

I was there also. I wanted to be big time. and worked my way up...
I worked at small market tv stations, moved across the country, found an gig at a production company, took it and they folded.
that was 2000.

I have just in the past year been getting back to that position (w/o the tv station and studio). for me its been 7 1/2 long years of doing jobs (not building career) that just felt empty to me, because i wasnt creating anything. but life takes you places and gives one opportunities to grow.

Im not where i wanted to be, but i think i can see how to get where i want. one thing i've learned is that there is a balance between the free work (giving), the "low budget" work, and the "what im worth work". My goals have changed also. Now i just want to suport my family doing this work, and not have to work a "day" job.

my advice would be:
#1.) Go to LA
Work your butt off.
learn/network
make friends
work your butt off
help your friends
Be honest
learn/network
make more friends
work your butt off
help your friends
Have no Ego
learn/network
Work your butt off
learn/network
make even more friends
work your butt off
repeat as needed

#2.) don't give your self a long term "fall back" because eventually you will fall back on it... long term
sink or swim

#3.) dont give up (in other words dont sink)

AFI, USC, UCLA, etc... are all OUTSTANDING programs and you will gain a ton of experience and make some great contacts and in the end have a ton of debt to go with it.
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#5 David Rakoczy

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 12:18 PM

You (may) want to do a search for the thread 'IS FORMAL EDUCATION NEEDED'.
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#6 Ira Ratner

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 05:47 PM

my advice would be:
#1.) Go to LA
Work your butt off.
learn/network
make friends
work your butt off
help your friends
Be honest
learn/network
make more friends
work your butt off
help your friends
Have no Ego
learn/network
Work your butt off
learn/network
make even more friends
work your butt off
repeat as needed

#2.) don't give your self a long term "fall back" because eventually you will fall back on it... long term
sink or swim

#3.) dont give up (in other words dont sink)

AFI, USC, UCLA, etc... are all OUTSTANDING programs and you will gain a ton of experience and make some great contacts and in the end have a ton of debt to go with it.


Joaquin, I'm not in the business--but this is great advice for ANY field you want to go into.

Regardless of the profession, there are people doing it for a year and think they know everything--an ESPECIALLY dangerous approach to take in film.
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#7 Collin Davey

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 04:07 PM

Hey, I'm new to this board, but I have some background in both film and video. I moved to Nashville cold in 1999 and worked freelance in both for about 18 months before getting out for a while and working in music.

When I got into the industry here, I asked several producers about the "film school" question and I got an invariable response: nobody will hire you JUST because you have schooling. They want to know AT LEAST that you're reliable, intelligent, can work with others, etc. If you have experience and expertise in what you're job is, even better. Some producers I asked said they even avoid film grads because they generally think they know everything, want to start at the top, want too much money, etc.

My own experience (one year of vid. production in high school) was borne out by that. Once people got to know me, I never had trouble getting work unless I was simply totally under-qualified technically. If a guy had three more years experience or had known the producer for two years, I'm not going to get the job.

Get books, read message boards, ask questions, keep your eyes open, and get REAL WORLD experience - I'm not saying it's more valuable, I'm saying that the perception among those who put crews together is that it's more valuable.. Train yourself technically (so many more resources than in 1999!) and learn how to work in the environment from inside.

If you devoted yourself full-time to this for the same amount of time you'd spend in film-school and took your tuition to buy gear, work for free for crews, buy books, whatever - at the end of that period, you SHOULD have more technical knowledge, contacts, relationships, and experience than any film grad will have, unless you just shouldn't be in the biz. And that's a valuable thing to learn, too.
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The Slider

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