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How does one start in color and post?


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#1 Alex Fallas

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 12:52 AM

I just got out of film school, shiny diploma and lots of cinematography experience. I found however I really liked working with post and telecine, and the ability to watch other people's work and sit with DP's and directors just intrigues me. Plus I'm a tech junky and have perfect color pitch (I pick out magentas and cyans better than the teacher who taught me color photography).

But yeah, post production is just so fun to me and I'd like to get into it somehow, so how do people start? I just started sending out resumes to places I liked in LA, everything from Matchframe and Technicolor to Point 360 and some small boutique houses, mainly looking for entry level stuff like assisting or being a vault runner or something. Am I doing right so far? Any tips?
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#2 Elliot Rudmann

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 04:39 PM

Hey Alex - first off congratulations. I was in your exact situation this time last year. I had just graduated with a degree in Cinematography and photography, and looking for work in post production, with my ultimate long term goal as becoming a colorist. However, I was looking in Chicago instead of LA, so the odds were quite against me (Chicago has maybe 10 colorists total, LA has at least two hundred). Like you I sent out a lot of resumes and more importantly, hand delivered them to the actual places of interest. I was shooting for any type of assistant position, and even some payed internships. I was even lucky enough to sit down with a few of the managers, (who probably got tired of me stopping by so much) who were kind enough to give me a scoop of harsh reality, that no positions were available, but that they would consider me for an (unpayed) internship sometime in the future. One place that I kept consistently soliciting for work was a small DI house that had just opened on the west side of Chicago. Eventually they were nice enough to let me help out with some small things, although for no pay. Meanwhile, I was lucky enough to get some low paying gigs as a Camera PA on some Chicago shows (ER, and Nothing Like the Holidays) because I was good friends with the 1st A.C. I kept going back to this DI house and in July, they started hiring me for some part time (paying) work, like digital clean-up (dust busting), and assisting in film scanning. The colorist was nice enough to teach me the basic controls of their Baselight color correction system, and after hours, I even got to color correct a music video gig I had shot. Meanwhile, to pay the bills, I was balancing this with some other part time work I had at a camera rental house. Well, to wrap this up, starting Monday, I begin working full time at this DI house as a "Digital Intermediate Assistant".

I consider myself very lucky, especially for someone looking for post production work in Chicago. Nevertheless, I think you're very smart to shoot for entry level, vault positions in the post houses out in LA. Because even getting those positions can be very challenging. The key is to familiarize yourself with the people in these companies in which you are interested. Don't take 'no' for an answer, but at the same time, be realistic. There is a lot of competition for these jobs in LA. Don't be stubborn enough not to get a small part time job on the side just to support yourself (even if it isn't in your ideal line of work). Be persistent and understanding when handing out your resumes. Look for internships, and don't be too afraid of working a little bit for free. Because if it's for a company you really want to work for, then it demonstrates your dedication and integrity. Making the people comfortable and familiar with you can take some time, but it's the most important step in giving them enough confidence to hire you. Good luck!
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#3 Alex Fallas

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 05:39 PM

Thanks Elliot, I'll keep all that in mind. I've gotten some response so far, but mostly the whole "we're not hiring but we'll keep your resume" deal. I won't give up though, LA is big.
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 09:02 PM

As I've said on this forum before (use the search function!) the way into post is to work very long hours doing very unpleasant jobs for very questionable people for abusively low wages for three to six years, and have a nice haircut.

P
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#5 Mike Nichols

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 11:45 PM

As I've said on this forum before (use the search function!) the way into post is to work very long hours doing very unpleasant jobs for very questionable people for abusively low wages for three to six years, and have a nice haircut.

P



I have unruly hair. Maybe that's why I am producing...
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