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How to become a Camera Trainee (or 2nd AC)


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#1 Erin Sorensen

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 03:20 PM

Hello everyone,

Next week I will be graduating from college with my B.A. in Art - Photography.

I am very interested in the film industry, and have aspirations for a few different positions. Right now I am currently trying to pursue a career that would utilize my hard-earned degree, so I would most appreciate something that would set me on the path to becoming a DP or Camera Operator. After doing a bit of research, I believe the entry-level position for that is the Camera Trainee, or if I was lucky, the 2nd AC/Loader.

I don't know where to even begin looking to find this type of position or what I would need to do to apply. I can support myself for a while, so an unpaid internship at a respectable company is definitely not out of the question.

Any advice/tips? I know somebody who got their job in the industry (they want to produce, so they are now a production assistant) through an internship at a website, but there are really no camera-related posts there.

If anyone could give me any advice, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks!
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 03:44 PM

Internships and networking etc.
Perhaps pull one or two free-be gigs as an A/C just to get a bit of a resume up, then start charging.
This business is all about networking. For starters, check out craigslist.com and mandy.com for some jobs, and from there a lot of it is all about who you know and who you've worked with before etc.
For myself, I tend to use the same primary people on everything I shoot, with backups around for when I need them, so often even by doing some of these free gigs on occasion/to start out, you start working with people with whom you'll work for a good majority of your career (and many who you wish you never met/wasted your time on).
We all come up in different ways in this industry, so you need to find the way that works for you, stick it out through the hardest times and capitalize on the lucky breaks you get. my 2 cents.
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#3 Erin Sorensen

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 04:02 PM

Internships and networking etc.
Perhaps pull one or two free-be gigs as an A/C just to get a bit of a resume up, then start charging.
This business is all about networking. For starters, check out craigslist.com and mandy.com for some jobs, and from there a lot of it is all about who you know and who you've worked with before etc.
For myself, I tend to use the same primary people on everything I shoot, with backups around for when I need them, so often even by doing some of these free gigs on occasion/to start out, you start working with people with whom you'll work for a good majority of your career (and many who you wish you never met/wasted your time on).
We all come up in different ways in this industry, so you need to find the way that works for you, stick it out through the hardest times and capitalize on the lucky breaks you get. my 2 cents.


Thank you for the reply. I haven't heard of Mandy.com but I will definitely be checking it out.

Like I said, there are almost no camera positions/internships listed on craiglist unfortunately because it is so muddled with casting calls and other things. If anyone else has other resources or would like to tell me how they got their foot in the door, that would be very much appreciated.
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 04:41 PM

Where are you checking? I normally look under "gigs" then "crew"
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#5 John Carreon

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 04:47 PM

Hey Erin,

I would make up some business cards and head to some Rental Houses and start glad handing all the 1st AC's you see. Ask if you can hang out at their preps and ask a few questions. Then see if you can intern on something that they're working on...hopefully that will lead to a paying job in the future.

A lot of Craigslist stuff is crap and will just teach you bad AC'ing habits.

John
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Paralinx LLC

Visual Products

Ritter Battery

Tai Audio

CineTape

Willys Widgets

The Slider

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

rebotnix Technologies

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineLab

Glidecam