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What's the right move to make?


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#1 Colin Green

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 11:38 AM

Hello all,

I have some questions, to which I would really appreciate any advice, especially from the veterans on the forum.

To start, I'll tell a little about my situation, and myself. I am 21 years old, a full-time college student in my Junior year, studying Film and Broadcast television. I have been working as a Free-Lance grip/electrician in Pittsburgh PA (where I go to school as well), for the past 2 years and have worked on a number of productions large and small, from corporate and commercial work, to broadcast spots and television pilots.

My situation now is that I am hoping to work my way up to operating, and am trying to make the right steps in order to do so. And the advice I have gotten from some of my close colleagues have varied from person to person (usually depending on their background), and choosing the right path is an intimidating decision haha. -

A few AC's I have spoken with have encouraged me to try and spend a summer internship at a camera house, like panavision, boston camera, etc. in order to familiarize myself with Film cameras, and all of their technical aspects, since I come from a broadcast backround, dealing more with HD cams. - This does sound like a good idea IMO, however, the downside is that in doing so, I risk losing some ground in my Free-Lance career, because if I am out of Pittsburgh (where I have worked the entirety of my short career) for a whole 3 months or so, I may fall to the wayside to other free-lancers.

The other option I have considered is to stay in Pittsburgh, and continue free-lancing, working my way up the latter so to speak. Here in Pittsburgh I have worked closely with truly some of the industry's best and brightest in lighting/Operating, and I want to be able to continue to do so. I am constantly told that the best DP's in the business have worked their way up from Gaffing to operating, because of how truly crucial it is for DP's to know lighting in all aspects, and know it well. So by staying in Pittsburgh, I will be gaining more and more experience by actually working alongside the true professionals, and continue to learn by experience.

I know I'm spitting a lot out here, but I am just meeting some difficulties in choosing the right path, based on the fact that I am still so new to the business, and I don't want to digress on all the work and progress I've made so far, by making the wrong move I suppose.

If anyone here has any advice, or personal experiences they can share to shed some light on things, It would be sincerely appreciated. I have tried to gather advice from as many people possible, in order to get a broad perspective on things.

Thanks guys,

-Colin
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#2 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 04:53 PM

Is it that easy to get just a three month gig at a film camera rental house (which probably does HD as well nowadays) and then quit once you have been educated at their expense without leaving a bad taste in the mouth of the camera house that now has to retrain somebody new?
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#3 Colin Green

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 07:17 PM

Is it that easy to get just a three month gig at a film camera rental house (which probably does HD as well nowadays) and then quit once you have been educated at their expense without leaving a bad taste in the mouth of the camera house that now has to retrain somebody new?



No, I meant an internship, camera houses like Panavision provide summer internships, and thats what I would be hoping for. Sorry if I didn't make that clear
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#4 Colin Green

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 07:19 PM

No, I meant an internship, camera houses like Panavision provide summer internships, and thats what I would be hoping for. Sorry if I didn't make that clear



To add to that, it would not be a paid internship, since I am still a college student, I am eligible for unpaid internships
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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 07:35 PM

Hell if you can get an internship, then get it. It'll help with the networking; and it's no different than being called away for a long-duration shoot. Best bet would be to find people to replace yourself with for productions. In reality scheduling conflicts happen often in this business.
Now, if you can afford to loose x number of days of work well, that's another story.
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#6 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 08:03 PM

Hell if you can get an internship, then get it. It'll help with the networking; and it's no different than being called away for a long-duration shoot. Best bet would be to find people to replace yourself with for productions. In reality scheduling conflicts happen often in this business.
Now, if you can afford to loose x number of days of work well, that's another story.


yeah, what Adrian said.
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