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#1 Jack Cowley

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 10:11 AM

Hello there,

Since graduating from university I have felt slightly clueless as to where to take my ideas and work into a field that seems practical and of course beneficial to my creativity.

I have worked freelance as a photographer and have always enjoyed experimenting with subjects and locations using different lighting methods and techniques.

It would be logical to assume that this type of work is somewhat similar to what cinematographers do on set and so I think it might be something very fun to carry on as a career opportunity!

Of course I know its not just a simple case of walking straight in.

My friend worked as a runner on set for films such a Prince of Persia and Kick-ass. He did enjoy it but said the long hours are just too much to handle!

Of course I totally understand and appreciate this, but he was not a cinematographer and so I think working as this type of role will be a lot more interesting creatively!

Anyway, I am thinking of contacting the people that my friend worked for. But I'm not too sure if it is a logical thing to do to just call and ask "is there any possibility of getting some work experience unpaid just to see what you guys do?"

Would there be any advice on how to go about asking the company for this type of experience?

Many thanks for your time!

Cheers
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#2 James R Dunham

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 01:09 PM

I would check out mandy.com for a job as a production assistant, from there you can usually get an idea of what everyone does. As for the long hours... this is just how it is, a twelve hour day is a normal day, almost a short day. I think, to make it in this business, it has to be your passion, or else it will tear you to shreds.
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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 01:15 PM

Film Career= Battle of Attrition.

For jobs, start building the network working on jobs you find off of mandy.com or craigslist, and hopefully those contact will parlay into real shoots soon then after. For the first bit of time it'll be a mixture of miserable experiences and great experiences, and jobs you find on craiglist/mandy/productionhub etc, until such time as you know enough other working professionals (and those who hire crew) to keep your phone ringing.
I wouldn't ask for unpaid work, i'd ask for PA work which'll at least be paid for the pain. Then you can opt to take some non-paid work as a DoP to try the waters and build up a reel if that's where you want to do. I think everyone on here has done at least one or two "free" shoots, much as we all hate to see them, and often do them. You have to be careful working for free, you can get stuck there.
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#4 Serge Teulon

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 02:36 PM

I think what Adrian has said is a very good point.
Being paid, no matter how small an amount, means that the production has taken a conscious decision to hire you and that you are of some value, apart from just physically being there and the convenience of saving a £ or a $ or even a €!
On the other side of the coin, when I was starting out my no-pay factor helped me to get involved in some good shoots rather than swimming in the wilderness of "how do I get in?"

Essentially don't let people take the piss out of you and make sure that you zone-in on your patience 'muscle'. Ya gonna need it!

Good luck

Cheers
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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

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