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Seeking for Advice ( work as AC in LA ) ?


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#1 Simona Analte

Simona Analte
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Posted 12 June 2010 - 11:28 PM

Hello,

I am looking for some advice on working in LA as a camera assistant.

I live in Toronto, Canada and my plan is to apply to two schools in Europe (VGIK and Lodz) for cinematography studies in the next few years.
My present workplace is closing down and I am seeking for a new job. My goal is now to save as much money as possible in the next couple of years.

I have been recommended of moving to LA and start working as a 2nd AC.

1.I am wondering if there is big demand in LA particularly for AC positions?

2.Is the salary much different in US then in Canada?

Is it realistic moving to LA for some AC work? Is it possible of getting a contract, with a production company?

Anyone with experience, who lives and works in LA, be kind enough to give me some suggestions on this matter, it would be highly appreciated.

Thank you kindly,

Simona
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#2 Michele Peterson

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 09:28 AM

There are a lot of AC positions in LA, but there are a lot more people who are competing for those jobs.

I don't know the going rates in Canada, so I can't say the difference. In the US rates vary depending upon the type of production ie corporate video, indie film, broadcast tv, features etc and if it's union or not. Unions have their set pay scale and if you are union, you already know them. Non-union can range from as little as 0-$100 a day on very small spec shoots to $200-$300 for non-union TV shows (shooting video, typically reality).

How realistic it is to move here expecting work really depends upon who you know. If you know someone who can get you a job, great, go for it. If you don't know anyone, don't expect to walk right into a high paying job.

AC's are 99% of the time working freelance, (project to project) so don't expect to get a contract with a company to guarantee you regular work. Usually the only people that have a staff position are people who work as a tech and then go out on set with their equipment to AC. Those jobs are usually for highly specialized equipment though and the tech works though the equipment house as staff, not working through the production company. Getting a job at a rental house is pretty common, but they only send their top techs who have lots of seniority and experience out on set, that's if they send anyone.
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