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#1 Tyler Leisher

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 11:48 AM

Hello all,

I'm looking for a bit of career advice from you guys, hopefully you can help me out.

ABOUT ME:
My dream job is to one day direct adventure/fantasy features. I know that the best way to get into the directing field is to direct spec commercials, music videos, etc.. but at the moment none of that pays the bills and I've got new wife that I need to provide for.

I'm young enough so that I can make a career change without a lot of hassle (That is, no kids, no major mortgages, etc). For the past five years I've been doing PA work, Coordinating work and AD work. Most of which has opened my eyes more than anything and shown me that I don't want to be doing the logistics of filmmaking, I'd rather be able to be creative in my work.

I've done some searching, and gotten my potential careers down to these three: Cinematography, Editing, Production Design.

I feel capable of learning any of the technical and other necessities of each field, and I feel artist enough to work in any. I've been working with computers since I was 8, my parents were both designers and I've been interested in cameras and lighting for five years.

The Real Question

With all that being said, is any of those jobs better to get into if I'd like to direct one day? I know that I won't have time to direct side projects, but if I can't direct I'd like to work in a job that leaves me the opportunity to one day, if I'm lucky, get the chance to direct and to best prepare me to do the job.

Is it better to start as a DP to learn the lenses, cameras, movement, how the look effects the mood and how the camera can change the pace, etc?

Better to start as an editor to find out what works in post production and what makes a story work in the edit, how pacing works, etc?

Or is it better to start as a designer, and get myself thinking creatively and artistically and have a broader sense of the overall look of a film?

Thanks for the advice and the help, I really appreciate it and I'm glad to have a place like this where I can get real help from people in the industry.
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 11:59 AM

Honestly, it's better to start as a Director....

all those "career paths" you list, are Finishes.. not starts.

Best bet.. take a 9-5 which gives you vacation time, and financial stability to finance your own projects, and when (and if) you hit one out of the park, then you're in.
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#3 Brian Rose

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 05:57 PM

Hello all,

I'm looking for a bit of career advice from you guys, hopefully you can help me out.

ABOUT ME:
My dream job is to one day direct adventure/fantasy features. I know that the best way to get into the directing field is to direct spec commercials, music videos, etc.. but at the moment none of that pays the bills and I've got new wife that I need to provide for.

I'm young enough so that I can make a career change without a lot of hassle (That is, no kids, no major mortgages, etc). For the past five years I've been doing PA work, Coordinating work and AD work. Most of which has opened my eyes more than anything and shown me that I don't want to be doing the logistics of filmmaking, I'd rather be able to be creative in my work.

I've done some searching, and gotten my potential careers down to these three: Cinematography, Editing, Production Design.

I feel capable of learning any of the technical and other necessities of each field, and I feel artist enough to work in any. I've been working with computers since I was 8, my parents were both designers and I've been interested in cameras and lighting for five years.

The Real Question

With all that being said, is any of those jobs better to get into if I'd like to direct one day? I know that I won't have time to direct side projects, but if I can't direct I'd like to work in a job that leaves me the opportunity to one day, if I'm lucky, get the chance to direct and to best prepare me to do the job.

Is it better to start as a DP to learn the lenses, cameras, movement, how the look effects the mood and how the camera can change the pace, etc?

Better to start as an editor to find out what works in post production and what makes a story work in the edit, how pacing works, etc?

Or is it better to start as a designer, and get myself thinking creatively and artistically and have a broader sense of the overall look of a film?

Thanks for the advice and the help, I really appreciate it and I'm glad to have a place like this where I can get real help from people in the industry.


Number one rule is never say no to any opportunity, no matter how tangential it may seem. At your stage, you can't afford to close doors, as can be liable to happen if you get so focused on one thing that anything else that comes up in the interim gets discarded as a "distraction." Robert Altman made industrial and educational films. Michael Cimino made commercials. Truffaut and Godard were both film critics. Terrence Malick taught philosophy and wrote freelance. Yet all arrived, sooner or later, at the same place, and all earned varying degrees of acclaim for one or more films.

I myself love cinematography, as well as directing documentaries. Yet in the past year, I've been hired to write scripts, to edit, to do research on films and lately I've been doing a lot of graphical work involving cutting images and layering for 3D multimedia. In several cases, I entered into the project knowing little about how to undertake it, teaching myself on the fly.

Hopefully your wife supports you in your endeavors, because otherwise you may find your options closing fast to meet the demands of a "domesticated" husband. With a wife, a house and children can quickly follow and soon your dreams are shot.

Find collaborators. Start working on each others projects. The more that you have your hands on, the better the odds that one will take off, and could get your foot in the door someplace.

And ultimately, DON'T WAIT to make your films. You can wait your whole life for the chance to make your masterpiece, and that chance will probably never come. Instead, take full advantage of the time you have now to start making the kinds of films you want to make. Maybe they won't be as big or splendiforous as you want them to be, but they'll be a start. You'll hone your craft. Not to mention, you never know when you might be in the same room with that producer that will change your life...and you want to be prepared to tell him about all the great stories you've got in your head, and are working on. That's how you get people interested in giving you their money.

BR
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 06:36 PM

I'm looking for a bit of career advice from you guys




Run like hell.
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Willys Widgets

Visual Products

CineTape

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Technodolly

Tai Audio

Opal

FJS International, LLC

CineLab

The Slider

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks

Paralinx LLC