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from Germany to Los Angeles... but how?


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#1 Susanne Vosteen

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 03:26 PM

Hi
I am a 2nd AC working and living in Germany.
I used to be a trainee at a rental house and after one year of mostly cleaning I had my first job as a 2nd AC.
(In Germany we normally only have one person to load the mags and assist the focus puller.)
Im doing this for three years now and I really enjoy my job :)
Even though I have jobs and a few good connections by now, I would love to go away for a year or two, to get to know other sets in other countries!
Like in Los Angeles.
I am very interested in how ACs work in the US, I would really like to learn more by working in an american camera crew!
So I know this is a long shot but I do it anyway :rolleyes:
I would love to work once on an american set!
If anyone can think of an idea how to make this possible please let me know.
Thank you very much and please excuse any bad writing :unsure:
Susanna
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#2 Richard Boddington

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 05:09 PM

This question gets asked on here a lot. There is one major problem you have not looked at, how will you get a work permit to work in the USA?

There are no US work permits available for freelance film workers from foreign countries, none.

First you need to solve that problem, unless you can, nothing else matters.

R,
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#3 Susanne Vosteen

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 06:01 PM

I wasn't aware that it would be such a problem.
I thought to first find a job opportunity and than go the next step... But thank you for your advice.
Do you know if it helps that I have relatives living in Los Angeles?
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#4 Richard Boddington

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 08:18 PM

I wasn't aware that it would be such a problem.
I thought to first find a job opportunity and than go the next step... But thank you for your advice.
Do you know if it helps that I have relatives living in Los Angeles?


If those relatives are like your mother and father and they are US citizens, great, you're home free. If it's your second cousin five times removed I doubt that will help too much.

To get any job in the USA you'll need to present the employer with a social security card, and proof of work eligibility. Keep in mind that foreigners spend years and tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees on ventures like this to work in the US.

R,
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#5 Susanne Vosteen

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 03:34 AM

thank you for the useful informations. :)
That really sounds like it wil be impossible for me to ever work in the US... :(
what about a work experience? All I would like, is to see how an american team works... Im not looking for a permanent stay in the american film business, so I would also work as a trainee again if that gets me on set just once.
and its may aunt living in Los Angeles.
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 07:03 AM

There's nothing stoopping you from flying over to visit your aunt and trying to get an indie or low budget shoot where they won't call INS ect... it is quite another thing trying to get a work permit in the US to take on a much bigger shoot, even as say, a PA. One option would be to make friends in LA who get hired on bigger shoots then fly over and observer, but it seems to me like a big waste of money; unless you have the extra cash and some vacationlust.
I know a model who lives in Paris and flies to the US every few months, shoots like mad and gets paid, then flies back. It's not legal, mind you, but it's what she does with just her tourist visa.
Another option is to try to get on a US production up in Canada... Richard should know more about that process as I'm clueless.
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#7 Richard Boddington

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 10:18 AM

Another option is to try to get on a US production up in Canada... Richard should know more about that process as I'm clueless.


Our immigration system only let's in people that arrive in leaky ships run by "pirates" on either one of Canada's coasts. So the process is, fly from Germany to Bangladesh, board your ship there, sail to Vancouver. Once in Vancouver you will be given free healthcare etc and be allowed to work right away. Now that you're in Vancouver you're in a great city to work in film, especially shoots that come out of the US. Enjoy!!

R,
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#8 Susanne Vosteen

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 12:47 PM

Thanks mad man :)
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#9 Tom Jensen

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 02:19 PM

I'd contact Otto Nemenz at http://ottonemenz.com/ If you already have Arri experience, this would be a good place to start.
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#10 Dominic Gruenberg

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 12:12 PM

Susanne, as said, try to widen your look on Canada. Toronto and Vancouver are the two cities you should start with, where quite possibly some American productions will be as well. If you have a confirmation for a job, contact the Canadian embassy in Germany for a work permit. For the next step, they need you to do a bunch of medical tests, which, if you're not health insured privately, you will have to pay for those tests yourself (which is not cheap). This whole process will take time, count at least about three months.

I don't know how it is now, but that's how it was ten years ago. ;)
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#11 Susanne Vosteen

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 12:57 PM

Susanne, as said, try to widen your look on Canada. Toronto and Vancouver are the two cities you should start with, where quite possibly some American productions will be as well. If you have a confirmation for a job, contact the Canadian embassy in Germany for a work permit. For the next step, they need you to do a bunch of medical tests, which, if you're not health insured privately, you will have to pay for those tests yourself (which is not cheap). This whole process will take time, count at least about three months.

I don't know how it is now, but that's how it was ten years ago. ;)


hi thanks for the ideas! :) I will give it a try
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