Jump to content


I can't find any work


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Mets

Mets
  • Guests

Posted 10 November 2011 - 04:53 PM

I graduated Columbia College Chicago in spring of 2010 with a degree in film, and I concentrated in Cinematography. A year and a half after graduating I have bounced around doing cheap freelance work and I worked for six months at an E magazine in their video department. Over the summer I DP'd a very low budget independent feature film.

However, since the summer, I can't find any work at all. I live in NY and I don't want to move to LA. What do I need to do to get onto a film crew? I need to work. I'm willing to grip 16 hour days, but the listings on Mandy are few and far between. I look at IMDB pro job listings as well and they too are sparse.

If I want to be a grip on film crews, where am I supposed to be looking? I can't find a job anywhere.

This is my reel:

I appreciate any help anyone can offer me. Even just pointing me in the right direction would help. I need to find ways to get onto crews.

Thanks,
-Mark
  • 0

#2 Brian Dzyak

Brian Dzyak
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1517 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Encino, California USA

Posted 10 November 2011 - 10:57 PM

I graduated Columbia College Chicago in spring of 2010 with a degree in film, and I concentrated in Cinematography. A year and a half after graduating I have bounced around doing cheap freelance work and I worked for six months at an E magazine in their video department. Over the summer I DP'd a very low budget independent feature film.

However, since the summer, I can't find any work at all. I live in NY and I don't want to move to LA. What do I need to do to get onto a film crew? I need to work. I'm willing to grip 16 hour days, but the listings on Mandy are few and far between. I look at IMDB pro job listings as well and they too are sparse.

If I want to be a grip on film crews, where am I supposed to be looking? I can't find a job anywhere.

This is my reel:

I appreciate any help anyone can offer me. Even just pointing me in the right direction would help. I need to find ways to get onto crews.

Thanks,
-Mark


As I explain in my book, "What I Really Want to Do: On Set in Hollywood," it's all about sticking with it until you meet the right people who will keep calling you. It's not a necessarily fast process or necessarily guaranteed. Some people really do luck into falling in with the right group immediately, but most work from little or nothing for months or years until the stars align and they are liked enough by established crews to get steady calls. There is no magic bullet and no university degree is a ticket to get on the ride. It just takes hard work, perseverance, and unwavering enthusiasm so that people will want to call you back for another day.

One of the problems in today's world is that the scheme/scam of tax "incentives" (read: bribes) has removed the idea that a person can base themselves in one of two or three specific cities and expect to build and maintain a career. Prior to the CONservative push for corporate bribes by starving governments, an aspiring film industry professional could move to Los Angeles or New York City or even Chicago and build a career in film and/or television. But corporate bribery has scattered production across the nation and the globe which makes it difficult to tell aspiring professionals where to go to build a career. All one can do is to follow the bouncing roulette ball of tax "incentives" to hope to be in the right place at the right time. Currently, Georgia and Louisiana seem to be the hot spots in the USA. But there are other states willing to bribe production companies so this trend in the South could change at any time. It used to be North Carolina, then Canada. Then it moved to Prague and Budapest, then Australia and New Zealand. Michigan got teased for a while and other States have their brush with fame now and again. Sorry to say that today's "globalized" Corporate Welfare environment has made building and maintaining a viable career in the film industry a crap shoot.
  • 0

#3 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5482 posts
  • Director

Posted 11 November 2011 - 12:26 AM

This probably won't be helpful, but.....

We have crew shortages in Toronto, there are not enough film workers to fill all the positions. The situation will only get worse starting in January as episodic TV starts up again and there are several more big budget Hollywood films on their way in as well. (G&E people are in especially short supply).

I was on the set this week of the new Resident Evil film, all the guys on the crew say they have been exceptionally busy the last year and they are booked solid for the year coming. If you can get here, Toronto is the place to be.

R,

PS: I also enjoy making these posts because I know it drives Brian Dzyak nuts when he hears about all the US shows shooting in Toronto. :D

PSS: Although in all fairness a lot of the work now is also on Canadian shows that have seen their budgets and crew sizes increase as they have gained spots on US TV and US cable.

PSSS: Now Brian will respond with a post about "corporate bribes" fleecing the tax payers of Canada, blah blah blah.
  • 0

#4 Brian Dzyak

Brian Dzyak
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1517 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Encino, California USA

Posted 11 November 2011 - 08:04 AM

This probably won't be helpful, but.....

We have crew shortages in Toronto, there are not enough film workers to fill all the positions. The situation will only get worse starting in January as episodic TV starts up again and there are several more big budget Hollywood films on their way in as well. (G&E people are in especially short supply).

I was on the set this week of the new Resident Evil film, all the guys on the crew say they have been exceptionally busy the last year and they are booked solid for the year coming. If you can get here, Toronto is the place to be.

R,

PS: I also enjoy making these posts because I know it drives Brian Dzyak nuts when he hears about all the US shows shooting in Toronto. :D

PSS: Although in all fairness a lot of the work now is also on Canadian shows that have seen their budgets and crew sizes increase as they have gained spots on US TV and US cable.

PSSS: Now Brian will respond with a post about "corporate bribes" fleecing the tax payers of Canada, blah blah blah.



Whatever. :rolleyes: Let's continue this bribe system, BUT drop the pretense of national borders that restrict the free movement of labor to follow the work. AND let's have IATSE be a GLOBAL union so that everyone across the planet is earning commiserate wages so that the Corporations aren't feeding this race to the bottom in regard to fair wages. Why should transnational Corporations be permitted to move freely across the globe but workers can't? Hell, I have to put up a fight just to work in NYC. We're either going to be a global community and have a global economy or we're not. What I do know is that the way it's "working" right now isn't working to help aspiring nor experienced film professionals build and maintain viable careers.
  • 0

#5 Brian Dzyak

Brian Dzyak
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1517 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Encino, California USA

Posted 11 November 2011 - 08:04 AM

This probably won't be helpful, but.....

We have crew shortages in Toronto, there are not enough film workers to fill all the positions. The situation will only get worse starting in January as episodic TV starts up again and there are several more big budget Hollywood films on their way in as well. (G&E people are in especially short supply).

I was on the set this week of the new Resident Evil film, all the guys on the crew say they have been exceptionally busy the last year and they are booked solid for the year coming. If you can get here, Toronto is the place to be.

R,

PS: I also enjoy making these posts because I know it drives Brian Dzyak nuts when he hears about all the US shows shooting in Toronto. :D

PSS: Although in all fairness a lot of the work now is also on Canadian shows that have seen their budgets and crew sizes increase as they have gained spots on US TV and US cable.

PSSS: Now Brian will respond with a post about "corporate bribes" fleecing the tax payers of Canada, blah blah blah.



Whatever. :rolleyes: Let's continue this bribe system, BUT drop the pretense of national borders that restrict the free movement of labor to follow the work. AND let's have IATSE be a GLOBAL union so that everyone across the planet is earning commiserate wages so that the Corporations aren't feeding this race to the bottom in regard to fair wages. Why should transnational Corporations be permitted to move freely across the globe but workers can't? Hell, I have to put up a fight just to work in NYC. We're either going to be a global community and have a global economy or we're not. What I do know is that the way it's "working" right now isn't working to help aspiring nor experienced film professionals build and maintain viable careers.
  • 0

#6 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5482 posts
  • Director

Posted 11 November 2011 - 10:40 AM

Whatever. :rolleyes: Let's continue this bribe system, BUT drop the pretense of national borders that restrict the free movement of labor to follow the work. AND let's have IATSE be a GLOBAL union so that everyone across the planet is earning commiserate wages


Oh great, just what we need, a producer shows up to the set in Ghana and there's an IATSE rep from LA there waiting to meet him with a contract to sign.

Of course when producers from the US do come to Toronto, IATSE is here and waving a contract in the producers face. Wages here are certainly not low by any means compared to LA, I haven't cross checked the books, but I'm sure the wages are very similar.

Hell, I have to put up a fight just to work in NYC.


Well of course this is a union issue, it's not the fault of corporations. How a union can prevent a US citizen from working in a different part of the USA is beyond me? Americans have a fundamental right to seek work in any of the 50 states, how a union has the power to transcend this right truly boggles the mind.

R,
  • 0

#7 Jon Rosenbloom

Jon Rosenbloom
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 713 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 12 November 2011 - 01:44 PM

It's quite busy in New York. I'm sure you can find some PA gigs by going to the Mayor's Office for Film and TV and looking at the list of permitted productions. Or, you're almost certain to come across a shoot if you walk around town a bit. (Psst, try the Wall Street area on the weekend.) Just find a PA doing lock-up and wait till he's not too hassled and you can make your inquiries. It's shitty work, but you are just starting out. If you have any technical skills, you could apply to join Local 52 and they could assign you work on a day-to-day basis as a "permit-guy." I think you have to prove you've been an area resident for 18 months, and you may have to demonstrate some real skill.

As for non-union work, I know it's out there, but I have no clue how one finds it. I just shot a low-budget short, and the G/E guys seemed to have their own little world of jobs that keep them busy. I think you have to go through the looking glass to get there ...

As for your education, you do realize that it now counts for nothing. What matters is your ability to endure the work, get along, and make connections.

As for your reel, I know it's a matter of personal taste, but the music is so loud and agro that I can't watch it.

If you want to be in this biz, it's a lifetime of plugging away.

Good luck!
  • 0


Paralinx LLC

Glidecam

Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape

Technodolly

Opal

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

Abel Cine

CineLab

The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Ritter Battery

Tai Audio

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Willys Widgets

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam

CineLab

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

The Slider

CineTape

FJS International, LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Tai Audio

Opal

Abel Cine

Wooden Camera

Visual Products

Paralinx LLC