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gaining camera dept experience


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#1 Liam Miller

Liam Miller
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Posted 15 December 2011 - 06:41 PM

Hey Guys. I'm looking for a little advice. I'll start with a short background on myself.

I'm 22 years old, and a year ago I graduated from film school. My whole life I've always wanted to work on big-budget features on the camera crew. Four months ago I moved to LA from the East Coast after I finally decided I had enough money saved. I came out here not knowing many people, but I've managed to snag a few free gigs on some low-budget features (and I've even been paid on some of them after I've demonstrated my work ethic). I have been told I moved out here at the wrong time of year (September) and that work will pick up, however, recently work has been really really dead for me (December). I feel I've reached a bit of a dead end at the moment.

Some people have told me to work as an intern at a rental house and PA whenever possible to keep money coming in. After some research, few rental houses are taking on anyone new, and there are few near where I live. The exception, Panavision, isn't taking on anyone new. A short I worked on as a 1st AC recently (for free) had a camera operator from a big Showtime series DPing it. We got along great and he has offered to help find me Camera PA work in the New Year. While I'm excited for this, I don't want to remain completely reliant upon it (after only being out here a few months I've had my fair share of paid projects falling through). My friend sends me Production Weekly reports, which I use to apply for Camera PA/trainee work a lot. As most of the projects start shooting in the New Year, there is still a chance I could hear something back. I've also been told that I should have tried places like Louisiana (where projects are supposedly "crew hungry"), however I just moved to LA and need to try to make things work before I pay to move again.

What other routes could you suggest I take? I've been hesitant to take on a regular job should a crew gig be available to me, however I'm at a point now where I'm going to need to find a regular full-time hour job to keep up with my rent and bills.

Thanks for any tips you could give me :)
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#2 Stuart Brereton

Stuart Brereton
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Posted 29 December 2011 - 12:56 PM

Try contacting The Asylum. The pay isn't the best, but they are very busy and always looking for crew.
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rebotnix Technologies

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Aerial Filmworks

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

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The Slider

Metropolis Post

Glidecam

CineTape

Tai Audio

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Visual Products

Wooden Camera