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Will moving to Los Angeles help my career?


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#1 George Ebersole

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 03:20 PM

I've about had it living in the Bay Area and fighting to keep my house with low wage jobs. I'm thinking of taking the plunge and high tailing it to Los Angeles to be in the middle of the industry instead of in the artsy sci-fi CGI outskirts between Marin and Silicon Valley.

Any input?

Good idea?

Bad idea?

I've essentially lost everything, and really need to get my old career moving again.
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 04:06 PM

Well while I can't speak for LA (though I'll be heading there soon too!) If you have lost everything where you are, well then you might as well at least TRY it in LA. You'll never know if it'll help or hurt until you try.
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#3 Richard Boddington

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 01:04 AM

LA seems to be the centre of episodic TV, but there appears to be very little feature film work going there. Lot's of deals being made there, but the actual shoot takes place somewhere else.

R,
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#4 George Ebersole

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 12:57 PM

That's kind of what I figured. I really don't want to move down to LA. Shooting always takes place some place else, and the new thing seems to be to do it on location.

I've been battling to keep the house with low wage jobs, and there's always one more goddamn emergency popping up that I thought of throwing in the towel.

I don't mind restarting as a middle aged grip or PA, but.... whatever. I'm just tired of sitting on the goddamn sidelines. :angry:
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 01:05 PM

In two and a half weeks in LA at the beginning of April, without looking for it, asking for it, knowing many people or having many contacts, I was offered more "desirable" work, whatever that means to you, than I'd been offered the whole year to date in London.

But don't worry, I had to turn it all down.
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#6 Charles Papert

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 01:40 PM

Which particular career are you referring to? i.e. what job do you want to do?

If you really want to be able to jump in with both feet, consider Louisiana. More work than they have crew down there, and being a right-to-work state, you can work in different capacities on union shows. New Orleans is a great city...if you can deal with the summers.
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#7 George Ebersole

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 10:46 PM

Which particular career are you referring to? i.e. what job do you want to do?

If you really want to be able to jump in with both feet, consider Louisiana. More work than they have crew down there, and being a right-to-work state, you can work in different capacities on union shows. New Orleans is a great city...if you can deal with the summers.

Back in the day I was an AD and Stage Manager, then later did video camera ops when the local industry took several hits. I bailed at about that time to study engineering.

I prefer the energy of a set to the sterility of an office and clean room.

Can someone give me a good website for work?
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#8 George Ebersole

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 01:43 PM

Truth is I'll do just about anything, short of actually getting in front of a camera.

I hate retail, hate hardware/tools, hate customers (unless it's a client for a commercial and/or video), and am just downright irritable at not doing what I trained to do as a teenager.

Any input is welcome.
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#9 Aaron Francis Farrugia

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 08:13 PM

just a quick question is it true there is a lot of feature work going to canada?
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#10 Jack Aversano

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 08:15 AM

I have been is the same boat trying to get the career moving. I moved to LA in dare I say out of a bit of desperation. Upside: I shot a short film in the area and had great access to talent and crew etc. Downside:I had very little luck in finding production work. For my last project I posted an add to hire a grip. I got 54 responses in one hour. 54. Having lived in NYC and LA I can say that one should not be attached to a location. I think it is more a function what your vision for your career is and if you can focus on that with out any angst or stress.
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#11 Richard Boddington

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:31 AM

just a quick question is it true there is a lot of feature work going to canada?


TONS. Has been for years now. There were crew and equipment shortages last year as Toronto had its biggest year ever. The largest sound stage in North America is located in Toronto, what does that tell you?

http://en.wikipedia....Toronto_Studios

Take that LA and Vancouver!!! :D

R,
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#12 Tom Jensen

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:56 AM

Yes, lots of shooting and labs and workshops and movies and events. You need to network as well. There are stages everywhere. People still shoot in LA. The industry is based in LA. Go now.
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#13 George Ebersole

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 07:55 PM

Well, what I really wanted to do was write and produce. To this end I figure I better learn the industry as best as I could, so I worked as crew from 87 until 97 or thereabouts. I worked the dolly, AD, stage managing, gripping, some best boy / electrical stuff, just an overall PA. I guess you might have called me an associate producer with all of the phone calls I also made to various rental houses, talent agencies and every place else.

So, if I want to produce stuff I write, am I wasting my time trying to get back in as a crew person? Am I wasting my time trying to be a camera assistant or grip in my middle ages?

Someone, please let me know. I miss the work and environment. I can't stand office and retail work. I've put on something like 70lbs since I left the industry way back when.

I sure could use some guidance.

Any input is welcome.
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#14 Richard Boddington

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 11:50 PM

So, if I want to produce stuff I write, am I wasting my time trying to get back in as a crew person? Am I wasting my time trying to be a camera assistant or grip in my middle ages?


Well since you ask.....now you're getting into my world, the world of the indie film producer.

I would have to say that, in answer to your question, yes you are wasting your time working as a crew person if you want to be a producer. That's not really the path way to producer that I see.

The quickest way to the producer's chair is to raise finance, once you can do that you can write your own ticket to ANY job in the film industry that you wish to do. After all, if you control the money, who will oppose you?

Of course raising finance is no easy task, I am seeing people with 25+ years of producing experience having a very hard time in this market. I am trying to get the last little tiny bit into my current project.

Producers really only have two courses, 1) Pitch projects to the major studios and hope they make them 2) Raise the finance yourself and make the movie yourself.

I would suggest you start reading books on producing, and attend one of the many workshops they hold on producing in LA on a regular basis. It's a very complex and difficult job. Far more complex and difficult than any crew member realizes. Many producers have law degrees and MBAs, because it's very business and law orientated and you need that background.

Even raising a "small" budget like 1 million would pose a serious challenge to the novice producer. You need to have great relationships with bankers, & sales agents. These relationships take a while to establish. You also need to be an expert in the tax credit programs offered in various jurisdictions and how they work.

There are 600 different ways to create the finance plan for a movie, and each one is a new adventure.

If you want to be a producer of feature films, then actually being in LA isn't that much of an advantage. I live in Horseshoe Valley Ontario for Pete's Sake, ever heard of it? I was in LA all last week though, taking meetings. So when I need to be there, I hop on a plane. Otherwise it's phone and e-mail.

Starting out you need some way to live while you start your producing career, as there are no bi-weekly pay cheques for producers. Many producers may only get paid once every 3-5 years, that is the reality.

The best thing that could happen to you would be to be taken under the wing of a working producer. Nothing beats learning the ropes directly from a pro. Of course that arrangement is tough to come by.

Skip the camera crew though, that will only lead to more jobs on the camera crew.

R,
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#15 George Ebersole

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 03:20 AM

Well since you ask.....now you're getting into my world, the world of the indie film producer.

I would have to say that, in answer to your question, yes you are wasting your time working as a crew person if you want to be a producer. That's not really the path way to producer that I see.

The quickest way to the producer's chair is to raise finance, once you can do that you can write your own ticket to ANY job in the film industry that you wish to do. After all, if you control the money, who will oppose you?

Of course raising finance is no easy task, I am seeing people with 25+ years of producing experience having a very hard time in this market. I am trying to get the last little tiny bit into my current project.

Producers really only have two courses, 1) Pitch projects to the major studios and hope they make them 2) Raise the finance yourself and make the movie yourself.

I would suggest you start reading books on producing, and attend one of the many workshops they hold on producing in LA on a regular basis. It's a very complex and difficult job. Far more complex and difficult than any crew member realizes. Many producers have law degrees and MBAs, because it's very business and law orientated and you need that background.

Even raising a "small" budget like 1 million would pose a serious challenge to the novice producer. You need to have great relationships with bankers, & sales agents. These relationships take a while to establish. You also need to be an expert in the tax credit programs offered in various jurisdictions and how they work.

There are 600 different ways to create the finance plan for a movie, and each one is a new adventure.

If you want to be a producer of feature films, then actually being in LA isn't that much of an advantage. I live in Horseshoe Valley Ontario for Pete's Sake, ever heard of it? I was in LA all last week though, taking meetings. So when I need to be there, I hop on a plane. Otherwise it's phone and e-mail.

Starting out you need some way to live while you start your producing career, as there are no bi-weekly pay cheques for producers. Many producers may only get paid once every 3-5 years, that is the reality.

The best thing that could happen to you would be to be taken under the wing of a working producer. Nothing beats learning the ropes directly from a pro. Of course that arrangement is tough to come by.

Skip the camera crew though, that will only lead to more jobs on the camera crew.

R,

One of my old bosses has a story about meeting Lucas as a PA, pouring champagne or something on some shoot. I always hear stories about people working their way up the ranks, and I figured that's what I would do way back when. It seemed to be working at the time, but life took an obnoxious course.

Now I'm middle aged, and don't want to f-around gripping when I want to be shooing my own stuff.

I like being on a set. I like working it. I don't want to be a gaffer or AD for the rest of my goddamn life if I get back in as such. I want to make stuff. It's the whole reason I got into it in the first place.

Man, what an uphill battle.

Thanks for the honesty. Maybe I'll direct instead.
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#16 Richard Boddington

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 11:52 AM

Maybe I'll direct instead.


Director for hire? Well you have a higher chance of being struck by lightning than being "hired" to direct a studio or indie feature. You can try getting into the DGA and directing episodic TV. But seriously, becoming a brain surgeon would be easier and pay a lot better.

I produce my films so that I am guaranteed the director's chair. If I can't raise the money, I won't be directing anything.

R,
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Tai Audio

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Broadcast Solutions Inc

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

The Slider

Visual Products

CineLab

Rig Wheels Passport

Aerial Filmworks