Jump to content


Photo

Getting your Foot in the Door


  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 Peter James Scott

Peter James Scott
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 38 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 11 June 2012 - 07:06 AM

Hello cinematographers!

I am new here so sorry if this has been posted already. I had a look for a similar post but couldn’t find one.

I have recently graduated with an Art and Design degree (UK) and I’m now on the job hunt. I have a few leads and contacts and have looked at a few jobs, but I have nothing concrete.

I have made one short film, but have only decided that in the past year and a half that going into film is what I want to do. Needless to say, I don’t have much experience. My plan for the next three years is to build up a portfolio and apply of the NFTS and see where I go from there. Alternatively, I will build up a portfolio of work anyway and just work my way up through jobs. The problem is actually finding a job.

From the jobs I have seen advertised, they are either bottom of the pile and not very related to what I want to do but paid, or they are jobs related to what I want to get into but lo/no deferred pay. Some of these advertisements with jobs I would want to do also seem ridden with spelling mistakes and are quite informal, making it difficult to decipher which jobs are worth applying to. I’m in a bit of a muddle.

I don’t mind doing voluntary work if it will get me somewhere, but would prefer paid work as I have bills to pay and I want to save money for film school.

Has anyone got any advice? What should I look out for in job advertisements? Is it worth getting a temp job while looking for other things? Is there any jobs in film that you could recommend for me (I would do running but I can’t seem to find many advertised). What about moving to other areas for work?

Also if you are interested, here is a link to my short film and another to my blog. Any advice, criticisms or compliments are welcome!



http://www.pjscotten...blogspot.co.uk/

Thanks for reading!
  • 0

#2 Paul Brenno

Paul Brenno
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • North Dakota

Posted 16 June 2012 - 05:09 PM

Peter, in regards to finding work, one of the things I've learned from being in this business.....take any job you can, since you WILL get experience (maybe get paid) but any job you take with be more than what you had...Learn from ANY position, that way the producers or other crew will see how good to are you to work and be able to network, maybe get offered more work or even fulltime work....talk to TV stations or video production companies to even professionals in your area, introduce yourself to them....volunteer your time on the crew, take the poop jobs to learn and again, to meet and network...




Hello cinematographers!

I am new here so sorry if this has been posted already. I had a look for a similar post but couldn’t find one.

I have recently graduated with an Art and Design degree (UK) and I’m now on the job hunt. I have a few leads and contacts and have looked at a few jobs, but I have nothing concrete.

I have made one short film, but have only decided that in the past year and a half that going into film is what I want to do. Needless to say, I don’t have much experience. My plan for the next three years is to build up a portfolio and apply of the NFTS and see where I go from there. Alternatively, I will build up a portfolio of work anyway and just work my way up through jobs. The problem is actually finding a job.

From the jobs I have seen advertised, they are either bottom of the pile and not very related to what I want to do but paid, or they are jobs related to what I want to get into but lo/no deferred pay. Some of these advertisements with jobs I would want to do also seem ridden with spelling mistakes and are quite informal, making it difficult to decipher which jobs are worth applying to. I’m in a bit of a muddle.

I don’t mind doing voluntary work if it will get me somewhere, but would prefer paid work as I have bills to pay and I want to save money for film school.

Has anyone got any advice? What should I look out for in job advertisements? Is it worth getting a temp job while looking for other things? Is there any jobs in film that you could recommend for me (I would do running but I can’t seem to find many advertised). What about moving to other areas for work?

Also if you are interested, here is a link to my short film and another to my blog. Any advice, criticisms or compliments are welcome!



http://www.pjscotten...blogspot.co.uk/

Thanks for reading!


  • 0

#3 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11937 posts
  • Other

Posted 16 June 2012 - 05:34 PM

Sigh, I'm getting tired of having to make this post, but here we go again:


The bottom line is that unless you have the option to go and work in the US (and unless you have a parent who's American, or an American girlfriend you can marry, you don't), you are not going to have a career in film. Do not, whatever you do, waste money on film school in the UK. Filmmaking here is a fringe artform at best, not a business, and not a career.

A lot of people will argue with me about this, mostly people who live in places where it is much easier, but I'm giving you the best information I have. There really is no "British film industry", there's a few films a year made for the big American studios (the Bond stuff, Harry Potter as was) and then there's people like you and I doing it on a shoestring. If you are realistic enough to recognise that you are highly unlikely ever to get near a Bond movie, you will realise there's almost nothing else going on, certainly not enough to pay for a house and a pension and the other minor things you might feel you're entitled to.

And that's what it was like before the financial disaster we're currently living through.

This is probably hard to hear, but it's important that you have all the information: the UK film industry, such as it exists at all, will not make you a living unless you are so lucky that you might as well apply to be an astronaut - you'd have far better chances.

Sorry, but there it is.

P
  • 0

#4 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5482 posts
  • Director

Posted 16 June 2012 - 06:46 PM

Sigh, I'm getting tired of having to make this post, but here we go again:


The bottom line is that unless you have the option to go and work in the US (and unless you have a parent who's American, or an American girlfriend you can marry, you don't), you are not going to have a career in film.


Sigh, I'm getting tired of having to make this post, but here we go again.

Thousands of film school grads in the USA are "flipping burgers." Only a very small percentage will actually have a career in film that allows them to live a decent middle class lifestyle. So coming to the USA will not be the magical panacea Phil describes it to be. You can be just as un-employed in the USA as you can in the UK.

It's ok, Phil knows I love and respect him. :D

On a side note, you highlight once again the crazy silly aspect of the film business...in how many other industries are people so willing to give their labour away for free just for a chance to work at one of the crap jobs in film!!

Phil has correctly pointed out on numerous occasions that the industry is vastly over subscribed, there are simply far too many people that want to be in it vs the number of jobs available.

R,

PS: Phil, I think I'm going to come back to the UK a produce a movie there. Just to cheese you off. :rolleyes:
  • 0

#5 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11937 posts
  • Other

Posted 16 June 2012 - 07:03 PM

I don't bloody care as long as you employ me!

I have never presented the US as a panacea (although I was getting work, that I had to turn down, thrown at me left and right when I was there in April, it was almost embarrassing).

The US is better because there are so many more levels on which to work and much more of a career progression because it is treated much more professionally; it is a business. Here, it is an artform, which is not generally a way to make a living unless you are incredibly lucky. There, it is somewhat possible. Here, it is barely in the realms of reality. Neither is easy, but one is still a lot easier.

But none of this makes any difference, anyway, unless our correspondent magically happens to have close American relations.

P
  • 0

#6 Tom Jensen

Tom Jensen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1234 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • Dallas, TX

Posted 16 June 2012 - 07:33 PM

Just say your name is Peter James and you won't have any problem.
  • 0

#7 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5482 posts
  • Director

Posted 16 June 2012 - 07:39 PM

I don't bloody care as long as you employ me!



Ok I've scheduled The Dogfather Part IV, to be shot in London next year. Except this time he works for British gangsters, and he's a bulldog to boot!

Why didn't I think of this sooner, this will be hilarious!!

R,
  • 0

#8 Keith Walters

Keith Walters
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2219 posts
  • Other
  • Sydney Australia

Posted 17 June 2012 - 07:23 AM

Ok I've scheduled The Dogfather Part IV, to be shot in London next year. Except this time he works for British gangsters, and he's a bulldog to boot!

Why didn't I think of this sooner, this will be hilarious!!

R,

Sounds like a blockbuster by UK standards :rolleyes:
What camera will you be using? :P
  • 0

#9 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5482 posts
  • Director

Posted 17 June 2012 - 12:32 PM

Question is.....can Phil fit into the dog costume?

R,
  • 0

#10 Peter James Scott

Peter James Scott
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 38 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 18 June 2012 - 05:42 AM

Hello, thank you for your feedback.

Thank you Paul, I don't mind doing the dirty jobs at all, as I'm a graduate I know that whatever career I choose I will have to start out at the very bottom. The problem is sieving through the job ads, as half of them appear to be student made. The problem with this is that I want to break into a professional environment, and not feel like I'm back at university. One of the reasons I want to go to film school is to network. I just want to be careful and make the right decisions.

To Phil and Richard!

I agree with certain things you have said. To begin with it is an oversubscribed industry, and highly competitive, and that most people will not "make it". I would like to note at this point, that to become super famous is not my intention, in fact I would hate that. I want to be able to make something that I'm proud of and say I've put my stamp on it.

As an artist, I realised a long time ago that I probably won't have lots of money, I won't be recognised for my work, and I will struggle to get to the top of my profession. However, that doesn't mean I shouldn't at least try.

Secondly I could be just as unemployed in America as I could in England. The economy is crap here and everyone is moaning about it.

HOWEVER

Saying there is "No film industry in the UK" is a false statement. It is not as big as the US industry, but that is different from being non existent. Currently I believe that the British film industry is going through a boom at the moment as well, and over here at least, I'm seeing more British produced films coming out.

Besides this, if you look at big US films, you will see people from all different backgrounds littered among the credits. Lets take Batman for example. Nolan is English, as is Gary Oldman and Michael Caine, Liam Neeson is Irish and Christian Bale, Batman himself is Welsh. Hans Zimmer is German and Lee Smith, the editor, is Australian.

Going to film school over here would be worth my while, as many of the film schools have recruiting programs into major television networks, such as the BBC. If I can't work in a film, I can work in television. Even if I don't learn anything about film at film school, I'm networking and that may lead to something completely different.

All of this is off topic anyway, as I'm asking about which jobs would be the best to get into, and what to avoid, not how likely my job prospects are. Only Paul Brenno has managed to answer this question. Thank you again.
  • 0

#11 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11937 posts
  • Other

Posted 18 June 2012 - 06:25 AM

I'm seeing more British produced films coming out.




Name three.


P
  • 0

#12 Peter James Scott

Peter James Scott
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 38 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 18 June 2012 - 07:57 AM

[/size][/color]


Name three.


P


There is a whole bunch.

http://en.wikipedia....h_films_of_2011

http://en.wikipedia....h_films_of_2012

Please don't suck me into an internet war. I came here to ask for advice not to get hassled and put down. Thanks.
  • 0

#13 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5482 posts
  • Director

Posted 18 June 2012 - 09:28 AM

Please don't suck me into an internet war. I came here to ask for advice not to get hassled and put down. Thanks.


Geez did you pick the wrong forum to sign up with. :D

R,
  • 0

#14 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11937 posts
  • Other

Posted 18 June 2012 - 11:01 AM

I'm not putting you down. For all I know you may be the ghost of Kubrick. I'm just trying to help you avoid spending the best years of your life and a lot of money on something that will never repay you.

You can work as hard as you like to get into film in this country, and the likelihood is that all you'll get out of it is disappointment and debt. That's no reflection on you, but it is the truth.

P
  • 0

#15 Peter James Scott

Peter James Scott
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 38 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 18 June 2012 - 05:27 PM

I'm not putting you down. For all I know you may be the ghost of Kubrick. I'm just trying to help you avoid spending the best years of your life and a lot of money on something that will never repay you.

You can work as hard as you like to get into film in this country, and the likelihood is that all you'll get out of it is disappointment and debt. That's no reflection on you, but it is the truth.

P


Well thats all very well but its not really advice; your just telling me to give up and find another career. I’d rather at least try than sit at home doing nothing.
  • 0

#16 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11937 posts
  • Other

Posted 18 June 2012 - 07:09 PM

Well, that's advice, even if it's advice you don't like.

I'm offering you this advice based on my sincere belief that it is in your interests to follow it. Beyond that, there's not much I can do.

P
  • 0

#17 Rex Orwell

Rex Orwell
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 91 posts
  • Student

Posted 19 June 2012 - 02:54 AM

Peter all that really means anything in this world is love and art... Crack on mate.

"I came here to ask for advice not to get hassled and put down"

And advice is what you'll get. Don't be put off of the forum either there's a bit of an edge yeah but it's all about exchange of information.
  • 0

#18 Peter James Scott

Peter James Scott
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 38 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 19 June 2012 - 12:47 PM

Peter all that really means anything in this world is love and art... Crack on mate.

"I came here to ask for advice not to get hassled and put down"

And advice is what you'll get. Don't be put off of the forum either there's a bit of an edge yeah but it's all about exchange of information.


Thanks! I won't let it get me down because, fair enough to Phil and Richard, I know its a stupidly hard industry to get into. I've sent you an invitation over Linkedin as well.

Thanks

P. J. Scott
  • 0

#19 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 19 June 2012 - 05:41 PM

I have made one short film, but have only decided that in the past year and a half that going into film is what I want to do. Needless to say, I don’t have much experience. My plan for the next three years is to build up a portfolio and apply of the NFTS and see where I go from there. Alternatively, I will build up a portfolio of work anyway and just work my way up through jobs. The problem is actually finding a job.


I think this is the way to go. Basically getting into the NFTS is the main route into film in the UK. Getting in there would be a good start but it is of course hard to get into.

Theres not really much of a pathway where you can work your way up, and there is none really outside the NFTS. Entry level jobs on the little UK funded shoots are now being reserved for NFTS students. OTOH, looking at your short thing, maybe you could find work editing video, or elsewhere in the post industry?

love

Freya
  • 0

#20 Christopher Sheneman

Christopher Sheneman
  • Guests

Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:35 AM

Sometimes the actual approach is the best approach- put your foot in the door. They won't be able to shut it and then you're in!
  • 0


Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

Opal

CineTape

Tai Audio

Willys Widgets

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Visual Products

Glidecam

Abel Cine

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

CineLab

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

Glidecam

FJS International, LLC

Visual Products

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

Tai Audio

CineLab

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC

Willys Widgets

Ritter Battery

Aerial Filmworks

Opal

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Technodolly

The Slider

Broadcast Solutions Inc