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30 years old with a career change in mind...


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#1 Kyle Nolan

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 10:56 PM

Hello,

I have some questions and would be extremely grateful to anyone in the industry who has some guidance for me. Firstly, after 10+ years in the retail industry I have been recently laid off. 10 years too late!  I'll spare the lengthy back story details however I should add that I have , since a child , been drawn to the movies. My first visit to a major studio was as a child where I was lucky enough to sit behind a wonderful Panavision camera and speak with a few camera crew members about their jobs. That experience stayed with me until adult hood and from that day I new I wanted to be involved in the movies/tv filming. However I was discouraged from following my dream of entering this field due to the fierce competition. ( very poor guidance in retrospect ) Thus then entering retail management, where I was fairly successful and enjoyed it for the most part. 

As stated I was recently laid off from that career and have really started to rethink a career change...and that experience from my childhood keeps coming up. As an adult through the years my appreciation for the art of film making has grown as well. You know when you see a great movie...you find yourself gasping ( feeling that emotion ) at the incredible moment (s) when you are just in awe of how the camera was able to capture that moment... When I watch a movie I find myself looking for those moments were I'm sucked into the film through the art of the cinematography. Well, most reading this probably know what I mean. I could go on all day about this ... but on to my questions.

So I'm ready...teetering on the edge of this career change at 30. I want to follow my dream but I have to admit, I'm very skeptical about this. I do feel a bit ridiculous thinking I could even potentially learn all that needs to be learned and develop my skill into possibly some day actually filming behind that Panavision I sat with 20 years ago...but I want to go with my dream. So...

I would be so appreciative to anyone who feels they can advise me the direction / path I need to take. I do some photography and have a basic ( very basic ) knowledge of composition and lighting. I can not afford schooling. I live in metro NYC, but am mobile to Los Angeles and have lived there in the past. I'd be very willing to work for peanuts as a trainee or intern for a production house or cinematographer to gain the basic knowledge. I would be interested in being an apprentice or even being mentored should someone want to take an apprentice / mentorship on. My passion would be films however since I know so little about the field I'd be interested in tv as well. I 'm posting this with little expectations but truth be told I am hoping for a little karma to come back my way.

I admit I know nothing about this field, however what I lack in knowledge in the field I more than make up for with passion, drive and willingness to learn.  

If you made it this far down my post...thank you. I hope to hear some positive, constructive feedback. I believe that everyone should have a mentor and I believe that those with the knowledge should mentor others. Im not sure this applies to the film industry. I was / am a mentor in my field, this is how I became successful and for that I owe others the same. Just my thoughts.

Be well and thank you, 

KN
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#2 Tom Jensen

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 09:02 AM

Cue Phil.
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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:27 AM

Well, yeah, but he's in the US, he's got at least one whole hope in hell.

P
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#4 Kyle Nolan

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 12:56 AM

Hey thanks to those with the positive private feedback. From what I have recently learned, SOME "in" the business look at mentoring as a joke or a nuisance...and that is sad. That's why I assume the lack of public posts here...this leads me to another recent shock....An "in" the business person responded to me when asked his opinion on the subject "Mentor your replacement? Yea right!" Sad...

The up and positive side...so far the positive up beat people that I have been able to network with have been great, and their best advice so far has been to continue to push forward. Sure your going to encounter the above mentioned, but just push through it.

To the other people looking to break into this tight nit field...Stay the course and keep pushing it will pay off. Last week I was invited to sit in for a tv show taping in NYC- good experience thank you for that...and looking forward to more experiences on operating a camera etc...

Please contact me or post, looking for:

Networking
Mentors
Apprenticeship
Unpaid / paid internship

Thank You-

Kyle
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#5 tstrunnia

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 12:34 AM

I have just turned 30 this year and kinda went through the same thing near the beginning of the year. I was going through a tough time with trying to find work after being laid off the previous year and, through some talking to from my wife, finally decided to finish school and do what I have always dreamed of doing. Making Movies. I had been going to school at Valencia CC in central FL thinking that was "good enough" but with some prodding I'm now going to Full Sail university online for Digital Cinematography.
I'm so glad I decided to jump in and go for it, and I know that, even though our situation is a bit different, you can do anything that you set your mind to. Whether you are going to School for film or you are just learning by doing. I know, I did that before I had the chance to get in school.
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#6 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 04:42 AM

I have just turned 30 this year and kinda went through the same thing near the beginning of the year.


You need to use your full real name, it's one of the forum rules.
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#7 Kyle Nolan

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 11:45 PM

" I'm now going to Full Sail university online for Digital Cinematography "

Tstrunnia, I just spent about an hour checking out Full Sails website and programs ... Pretty interesting and exciting but I don't have 65K just sitting around! :-)
Is this the going rate for a bachelor in digital cinematography? Can anyone else suggest a school for this? I'm definitely interested just need to way my options...a school in the NY area? LA area? Or online like FS?

I like the fact that Full Sail really spells out the curriculum month by month all 32 months actually...plus you get a fully packed Apple laptop ($3830) it's comes out to be just about 2k a month...
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 07:05 AM

Save your money and don't go to a film school. They are over-priced, and no one is going to ask to see your film degree if you want to work in film. While they can be great networking tools; in truth, the thousands you'll take on in debt is better spent elsewhere.

Buckle down, pound pavements, bother people, as best you can. Get on as many sets as you can as what you can (this may mean working for free. It's bullshit, but it happens, and it sucks.) and meet people. Watch and learn. And over-time you'll find yourself getting in.
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#9 KevinMckendree

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 03:55 AM

I have considered Full Sail before, but I do not want to be in all of that debt like most of my friends that went there. But on the plus side, they all have jobs in either the TV or Film industry. He travels up and down the coast as a grip on different motion pictures. If Full Sail was not freakin expensive I would consider it, but I want to go to film school for one reason and that is the networking opportunities. You are usually better off working on a set, or even visiting a set when the opportunity arises.

One of the biggest things that my mentor drills in my head is Location, Location, and Location if you want to find any kind of work.

Edited by KevinMckendree, 04 September 2012 - 04:00 AM.

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#10 Andrew Wheeler

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 10:31 PM

Adrian, I disagree with your blanket statement saying film school is a waste and to save your money. I attended AFI when I was 29 and I have a bunch of other friends who have as well and its set us all on a path to succeed at high levels. I could cite several reasons what its done for me and other people I know. The most difficult part is the expense. I took out full loans to attend AFI but the way I saw was that I couldn't afford to not gamble on myself. To Kyle and TStrunnia I posted in another topic a few months ago about my experiences if your interested in reading more about it.
http://www.cinematog...94
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#11 Chris Millar

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 11:05 PM

I'm with Adrian on this one... Unless you're after a professional degree (MD, Engineering, law etc...) stay away from training institutes, work hard and educate yourself.


(I speak from multiple experience in both regards)



Ask yourself: if you couldn't justify spending 65k (Posted Image) in retrospect what would your other options be ?

Posted Image
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#12 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 06:20 AM

Andrew; it's perfectly ok to disagree with me. Hell I used to disagree with me as I have 2 degrees from Temple University!
But the point in fact is that I am also now going to be in debt for many many many years-- and that can really hamper ones ability to refuse work (and I don't mean film work) later on in life.
Also we're not talking AFI here-- which I think everyone would agree is the top of the top-- we're talking about the Full Sails, the New York Film Academys ect, all of which are incredibly expensive for what they offer. Also, while AFI is an Amazing program, you Can't compare it to most other schools-- not in terms of program nor cost not caliber of instruction.
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