Jump to content


Photo

How seriously do employers actually take unpaid experience?


  • Please log in to reply
2 replies to this topic

#1 Robert Harley Nutter

Robert Harley Nutter

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Student

Posted 05 July 2013 - 11:49 AM

Hi, total noob to the forum speaking here...so please be gentle O:)

 

My question is pretty self explanetry; I've found that unpaid work counts for next to nothing when it comes to getting a job. I have videographic experience in Shorts, Features, Documentary as well as in events. However, I've only ever made a few K from shooting; and even then, it has been through private commission as opposed to actually being *employed*. I make a living currently from hiring out equipment  (only a DSLR setup but I have decent glass), however simply cannot get a job with anyone/where noteworthy enough in which to attain that initial professional experience. Snobbery seems to be very prevalent when it comes to experience as a DP (or so I've found; the second I mention 'DSLR' oddly enough...) and I do realise it's all about experience; of course it is and I wouldn't expect it any other way. But I have unpaid experience by the bucket load, as well as a a Feature Film, Showreel/Site and the odd paid job under my belt etc.

 

So I guess my question would be,what am I doing wrong?

 

Sorry if this sounds maybe a little blunt, but as I say, I am new here!


  • 0

#2 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 05 July 2013 - 12:51 PM

Nothing.

It's often who you meet, more than what you have done.

Beyond just that, and I don't know how long you've been doing this, but normally to be a DoP you need years and years of time-- or you get lucky.

It takes a long time to build up the network you will need to do work of any note. Lord knows I haven't done any of any note, really. But it will come if you keep at it.

Problem is, everyone is a "DoP" these days because they have a Canon-Red-Epic with Alexa lenses. So you're fighting waves of under-cutting and people working for free. This sucks for all around and makes it difficult. It's not snobbery, really, but you have to understand that everyone these days thinks that because they own a camera they have earned the title Director of Photography.. or cinematographer. This doesn't mean you have not. I have no idea whether you have or haven't. But it does mean people are getting more and more jaded about "dps."

As for how seriously people take unpaid work, well yes, it's experience, and that's great. But it doesn't necessarily mean you can run a crew as people will assume the crew on these no budget things is yourself and maybe a sound guy. But you keep at it, and hopefully you meet people whose work you respect and who enjoy your work (directors) and you move along together.

I have gotten lucky many times, and not lucky many times of course. And a few of the directors I've worked with when I was first starting out have moved up a bit; at least to the point where now we're talking about what rental houses we'll be going with, and how big a G/E Package we'll need to rent. It's a move in a good direction, me thinks.

And then there are others who i work with who i don't know, those first time connections, which you often do on the cheap because you need the money, or you like the project, or the people. And a good 90% of them, probably won't amount to much.

But you keep at it and eventually get into positions where you may be able to do better and more challenging work. So just keep at it. Sooner or later you'll hopefully make it your soul source of income-- of course, as I have just done this-- it doesn't get any easier as you move up it seems


  • 0

#3 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11944 posts
  • Other

Posted 05 July 2013 - 12:54 PM

Depends what it was on, to an extent. If you've spent 500 years on huge movies, that's potentially interesting if you're going for huge-movie work. It won't make much odds if you're looking for a regular gig as an ENG operator.

 

Where are you?

 

P


  • 0


Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

rebotnix Technologies

FJS International, LLC

CineLab

Paralinx LLC

CineTape

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera

Technodolly

Opal

Willys Widgets

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

Glidecam

Visual Products

Abel Cine

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

CineLab

Tai Audio

Rig Wheels Passport

The Slider

Glidecam

FJS International, LLC

Technodolly

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

Opal

CineTape

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera