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Looking for help and advice regarding my career path.


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#1 Axel Morin

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 05:04 AM

Hello to all,

 

A bit of introduction is necessary. So I'm French, I'm 27 years old, I worked since 5 years in the French production industry as an Electrician and a Grip and of course as a DP on short movies, music video and small commercial... And recently I'm thinking about moving in the UK to really start a career as a DP.  So I start to build a plan to become a DP and work around the world if that possible. I know it's not that simple but I really wan to make this work and I try to organize my life around that goal. 

 

But that being said, I met some difficulties that's why I seek for your help.

 

- I need to study and improve my skills regarding the cameras ( I started to look at a few schools NFTS, MET...)

- I'm really interested in the 2 weeks Cinematography class at MET Film school for started but I found really bad review on internet. I really want to find a Short terms class who can allow me to improve my skills but for most of the programsI see I've too much experience ( I Quote Teachers from London Film Academy and London Film School)

- I also contact the National Career Services. They advise me to start to work right away, to contact the BSC, to contact the productions to start working directly with them. They also gave me a all bunch of website I've to read to make my mind. 

 

So For now I'm doing a lot of research on the internet and I really start to get really confused. It seems to be the way into the Uk industry is really different than in France. 

 

So Here my questions

 

How can I organize my research to be able to do really thoughtful decision for my career? Do you have any website I should looking in priority?

 

Is it possible to start a short courses and working at the same time? Or maybe I juste start working right away?

 

And finally the question with no answer How can I be sure to make the right choices for my career?

 

Thanks you for taking the time to read this.

 

Axel Morin


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#2 Axel Morin

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 05:42 AM

Hello again!

 

 

So Maybe I've posted in the wrong section! In that case I'm sorry! But I really started to organise my trip. And I would love if I could have some answers on the many questions I have!

 

Thanks in advance!


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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 05:45 AM

Sorry, I didn't notice this the first time.

 

From what I've heard the situation work-wise in France is vastly better than it is here, because the French industry is protected from the juggernaut of American film. I have no idea why you'd want to do what you're proposing to do!

 

Why London?

 

It smells!

 

P


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#4 Axel Morin

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 07:26 AM

Hello!

 

Don't worry, thanks for answering!

 

It's funny because I've heard the exact opposite of what you said! I've heard the English industry is in beter shape than the french industry!

 

And Apparently it's more "easier" to work as DP in the UK because people will look at what you've done and not who you know, or what's your age (like in France, for example a production society turn me down on an unpaid job because I was (and I quote) "To younger" at 26.)

In France it's really about knowing the "good" people and have the "good" friends. I've heard (from the national career services) it's different in the UK.

 

You asked me Why London? It's simple!

 

Because I love this City and I've already to go study into the US for One year at NYFA and It didn't work out (I had to come back because of the cost of Living in NYC) so after many years I've decided to give an another shot to a foreign experience! but this time with a smaller project! So a shortest period of time and less far away from my Home AKA London! Beside my Best friend want to go to London too so it seems easier! Because at two I think we are stronger !

 

Bottom line is I want to become DP! I know I'll have to work as a gaffer, grip...... But I hope making my way through the job to become DP is more simpler and less longer than in France (It's around 15 to 20 years in France as suppose someone will give you your chance at all)

 

In Any case thanks so much for have take the time to answering me! and I'll post another serial of question as soon as I finish to study every website the national career service gave me!

 

And Thanks in advance to anyone else who'll take the time to answer me!

 

Best regards!


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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 09:37 AM

people will look at what you've done and not who you know, or what's your age

 

I think those sorts of problems are pretty universal, to be honest.


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#6 Tim Tyler

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 12:12 PM

Axel,

As you probably already know, opportunities for advancement in the film business often come from relationships. Since you already have relationships in France it would seem logical that you build upon your local reputation and look for more work as a cinematographer within the community in which you are already familiar.

Since you have already worked professionally as a grip and electrician, and have shot some short films, I don't think film school is what you need.

You might also try looking for work as a freelance television cameraman, shooting news and documentaries, which will allow you to focus on learning different cameras without the high expectations more often found on a film set.
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#7 Axel Morin

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 05:12 PM

Hello Tim Thanks for answering me!

 

Axel,

As you probably already know, opportunities for advancement in the film business often come from relationships. Since you already have relationships in France it would seem logical that you build upon your local reputation and look for more work as a cinematographer within the community in which you are already familiar.

 

I hear you! But Beside my career this trip has for purpose to allow to live and work in another country. You know? discover something else....

 

 

Since you have already worked professionally as a grip and electrician, and have shot some short films, I don't think film school is what you need.

 

 

Yeah! I know it may seems I've too much experience to go back to school but, I really need to improve my knowledge and skills on the camera. During my studies I was concentrate almost exclusively on the light and today I really want to become better with a camera. So what's why I want to go back to school. But I'm looking for a short courses and a professional one! And also having one or more courses make me feel safer than coming into the UK without nothing at least with this course I'll met some people, I'll step a foot into the industry.....

 

 

 

You might also try looking for work as a freelance television cameraman, shooting news and documentaries, which will allow you to focus on learning different cameras without the high expectations more often found on a film set.

 

That's a brilliant idea! It's funny because in France news or documentary are often presented as dead end jobs you know? or unrewarding or unpaid jobs. That's why I was never too excited about it but the way you present it to me! Make me think it must be really interesting and exciting to work in that field.

 

Anyway thank you so much to have take time to answer to me! And if you have any advices! please do! For now I'm gonna continue to follow my plan and hope for the best!

 

Best Regards


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#8 Tim Tyler

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 05:19 PM

News and doc work is good for learning to shoot coverage quickly and efficiently.

Laurent Andrieux would probably have some good advice on opportunities in France but he doesn't spend much time here now that he has his own French forum. Perhaps try his forum at http://cinematographie.info/


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#9 Axel Morin

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 03:46 PM

Hello to all!

 

So back to square one! Finally I've decided to follow my plan! So start by a short terms class then start working. 

 

So After reading bad reviews on internet about MET film school! I'm thinking to try at NFTS I've heard it's probably the best school but the selection is quite rough! 

 

So do you have any opinion on NFTS or maybe an other school who propose short terms class matching my research criteria aka

 

- A class for people who already work and who just want perfection their skills

- A class between a week and a month.

- A class where you really learn something.

 

So if you have any advice? Be my guest 

 

Thank you in advance

 

Best regards


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#10 Jim Ritscher

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 09:16 PM

A few random thoughts.

I think it would be helpful to state what you need to learn. (There are many options here). Have you found any classes specifically for aspiring DPs? I think most classes (and especially long ones) will have lots of infomation you don't need. In my opinion, the most useful options for you are:

  • Ask people who are further along in their careers to spend a little time with you. If necessary, pay them. (still much cheaper than film school).
  • Find a DP and make him (her) an offer he can't refuse. Offer to assist for free, etc.
  • Do anything on a film set (PA, etc).
  • Buy a professional camera and some lights and go out and gradually develop a great reel.
  • Take short classes on topics of interest.
  • Buy instructional DVDs on topics of interest. (I find when I go back and see it again, it's almost like I never saw it).
  • Wherever you are going, engage with the local filmmaking community.

Just some thoughts. I don't think it's good to have unrealistic expectations about any one course. But maybe you'll find the perfect one for you.


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#11 Jim Ritscher

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 10:07 PM

Go to http://www.dvinfo.net/ and read the "Ask Me Anything" (1-4) by Art Adams. Lots of relevant information.


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#12 Axel Morin

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 08:06 AM

Hello to all and thanks for your answers and advices.

 

Just a little update! So the NFTS doesn't have a short classes in my field during my timeline! So I'm gonna start to work right away!

 

I'm gonna send my resume and showreel at most Production Houses than I can and ask for an appointment to meet them and start a "relationship" before I move in in March!

 

I hope integrated one of them or a crew and start to work right away! and then if a ne studies opportunity present itself I'll consider it and maybe take it but I think it would be later in the year maybe after the summer!

 

If you have any advice! please do

 

best regards 


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#13 Axel Morin

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 08:44 AM

Hello to all!

 

Go to http://www.dvinfo.net/ and read the "Ask Me Anything" (1-4) by Art Adams. Lots of relevant information.

 

 

You were right! I started to read and there is a lot of information! so i'm gonna read it again and again!

 

On the other hand I'll be in London from January 7th to January 17th so if some of you are around during that time! it will be my pleasure to meet you! and buy you a drink!

 

Best regards 


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#14 Axel Morin

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 05:06 AM

Hello everyone,

 

Finally I've decided to not study at first! NFTS has a really interesting course but it starts in November! So I hope stay and work until then ( I'll move in March or April.)

 

What I'm gonna do is send a my resume and a cover letter and my showreel at many productions house than I can find and try to meet as many people as I can in January. 

 

Then in march I move in (I know at first I will work as a waiter or a bartender) and try to start working right away! And I know I won't be DOP right away but I hope working as an AC or gaffer and still have time to do some productions as DOP. 

 

The dream would be incorporate a small production house or a crew and then start to build a career from there!

 

I've already posted in the regional group but if some of you are around London in January and have some free time! It will be my pleasure to meet you and have a tchat!

 

Best regards 

 

Axel


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#15 Axel Morin

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 03:24 AM

Hello everyone! 

 

Any thoughts on my previous post?

 

 

Thanks 

 

 

Axel


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#16 Igor Trajkovski

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 10:29 AM

Hi Axel,

 

Happy New Year.

 

 

Maybe this is for you education wise: Global Cinematography Institute

Co founded by Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC and Yuri Neyman, ASC

 

 

And the Budapest Cinematography  Masterclass lead by Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC

has been rescheduled  to 2014. When exactly the official site does not state.
However, take a look there about the masterclass, what activities it includes, photos from the previous classes etc.

Link - Budapest Cinematography  Masterclass

 

 

Best

 

Igor


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#17 Axel Morin

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 12:55 PM

Hello to all!!!

 

 

So it has really been a while since I last posted something anyway....

 

So Here I'm living in London since 6 months now and already done two movies and accomplished two dreams of mine 

 

- Shooting in 35mm 

- Shooting a feature (just a couple of days but a feature anyway ;)

 

So now I'm really settle in london for the time being, it took me a while but I did it!!!! :) Anyway I'm gonna told  my life here....

 

But Now I know I really want to go back to school maybe for a Master degree or something like that, but apparently I'm a bit late for this year, nevermind I'll work, studio and do some other stuff until I can try to incorporate a big school.

 

So As you guess already I've got a few questions.

 

I saw AFI opening for this year and of course I'm gonna apply but I would like to know if beside AFI and and NFTS you have heard of or Know a really good (practical) school to do an MA?

 

Also I'm looking to do some short study as well If you have any thoughts about that, any recommandations? To have my hands on camera.

 

Is it really hard in the UK to obtain a work experience? or maybe you know some serious website where I can find that kind of information.

 

Final Question (I promise) I know it's about connexion but as a foreigner my connexion  level is really low do you know any website, agency... who could provide me some serious work? 

 

To be honest I find a lot of informations of internet but I fell kind of lost between everything. 

 

Thanks you fo have take the time to read this

 

and hope you will be able to light up some stuff for me :)


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#18 Axel Morin

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 02:24 PM

Hello to all,

 

So right now I'm preparing the IELTS in order to go back to school. I'm currently thinking AFI or NTFS as a MASTER CLASS.

 

Would have some other recommandations regarding a school ANYWHERE in the world to do an MA?

 

Also if you have any recommandations for a short courses or place to get a professional experience as well?

 

Thank you in advance for your answer


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#19 Axel Morin

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 07:22 AM

Hello guys,

 

 

Not to many reply to my previous post. But I keep doing some research.

 

Thanks to this forum I found a lot of relevant information lately. So there is some part of my career plan! please fell free to comment, adjust, reject, advise . :)

 

So first the more I think about it the more it seems than taking a Big MA degree in such a big university such as NTFS, AFI, NYU, UCLA seems a good idea, not only because it will give me connexion but it will give me also a lot of important knowledge and it seems like an really good opportunity. Plus I love learning things so Seems like a good opportunity if I pass there exams. From what I heard Climbing the Ladder or Film school, one is not better than other but that's seems lately a degree helps to start with connections at first but also it proves you are capable! 

 

Any thoughts on that?

 

Plus on a personnel point of view I would love to study in one of this prestigious school and get a degree from them. But that will be for later.

 

In the meantime I'm gonna try to apply to rental houses to gain some work experience or trainee opportunity that kind of stuff. But this is the are part of my plan as I need to keep a paid job in order to pay my bills but I think if they offer me a work experience it will be only for a short period so I can still manage something... Plus I've heard of company taking intern and making them grow up in the society but I don't know if it can work for cameraman, assistant camera even DP?

 

 

Finally one thing I really wanted to ask. Do you think it's possible if I write personally to DP's maybe I'll find one who will be up to mentoring me from the ground start? Do you think it's possible? 

 

One last thing I would love to meet some of you ( I did a post in London section already) :) So if some of you are in London and feeling like meeting me! Let me know ok?

 

Thanks you in advance for you helps and your advice and any kind of answer you will bring to the topic :) 

 

Cheers


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