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I want to ask you something about getting a job


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#1 jaehak cho jh

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 08:16 AM

hi i am korean who leave in seoul.

 

I will move to LA or NY soon.

 

I am working for lighting in here. I worked for 5 different full length film

 

and I am afraid that if i cannot get a film job in US. because I am korean and don't know how to get a job in america. 

 

so could you guys tell me how I can get a film job. I want to work for light.

 

Thank you.


Edited by jaehak cho jh, 04 July 2014 - 08:18 AM.

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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 11:57 AM

It's more likely that you wouldn't be able to get a job because you won't have a work visa. If you're just here on a tourist visa you can't work, not without a SSN or a TIN.

Aside from that getting a job here in film is the same as anywhere else-- determination, networking, skill, competence, and generally being likeable. It's certainly not easy, but when you are in an area where there is production and willing to work hard, perhaps not in the job you want, and meet people, then the work will come.


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#3 jaehak cho jh

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 01:09 PM

Thank you so much for your thoughtful answer. I am really touched. and I wanna ask you another question.

In korea where i live, film industry working environment is not so good. that's why I want to go america and working in hollywood.

few months ago, Avengers2 had shoot in korea. I went there for staff. they taked film for 3weeks. and I paid money like working for 3 months in korea movie. it was a shocked to me. and in korea movie industry, they don't give money more if there's all night shooting or plus extra shooting day.

so what I want to ask you is should I keep work here although this poor environment, or go to america and get a job there?

Edited by jaehak cho jh, 04 July 2014 - 01:13 PM.

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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 01:17 PM

That's much more of a personal question; however it is highly highly unlikely you'll be making anywhere near a tiered union shoot rates in the US any time soon-- even if you do work enough to join the union.

Both LA and NY have a good deal of ultra low budget films which may pay around $100~300/day for a DoP with equipment. This is the reality of the situation of an over-saturated market. Sure you can eek by on that for awhile, but whether you'll ever move beyond that no one will know.

Gaffers, especially on these lower films, are often unpaid. It is technically illegal; but there is no political will to change it and the fear of being black-listed for being a royal pain in the rear often keeps it even from being complained about.

That said, and I don't know the realities of the Korean industry, it is possible to move beyond that and get well paid gigs here in the US through very hard work and a hell of a lot of luck. I would assume the same is true where you are.

The problem is often one of "pools," by that i mean there is a much larger pool of people here in LA and in NY competing for the same jobs as you are on every level, so any work will come through the work you have already done and the people you already know. As you already are working where you are, it may make more sense to stay there, it may not. In my own case I was making a good living in Philadelphia, before I moved to LA, but the move was precipitated by the fact that I was shoehorned into projects I wasn't particularly thrilled about. That being the case I took the plunge and while I am working more here in LA I am making substantially less, though that is slowly changing, but I am more fulfilled inasmuch as I am working more in narrative as opposed to the industrials I was doing in Philly.

 

In your own case, though, the bigger problem will be that you need to get residency in the US which is no small nor cheap task. You will need one of these:

http://travel.state..../temporary.html

And they almost always require an employer sponsor which, since all film workers are free-lance, you will be rather hard pressed to find. You cannot just come and work on a tourist visa, since they can't legally employ you, or pay you.


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#5 jaehak cho jh

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 01:43 PM

thank you for your anwser. I wasn't meant that I am going to america right now. sorry for made you misunderstood.

and what you told me about get a job and your experiences is really helpful to me. I really am.

my english is not perfect. so you don't know how much I want to express my feelings for your thankful answers.

I am really touched that you answered my problem like your problem.

you are so kind. I think my concernation is almost solved because of you.

I want to keep in touch with you unless you mind.

my 'kakao talk' app ID is jAe481

I want to talk about camera skills and lighting skills with you.

anyway, I really appreciate for you help

Edited by jaehak cho jh, 04 July 2014 - 01:44 PM.

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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 01:52 PM

It's my pleasure; and your english is fine.

While I don't have and probably won't download Kakao Talk, since I have more than enough apps and social media things, you, like everyone else 'round is welcome to find me whenever you may have a question-- though i may not always have a good answer either here, via my own e mail listed in my signature and on my webpage, or even on facebook of the other myriad social media platforms. Doesn't do much much good, in all honesty, to try to be isolated from the rest of the world and I never mind sharing what I know or think.


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#7 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 04:34 PM

"Both LA and NY have a good deal of ultra low budget films which may pay around $100~300/day for a DoP with equipment."

Seriously???!!! What do the ACs typically earn? How much non- union work is out there and what type of jobs? Sorry, I don't want to appear so,shocked - although I am.

G
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 05:26 PM

If you just check through mandy.com or even craigslist you'd be horrofied. Today they were asking for a DoP for $50/day which included driving up to Bakersfield for a week, no room and board, for a feature. It's a sad world out there sometimes-- though non-union is such a broad term it's hard to have specifics. I've done everything from the $100/day gigs for friends up to $1000/day for some things, it just depends on the gig. The vast majority, though, especially when first starting out are in the $75~150/day range for HoDs and the same or nothing for "ACs" Just depends.


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#9 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 05:28 PM

I should add, I've often come up against "red DoPs" who will come out with an epic for $100/day. Let me tell you how shitty that is.


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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 05:39 PM

Yesterday I went to a union meeting at which the latest PACT agreement was discussed.

 

Given what's now our union minimum, even on what you would consider union jobs, this would appear to be a worldwide problem.

 

Do union DPs in Los Angeles, on a $20m production, work for $2000 a week?

 

Won't tell you if the meeting voted to accept it.


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#11 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 06:08 PM

 
Do union DPs in Los Angeles, on a $20m production, work for $2000 a week?


Not on a union show. The union minimum for a 60 hour work week (5 consecutive 12 hour days) would be just under $7000/week. And many work for much more.

Adrian, that is crazy and frightening!
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#12 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 06:59 PM

Aye it's certainly not easy-- though I have noticed on the gig no matter how big or small for me, and in truth money is generally one of the later things on my own mind-- tell you the truth I would love, love, one day to get some degree of notoriety and still go out on the odd and random passion project from time to time, without them necessarily knowing who I am so I can teach and learn, a lot and be challenged-- but mind the digression, on a gig no matter how big or small for me I get the satisfaction of working my hardest, thinking my smartest and generally feeling pretty great. The rates do often, often stink, but such is to be expected when trying to build up a new network in a new town (though it is not in any way fair or equitable it is the sad truth that our profession has been comodified by cheap cameras and easier access as well as the truth of supply and demand)  but as with most things they do go up with time. Sad to think, though, my very first day on set, when I was 10, I got paid as much as the DoP who will take the feature film job.

There will, and probably always has, existed this lowest of the low-- it just becomes easier to find and more "remembered" when it is put out to the aether of online.


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#13 Freya Black

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 05:01 AM

There will, and probably always has, existed this lowest of the low-- it just becomes easier to find and more "remembered" when it is put out to the aether of online.

 

Everyone talks about Greg Toland but theres little said about all the other cinematographers who worked with Orson Welles and also worked on porn films to make ends meet.

 

These days there is more of a low budget world of people trying to make narrative movies on what would have been porn movie budgets back in those days so I guess the good news is that DP's don't have to work on porn anymore but are basically working on productions operating on a similar kind of level.

 

Freya


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