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#1 Khalid Khan

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 05:30 PM

Hi guys,

I have a bit of a conundrum to ask.

What sort of experience does one need to get work experience at a rental (kit) house. I recently found out that to work as a camera operator, for films or TV etc you need to work your way up as a camera trainee. Getting a camera trainee internship for film is one thing but getting entry level work experience to work for rental is another. I have worked for the NHS and TEDx whilst studying at University, but I feel though as this might not be enough to get work experience at rental kit house.

I have listed all the rental companies near Manchester (UK) (I am from Blackpool, around 1 hour and 30mins away from Manchester), there only seems to be a handful of kit houses. My biggest fear is that I will get rejected due to lack of customer service.

Any advice is helpful
Thanks !


Edited by Khalid Khan, 08 July 2016 - 05:30 PM.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 05:50 PM

Best thing would be to talk to the rental house and ask what they are looking for in general.


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#3 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 05:53 PM

It depends on what kind of job you're applying for. Most likely, you'll be starting out as an intern and then moving up to prep tech after maybe 6 months to a year. There's minimal experience you need to have for a job like that - mostly have a good attitude, be willing to learn and do anything, don't talk too much, pay attention. Interns mostly end up cleaning equipment, scrubbing cases, moving boxes around, learning the inventory and how that particular shop's system operates, driving to other rental houses to pick up and return sub-rented gear, etc. You'll be watched to see if you are capable, trustworthy, ambitious, responsible, and have the people skills to move up to a higher position. Make yourself indispensable, and you'll always have a job.

 

Probably the best thing you can do is visit different rental houses and get to know the people there. Most new interns that I see are found through referrals.


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#4 Khalid Khan

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 01:21 PM

Best thing would be to talk to the rental house and ask what they are looking for in general.

I have heard the taking the DIT route is the best course of action to take when becoming a cinematographer? Or is it all about nepotism ?  


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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 03:57 PM

Are you trying to become a cinematographer or work in a rental house?


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#6 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 05:07 PM

I have heard the taking the DIT route is the best course of action to take when becoming a cinematographer? Or is it all about nepotism ?  


There is no best or fastest route. You need to have a demo reel to get work. And you need contacts in the industry on the crew side and the production side. Not to mention the skills and experience on set and managing a crew. This usually takes people about 10+ years to develop these three things to the level where you can get high enough budget work to make a living at it. Some do it quicker by working extra hard or being in the right place at the right time.

The best thing you can do is constantly put yourself in a position to meet the people who are at the level where you want to be. Which means moving to an area with the most opportunity to grow, usually a big city industry center like LA, New York, London, Vancouver, etc. And then working as a camera PA or rental house tech so you can meet working 1st ACs who might take you on set as a loader or 2nd AC. Or if you want to go towards the lighting side, then work at a G&E rental house and hope the rental manager will send you out as a Grip or Electrician once you learn all the gear. That's probably the most common path, but DPs also come out of the VFX and post world, the still photography world, all kinds of places.
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#7 Khalid Khan

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 06:40 PM

There is no best or fastest route. You need to have a demo reel to get work. And you need contacts in the industry on the crew side and the production side. Not to mention the skills and experience on set and managing a crew. This usually takes people about 10+ years to develop these three things to the level where you can get high enough budget work to make a living at it. Some do it quicker by working extra hard or being in the right place at the right time.

The best thing you can do is constantly put yourself in a position to meet the people who are at the level where you want to be. Which means moving to an area with the most opportunity to grow, usually a big city industry center like LA, New York, London, Vancouver, etc. And then working as a camera PA or rental house tech so you can meet working 1st ACs who might take you on set as a loader or 2nd AC. Or if you want to go towards the lighting side, then work at a G&E rental house and hope the rental manager will send you out as a Grip or Electrician once you learn all the gear. That's probably the most common path, but DPs also come out of the VFX and post world, the still photography world, all kinds of places.

Thank you! I'll let you guys know if anything happens. 


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#8 Khalid Khan

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 06:41 PM

Are you trying to become a cinematographer or work in a rental house?

A cinematographer, I didn't want to sound like another kid trying to become a cinematographer.  


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#9 Khalid Khan

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 08:27 AM

1 more question guys, what is the name of the job role called if one is working in a rental house ? 'cleaning equipment, scrubbing cases, moving boxes around, learning the inventory' I need to get work experience first not an internship. Whats the name called if youre not working as a internship but you're cleaning  equipment, scrubbing cases, moving boxes aound etc.

 

Thank you. 


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#10 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 09:17 AM

In the UK work experience is what you do when on a course. It's not unusual for students to do this for a week or two, however, it doesn't qualify you for anything on it's own. If you're in the UK there are camera trainee schemes.

 

Camera trainees often clean equipment, move cases etc, since that's part of the job in the camera department.

 

I'd read about the camera department here: http://creativeskill...industries/film


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#11 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 12:17 PM

Khalid, I hate to be a downer, but I'm going to put out some sad facts.

 

The UK has practically no film industry.

 

That which does exist is basically a service industry making American films. Even if you do manage to get involved in that stuff, you are never likely to become a cinematographer on them, ever, unless you have a route to a US work permit.

 

The number of jobs available in camera departments of the type you're probably thinking of is well under ten a year, nationwide. Since the country is about to enter a severe financial depression, that is likely to contract even further. Unless you have some sort of connection through friends or family, forget about it.

 

Trainee positions, internships, and other low-end employment are frequently used as ways to employ people on unlivably low wages. You will need to be in London, and you will need to survive on at best seventy or so days' employment a year, at camera trainee rates which are currently about £100/day.

 

If you can survive on £7000/year in London, great, because you must then have very rich parents who can buy you a £500,000 flat there.

 

And that would be based on your becoming a very successful, in-demand camera trainee. Because there are almost no jobs available, the likelihood of your advancing from that point is effectively zero. When you get bored, run out of money, or start looking for advancement, they'll stop using you, and get someone else.

 

Most of the advice you will get in this thread will be from the American point of view, where things are very, very different. In the UK, you may as well ask to become an astronaut.

 

P


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#12 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 02:08 PM

If you're talking about rental work in Manchester, it's going to be for television, not film related.


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#13 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 02:30 PM

The situation is much the same, I fear.
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#14 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 02:57 PM

1 more question guys, what is the name of the job role called if one is working in a rental house ? 'cleaning equipment, scrubbing cases, moving boxes around, learning the inventory' I need to get work experience first not an internship. Whats the name called if youre not working as a internship but you're cleaning  equipment, scrubbing cases, moving boxes aound etc.
 
Thank you. 


Prep Technician or Floor Technician. Like I said before, you probably won't be hired to do that unless you are willing to start as an intern, or you have already worked at a different rental house and can show referrals. Like most things in this life, you have to start at the bottom and work your way up, one step at a time.
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#15 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 03:43 PM

Maybe one way to make this work is to get an internship locally at a rental house, work your way up to prep tech, do that for about a year to gain experience and live with family to save money.

Then apply for a job as a prep tech at Panavision UK using your work experience. With a job secured in London, rent a cheap apartment with flat mates using your savings, and make a go of it until you can learn the gear and meet enough working 1st ACs to get them to take you on as a camera trainee, PA, loader, etc. Then start working on set, keep meeting people, work your way up the ladder. Possible?
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#16 Khalid Khan

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 05:38 PM

Maybe one way to make this work is to get an internship locally at a rental house, work your way up to prep tech, do that for about a year to gain experience and live with family to save money.

Then apply for a job as a prep tech at Panavision UK using your work experience. With a job secured in London, rent a cheap apartment with flat mates using your savings, and make a go of it until you can learn the gear and meet enough working 1st ACs to get them to take you on as a camera trainee, PA, loader, etc. Then start working on set, keep meeting people, work your way up the ladder. Possible?

 

Yes, very much so. I suppose I will only get an 'internship' once I hold a diving licence. In the process of trying to get one. I asked 'work experience' because it sounds cheaper than 'internship', (I'm talking financially here) I believe I don't need to get paid If I am getting work experience whereas internship you have to get paid. And by this i mean, some rental houses might not have the money to facilitate me as in internship. Who knows, I might be wrong here. I'll try my best. 


Edited by Khalid Khan, 11 July 2016 - 05:45 PM.

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#17 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 07:16 PM

Definitely get that driver's license, you'll be much less employable without one. Other useful skills to have are soldering, machining, and a basic understanding of electricity and wiring.

If the rental house is going to pay you, take the wages of course. Don't offer to work for free up front! If it's an internship the pay won't be much anyway. Just keep working towards your goal and plan at least two steps ahead so you stay on track. Every move you make should bring you closer to your final goal.
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#18 Khalid Khan

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 07:30 AM

Hello,

 

I'm here to tell you guys what has happened so far. 

 

Things aren't looking too good. I have applied at every rental company I could find near me. Most gave me an email back saying ' Unfortunately we don't have any positions available at the moment, but I'll keep your details on file, should the situation change' or the one that is a bit scary is 'We don’t unfortunately offer work experience due to insurance rules.' Please understand,I am applying for work experience at the moment, I dont want a job offer for obvious reasons. So what do I do now ? I am working in a Fish & Chips shop (on weekends) at the moment because I am literally doing nothing at home and I am waiting for my passport renewal so can hold a driving licence which will take a couple of months to pass. I applied to a camera trainee feature film 1 year stop motion job offer but didn't hear anything back because they probably wanted experience. I am even willing to work for free even though its advised not to.

 

Many thanks

Khalid.  


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#19 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 08:48 AM

The company would still need insurance cover in case there was an accident on their site. I suspect if you were on a course, the college would have such cover for all their students on work experience/ if you were working for a production company checking out kit, you'd be on their cover.  .

 

The first reply will be the one you should expect, having any positions available will be the exemption. Going around in person for quick chats would be the best way, so they get to know you.  .

 

I know one !st AC who wouldn't give a trainee camera position unless the person had been doing at least a year of trainee applications and chats..


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#20 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 09:18 AM

I hate to say I told you so.

 

Unfortunately, if you want to get involved in the sort of single-camera filmmaking that most people have in mind when they start to think about this sort of thing, your chances are very, very remote.

 

P


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