Jump to content


Photo

Taking Jobs outside your area


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 Jay Young

Jay Young
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 480 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Lexington KY

Posted 26 February 2017 - 08:38 AM

I've been listening to a lot of talks, interviews and reading books about some of the great cinematographers lost in the past year.  One thing that has stuck with me is that they usually all say take every job that comes by.  

 

So last night, I turned down a job.  Not because I couldn't work it, or didn't like the project, but because the job was for a Swing 2nd AC, B-cam 1st AC. 

 

I came up through electric.  Jobs that I don't DP, usually hire me as Gaffer.  I can't remember ever pulling focus on a serious, professional job.  To that point, I called the guy that I usually hire as my 1st and asked if he was available.  Because I really felt as quickly as they wanted to move, even tho I can build out a camera with the best of them, pulling focus should be left to someone with experience and mindset, and practiced hands. 

 

I may know all the terms, and understand the equipment, but since I haven't performed that role, I declined. 

 

I wanted to know if any of you ever take jobs in different areas than you are experienced.  Some work better than others - I would like to think I can probably grip as best as the next person.  However I would stay away from costuming - I do well to dress myself in the morning... 

 

 

Love to hear your thoughts. 


  • 0


Support Cinematography.com and buy gear using our Amazon links!
PANASONIC LUMIX GH5 Body 4K Mirrorless Camera, 20.3 Megapixels, Dual I.S. 2.0, 4K 422 10-bit, Full Size HDMI Out, 3 Inch Touch LCD, DC-GH5KBODY (USA Black)

#2 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5416 posts
  • Director

Posted 26 February 2017 - 01:44 PM

I get criticized a lot for not only being the producer, but also being the director, writer, and editor.  People actually think I "owe" someone else a job, and by doing so many key jobs myself I am somehow "robbing" someone else of an opportunity.

 

Actually I could also DOP my shoots quite effectively myself as well.  And I could also be my own Production Designer.  I have chosen to hand off these two jobs so that I have more hands on set.

 

I would agree, take as many jobs as you can.  The industry is too competitive to do just one thing.

 

R,


  • 0

#3 Satsuki Murashige

Satsuki Murashige
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3510 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 26 February 2017 - 10:17 PM

Well, I think it goes without saying that you should avoid taking jobs that you are not qualified for, unless it's a student shoot or an entry-level position where any incompetence will be chalked up to a learning experience. Otherwise, you risk damaging your reputation with the producers, director, and crew if you screw up.

I hear this advice frequently as well, but my take on it is that you have to strike a balance between maximizing the networking value of always being on set and meeting new people, versus the risk of being branded as a jack-of-all trades and master-of-none. Being on set frequently, being visible at the rental houses, and staying fresh in producer's minds will usually lead to more calls for work. But only if they know exactly what you do and how well you do it.

I've seen it work both ways, where some folks don't advance because they've never established themselves as a specialized crew member in a certain department. The alternative is where some people disappear from view for long stretches at a time because they will only take certain kinds of work. Neither extreme is good - you have to strike a balance.

I think one tricky area is when you are dipping your toe one level up. For example, if you're a gaffer who starts taking shooting jobs, then you need to be careful not to step on the toes of your regular DP clients. They're not going to want to give you business if you're also taking theirs. Same thing for ACs and DPs, or DPs and directors. A certain grace period where you are going back and forth is normal, but after a year or so it can start to rub people the wrong way. If you work in a market where dedicated camera operators are scarce, then the DP/Camera Op work combo is relatively safe and common.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to take my own advice and start making some phone calls. ;)
  • 0

#4 Sam Javor

Sam Javor
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 98 posts
  • Student

Posted 27 February 2017 - 06:47 AM

In my market, I would just be honest and open.  Let them know you'd love to do the job but haven't done it before and want to make sure that that would be ok. 

I just had a last minute multicam theatrical project where we had a hell of a time just getting a warm body for a wide camera... we ended up getting a still photographer to run it.

Yeah, jobs probably should be left to people with experience, mindset, and practiced hands... but they probably already called those people and they weren't available... :)


  • 0

#5 Jay Young

Jay Young
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 480 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Lexington KY

Posted 27 February 2017 - 01:30 PM

The most interesting thing about this whole deal is that the guy that was suppose to be hired in the first place, was not, and then my friend said 'Call Jay!", so they did, which I then passed off to the guy who was suppose to be hired in the first place!  


  • 0

#6 Satsuki Murashige

Satsuki Murashige
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3510 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 27 February 2017 - 11:08 PM

Sounds like perhaps they just don't know many ACs.

Or, maybe someone on the production team had a bad experience with the first guy - pretty much everybody (no matter how experienced) is on somebody's 'no call' list, and likewise pretty much everyone has their own personal list too.

Or maybe they just really like and trust you, or the person who recommended you. Reputation can carry a lot of weight, though I still think it's weird that they would try to hire someone in another department to cover the job.
  • 0



CineTape

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post

Abel Cine

rebotnix Technologies

CineLab

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

The Slider

Tai Audio

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

Paralinx LLC

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineLab

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

Visual Products

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

Glidecam

Metropolis Post

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies