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French Student - Trainee in NY or LA

trainee usa work camera crew

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#1 Matthieu Abily

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 04:37 PM

Hello everybody,

 

I'm posting on a specific matter. I have just achieved my studies in cinematography, and my thesis is over, i have yet to post it, for those who helped on cinematography, especially M. Mullen.

 

I working on sets in France, as a trainee, for commercials or tv series. I was wondering if some of the members of cinematography.com would have some advices, for a french student to set foot on LA or NY, and try to get some work as a trainee, or even if some of you would be like to discuss with me the possibility of recruiting a french students on an american set, as a trainee, third camera assistant..

 

If you recall stories from some of fellows assistants, or crews.. 

 

I know that it could mean craiglist, or working my way with an embassy ? Is the "market" as hard as it is in France ?

 

Best wishes to all of you,

 

Matthieu


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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 07:43 PM

Matthieu,

 

There is no way of working in the US, legally, without a visa. There are many different types, but the one used for Film & TV work, is called the O-1. For you as a trainee, it would be impossible to get, as it is aimed at people who have a proven track record in the film industry, and demonstrated excellence.

 

You could possibly obtain a Student visa by attending an accredited college, which may allow you to work under certain circumstances, but you'd need to check with the US Embassy in Paris.


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#3 Matthieu Abily

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 07:31 PM

Hello Mr. Brereton.

Thanks for your time.

In substance, i need to get back to school in the US, something like the AFI or to do my time in France as an assistant, work on nice projects and then try to get the O-1. It seems that i should focus on keeping working in France. I coul eventually try to go back to studies in the USA, but i won’t be able to be financially sufficient anymore (family can’t keep up forever). It was instructive anyway, i’m glad i asked. Feel free to give your opinion on the matter, i’ll try the US embassy but the only option i’m seeing is France for now.
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#4 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 07:42 PM

In substance, i need to get back to school in the US, something like the AFI or to do my time in France as an assistant, work on nice projects and then try to get the O-1. 

 

 

This is correct. Be aware that the requirements for the O-1 visa would make it very difficult to get, even as an experienced assistant. You would really need to be a DP.

 

https://www.uscis.go...-or-achievement


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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 04:57 PM

As Stuart says, the O-1 is really only for the top of the top of the film food-chain and it is very very hard to get.


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#6 Matthieu Abily

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 10:18 AM

Mr. Brereton, Mr. Sierkowski,

Thanks for your insight.
It seems kinda impossible for a french technician to work for an US production.
I should focus on working on french productions, that could possibly one day help me work under the us flag, but it would come more naturally, and wont be a target anymore.

I have the answers i was looking for. Feel free to contact me to share a beer in France, if you come by.
Best,

Matthieu
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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 06:41 PM

Most certainly. I'm actually thinking of taking a trip to Paris sometime next year, I'll let you know.


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