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For those living in New Mexico


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#1 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 02:44 AM

Still looks like I will be shooting a union feature in New Mexico in the Sante Fe region in Sept./Oct.

Any serious film student-type who lives out there who is interested in working as an unpaid intern, please contact me and I'll consider it.

Has to be local person who has somewhere to stay.
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#2 Mark Allen

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 03:49 AM

New Mexico is the New Canada.

:)

Suddenly every project that gets discussed "What do you think of shooting in New Mexico."

Apparently there is some sort of 20% budget recoupment and free locations.
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#3 Brian Wells

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 11:13 AM

... and the state splits the cost of crew salaries through an "on the job training" incentive while production pays the other half ... or so I was told by a NM producer ...
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#4 Richard Boddington

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 11:40 AM

Yeah, many US states have caught on to Canada's best tricks.

And with the US dollar still down in the dumps it's hardly worth shooting in Canada for a lousy .18 cents on the dollar.

R,
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 11:43 AM

... and the state splits the cost of crew salaries

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


No, what I've been told is that the basic union rates are slightly lower in N.M. plus the state pays back 20% of the crew members salary to production.

It's sort of an issue because now I'm having trouble taking some of my regular guys with me from Los Angeles, simply because of the cost savings if I don't use them.
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#6 Matt Pacini

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 12:11 PM

Should be some beautiful scenery to shoot.
I went to Carlsbad Caverns in about 1985, and although I don't think I'd want to live in such harsh weather, it's really an interesting look.

I find it interesting that unions are so harsh on their pay scales, etc., but they have no problem having people work for nothing whatsoever.
It's strange how this whole "intern" thing exists almost exclusively in the entertainment industry, which is mostly dominated by unions and run by people (at the top) who argue about the morality of passing higher minimum wage laws, etc., then they bring people on and pay them nothing.
I was on the Dreamworks website job section a while back, and there are all sorts of jobs that you can only get if you first intern for free, which is damn difficult if you have to pay rent and eat and other non-essential activities like that.
Bizarre.
I wonder when all this got started?
It's a great opportunity, and I'd have interned in the past if I could have afforded it, but I think most people can't.

(Just so nobody mistakes my statement, David I'm obviously NOT talking about you, since I realize you're not the producer/studio).

MP

Edited by Matt Pacini, 21 July 2005 - 12:14 PM.

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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 12:27 PM

The internship offer was MY idea, not the union's nor the production's!

There is no budget for an extra, inexperienced camera crew person. No one but ME is asking someone to work on the movie as an intern, and I'm not doing this because I like to get free work out of someone -- I'm trying to do it AS A FAVOR. People ask me all the time to intern with me, without solicitation, and usually my shoots are too small to accommodate even an extra body on set eating the chips at craft service so I say no.

You make it sound like I'm trying to get free work out of someone. Fine, I don't want to be accused of that -- so I guess I won't mentor anyone on this film. Are you happy now? Now no one will get exploited.

I wasn't planning on giving anyone WORK unless they wanted to carry a case or run a cable; I just thought someone could learn something by hanging out on a movie set with me. Jeez...

It's actually a big deal to have unpaid people on the set since the production becomes liable for their safety, etc. so it's not as common as you'd think. I never see an unpaid grip intern, for example. Even a camera intern is generally not allowed to do anything that might risk equipment or themselves. I had an intern for the first time on my last show, "Akeelah and the Bee", and it was a nice experience for both of us. He was a film student in town.

I just was wondering if there were any New Mexico locals here on this forum but I guess not.
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#8 Austin Schmidt

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 12:42 PM

I think it is a great idea. It is different being an intern for a production department then for the DP specifically. Almost like a mentorship. There are many young people who would like to be as close to the action as possible. This particular scenario provides a free education, even saving that person money from going to film school. Because there was never an opportunity like that for me, I vowed a while ago that when I was working on bigger productions that I would do it for other people who were enthusiastic and dedicated like when I first started. David, I applaud something like this, and believe it should be done more often. There is no reason not to pass on all the knowledge you have attained over the years, especially if you don't have children.
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#9 anamexis

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 04:13 PM

I agree with Mr. Schmidt and Mr. Mullen. I got the opportunity to intern grip for the DP on a very small film (as part of the 48 hour film festival, for those who are familiar with it) and I cannot stress how much I learned from just one day on the set. I just moved lights and dressed cords, but just learning the most basic of how things work on a set was invaluable. (And also, learning how to rip gaff tape.) I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would love to do it again. And to work under someone with as much experience and knowledge as Mr. Mullen would only make it more wonderful. I would probably pay to do it, it sure as hell is cheaper than film school. :)

Anyways, this makes me wish I lived in New Mexico.

Oh, and unpaid internships certainly are not specific to the entertainment industry. They are found all over (I would know, I've applied to quite a few.)
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 04:50 PM

Before Matt says anything, I know he wasn't attacking me although I wrote my post before I got the end of his post because I did feel he was questioning my motives, that I was simply looking for slave labor (before I read his caveat at the end.)

For better or worse, unpaid internships are a part of many fields -- in film archives for example -- where due to budget constraints, the choice is usually unpaid interns or no interns.

On low-budget films, there is also a tendency to see unpaid PA's are some sort of slave labor force to be used -- on the other hand, they don't have the budget to pay many of these people. But no one should ever EXPECT unpaid labor.

On studio union features, there is not as much unpaid work as you'd think. Too many restrictions, too many insurance liabilities. In fact, some set PA's might be unionized under the DGA for all I know. But there are interns in various departments.

There's a reason that the first and only time I had an intern (and only part-time) was on my last film, simply because I do have problems with the notion that someone is going to show up to work every day and not get paid. But people keep asking for that opportunity so I guess that's their decision. I certainly can't pay them to be there. And I don't really need them there to get the work done.
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#11 Richard Boddington

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 05:16 PM

"For better or worse, unpaid internships are a part of many fields -- "

Yes I agree.

We have many unpaid interns working at the local hospital as doctors. They usually work on the homeless so if they lose a few no one will really care. Once they can keep the homeless alive they get a paid job treating real patients.

There are also a lot of unpaid interns at many nuclear power generating stations in Canada. They work as unpaid engineers in towns and cities not deemed to be very important. So if there's a meltdown it's no big loss.

When they become proficient they are moved to paid positions in the big important cities like Moose Jaw, Medicine Hat, and Blow Me Down NFLD.

R,
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#12 oscar jimenez

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 06:32 PM

I dont know, but even now that Im shooting stuff myself as a DP and Dir, when somedody that has much longer time than me in the bussiness is coming to town to do a job, I happily run as whatever, grip, electrician, I dont mind as long as I cam stil learn new tricks. I had the honor to work in a shoot with Mr Steve Mason ASC and certainly, was not the pay, but all that you can learn watching and asking.
Even asking the DP, when you see he has the time to answer.
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#13 Mark Allen

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 06:42 PM

It's strange how this whole "intern" thing exists almost exclusively in the entertainment industry,

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I seem to remember some information about an intern in the white house.


I think internships are actually a GIFT from the production companies for the most part. I see it as a selfish act that my vis fx company no longer accepts interns. It's too much effort to educate someone in the middle of a job. We get requests, but I tried it in the past and it was just too much of a strain on time.

I did an internship for six months unpaid - reading scripts, helping casting, etc.. My only regret was that after that I didn't do ANOTHER one in a company I felt I wanted to grow with. So, I commend anyone who takes on interns - just by being there - they are learning. It's up to the intern to make it educational though.
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#14 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 07:09 PM

David, I wouldnt say "You have to live in New Mexico"... Perhaps someone would be willing to put thereself up there durring the filming time (no, I dont have the money to move to New Mexico for a few months, so count me out on this one).
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#15 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 07:59 PM

David, I wouldnt say "You have to live in New Mexico"... Perhaps someone would be willing to put thereself up there durring the filming time (no, I dont have the money to move to New Mexico for a few months, so count me out on this one).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


No, you don't HAVE to, of course -- I just don't want it to be a financial burden on someone because the production isn't going to provide housing or per diem.

But I get the impression that there are not too many New Mexico residents in this forum...
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#16 Matt Irwin

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 08:05 PM

David, this is a fantastic idea you have.

I am fortunate to have a father who is a DP as well and I grew up working on his sets in the summers as an unpaid camera intern. The experience of being able to watch and learn from seasoned pros, and then work with them was PRICELESS. I'm glad to see that you are willing to give someone who may not have a relative or friend in the business an opportunity like that.

Anyone in New Mexico (or that can get there) should take up this offer!!

Edited by Matt Irwin, 21 July 2005 - 08:06 PM.

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#17 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 08:21 PM

Are you Mark Irwin's son? If so, say hello to him for me and tell him he looks too young to have an adult son!
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#18 Brian Wells

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 11:01 PM

I do have problems with the notion that someone is going to show up to work every day and not get paid... I just don't want it to be a financial burden on someone...

I think it is great the high level of integrity you have in this area. If this internship happens, your apprentice will be learning so much more than lights and camera.

Thank you for setting a good example here

best-
Brian
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#19 oscar jimenez

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 01:03 PM

As far as I see it this way, it is not "to educate" in set, "in situ" There are two kinds of individuals: the ones that really want to learn ( those will read as many books, learn by watching taking special care to pay real "attention " and be smart enough to know when the time to ask anything is right - using common sense, those will pay deligthfully the quote with sweat, pain and blood, they know they are on their way there. And there are the other kind of individuals, that are the opposite. ) I do accept interns or trainees, but for one day trial, if don't see real interest and colaboration from serving coffee to loading sandbags and triple raisers, or heavy magnetic ballasts, then I surely now they are not quite made for this job.
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#20 Matt Irwin

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 02:13 PM

Are you Mark Irwin's son?  If so, say hello to him for me and tell him he looks too young to have an adult son!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Yeah, heheh. I'll pass along the message.
I've been mentioning this forum to him- he'd have some very useful input- if only he'd open his laptop for once!
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