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Old September 23rd, 2009, 03:45 AM   #1
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Location: Blacksburg VA
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Moving to __?___ city for TV / film production. Need advice!

Hey everyone,

First let me say thanks for taking the time to help me out, it's great to find an online community of this quality.

I recently graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Cinema and Photography, and after completing some projects in my home town I'm now planning to head out to a larger market in hopes of finding work on a professional set / production.
First let me give you an idea of the type of work I'm interested in doing. I would classify it as work that strives to hit on universal themes or deliver a message. Some of my favorite fiction films are: "the brothers bloom", "the fall", "the lord of the rings", "i heart huckabees", "the truman show", "one flew over the cuckoos nest".

And for documentaries: "no end in sight", "roger & me", "the fog of war"

Just wanted to give you guys an idea of the type of work I would prefer in case some cities are better known for one type of work over another. Of course I have no problem developing my skills by working on music videos or other projects with less of a lifetime, but ideally I would like to find a place where I could work on both.

Since LA and NYC are the obvious choices, I would love to hear someone elaborate on the difference in the film scenes of each, or how each is looking right now in terms of gaining a job or internship. or the difference in atmosphere, or pro / con for each.

aside from that any recommendations on other cities I could look into along with any useful information on their film / TV scene would be great. let me just say that so far I've had people recommend: Toronto, Boston, and even Wellington, NZ and Sydney, AU. International recommendations welcome.

PS. I'm also very interested in adventure or nature films. Work at national geographic or discovery would be a dream.

Thanks so much! look forward to seeing what you guys / gals have to say.

- Shawn
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Old September 24th, 2009, 07:57 AM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Little Rock
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First off, you did not say what type of work you are looking for, as there are many different hats to wear in TV/Film. Do you shoot, light, write, cell animation, fetch coffee?
What exactly is it that you want to do?

Second, how do you hope to move to a new city and support yourself without a job?
Are you honestly going to up and move to a new city picked out for you on the internet by someone you don't know? For all you know the person suggesting city X may only be 14 years old without any knowledge of the local job scene, but they saw a really cool skateboard video that was shot in the city.

Third, are there no jobs nearby that you could gain valuable experience at without the expense of moving across the country?
It sure would be easier to land a job in a larger production environment if you had some real world experience first. Local production houses are a great way to learn what they don't teach you in film school.

Good Luck!
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Old September 24th, 2009, 11:53 AM   #3
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I'm open to anything on set or in development, but would prefer camera crew or post production.

I'll move to a city without a job because I have money saved up. No I'm not going to base my decision on 14 year olds, I'm going to collect advice on locations then research them myself or run them by people that have a good amount of experience in film and see what they can tell me of the scene in that town.

No there are no production houses around here, I could continue to do my own independent work, but did not go to film school for that reason, and would like to move to a larger market where I can get on a crew. I've already got quite a lot of real world experience so I'm not worried.
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Old September 24th, 2009, 06:23 PM   #4
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Well, I have lived in LA for about 3 years now. I do video stuff outside of my full time job, mostly for my own projects, but sometimes do work for hire, or volunteer on a crew.

There is definitely no shortage of work, and you find pages of ads for people looking for crew, sometimes they'll even pay you. I have no experience working on any studio or big budget productions but I will say that this place is harder in many aspects of film making. There is lots of competition and lots of rules that smaller places do not have, but you have a lot of talent here and a lot of potential work.
Talenos Productions at
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Old September 28th, 2009, 10:27 AM   #5
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I would suggest checking out Craigslist for the cities you are considering. There are often production jobs listed under the jobs section for tv/film/video and also under creative gigs and crew gigs. This will give you some idea of the opportunities available in a certain city right now. I currently live in New Hampshire (obviously not the center of film/tv production), and I have found many chances to work with professional crews via Craigslist.
Jon Betz
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 01:40 PM   #6
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I would reccomend moving to a smaller, but still active market.

Boston, Miami, New Orleans and especially Austin all come to mind. They have a healthy market for Video/Film, Hollywood movies and TV shows get made in those cities often, and they all have very healthy "scenes" for independent film.

LA and NYC would have the most stuff going on in them, but there you are also facing being a VERY small fish in a gigantic pond.

I work in a very small market, where my skill set is considered highly specialized. My only real competition for free-lance work comes from the TV stations (small market TV station crew tend to be hacks), so i get a lot of work here, but hollywood movies rarely, if ever, come down.

the 4 cities i mentioned above are really in between both of those scenarios. Theres a healthy market for all levels of production in those cities, but none of them are so innundated with crew that every craigslist posting will have hundreds of people in competition with you for work.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 01:08 AM   #7
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Well, .................

you could do what this "loser" did:

Ridley Scott: 'I'm doing pretty good, if you think about it' - Features, Films - The Independent

For that was how he was depicted 30 years ago by one total hack.

Doesn't seem to have slowed him down any.

Read the article carefully, it has plenty of clues as to how he did it.

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