How would I start in "the industry" at

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Old September 7th, 2005, 06:38 AM   #1
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Location: Cardiff, UK
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How would I start in "the industry"

Ok, I'm sure this has been different for everyone, but if i've made the 400th dupe on this topic, i apologise.

I've not been involved in video for that long, I bought a consumer level $500 JVC camera a few years ago, it died on me (typical jvc deck probs) so I upgraded to a Sony TRV950, then when I had the option to get a good deal on the PD150 about 14 months ago, I jumped at the chance. I shoot a lot of gigs with permission, so I get stage access and soundboard access etc, and so my main technical side of it has been setting up the camera to shoot as well as i can in low light at close distances etc. I tend to work by myself at the moment, so i'll mix audio sources from 2 mics with a minidisc from soundboard and put them together in a single camera mix, or if i've roped a friend in to help, maybe a second.

After a few years of this, people have kinda realised my stuff aint too shabby (its nothing amazing, but watching tv kinda shows me that you don't have to be!) and i've been offered a fair bit of work for the next few months (various band promo videos, taking control of an all day event A/V recording wise, compilation DVD for another guy etc etc) and i'm charging next to nothing (or nothing) for most of this, in order to build up portfolio and experience. I've also entered the DVC #3 from this site, as I've never really done any script based shooting etc before.

I do love the music side of things, and if there was enough good paid work in the genres i tend to stick with (heavy metal, punk, hardcore etc... easy access to bands etc in comparison to the pop scene, which is great forme!) i'd quit my job and do that full time and be the happiest guy around. Alas whilst i've always got enough stuff to deal with, i don't think i could live off it.

I just don't really know what to do from here, i don't have any formal training or professional experience, i don't earn much money in my current job, so starting in something kinda basic (as long as it covers my living expenses etc) wouldn't bother me.. (i make about £10,000 a year doing admin for a temp agency). academic wise i've had 2 scholarships under my belt, good GCSE results, did my Alevel/Adv GNVQ, did university etc, so i'm not stupid and i learn things quite well. I can't drive alas...

if you were me, what would you do? I own an alright amount of equipment, but money is tight and i simply can't buy all the toys i want (proper tripod, decent XLR mic etc) but i've got the basics at least.. now to learn how to steady that damn glidecam! :)

edit: thanks for the move, so many forums its not always obvious when typing on a lunch break in which to pop it in :D cheers :)

Last edited by James Connors; September 7th, 2005 at 07:26 AM.
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Old September 7th, 2005, 10:02 PM   #2
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Get a reel done. Share it with as many people as possible. Meet as many people as possible in your target markets. Get them to introduce you to as many people as possible. Get some paying clients. Do great work, then get some more paying clients at higher rates. Repeat process.

Academic background is meaningless, your reel is your credentials.
You are either growing or dying.
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Old September 8th, 2005, 01:40 AM   #3
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Thanks for that Bob, yeah I want to build up a portfolio and cut a reel from that, which will probably be complete around Christmas time. I really need to vary my work , as at the moment its simply live music only pretty much...

And yeah, academic background evidently means nothing to anyone in any industry, hence still doing admin temp work for next to no wage after wasting 3/4 of my life in education. Typical! :D
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Old September 8th, 2005, 11:45 AM   #4
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Have you thought about taking one of the bands that you have worked with and making a music video for them? That way you can show your creative side also, not just theirs. Just a thought.
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Old September 9th, 2005, 10:39 AM   #5
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Yeah thats my next step... i'm lucky in two factors...

1. my flatmates band (who i lived with last year so know really well) are doing well, have european distribution on their new EP and I'm sure they'll land a deal with a decent label within the next year.. they need a video done so i'm their logical choice. i want it to be really good, so trying to use contacts to get cheap access to a club etc to shoot it in, its just a case of working out the creative side of it with them... nobody can ever agree on anything ! (and the song we're doing is 6.5mins long, think Metallica "One" lenghts heh)

2. i run a local website for bands, so lots of people i can approach to do videos for.. alas at the moment i have so much video work on i can't get this done until maybe the new year... but maybe i can sneak one in on a weekend with a monday off work if its a simple shoot.

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Old September 9th, 2005, 04:44 PM   #6
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in general you want to work with music video's ?

have your own company creating music video's ?

or is your real thing directing ? DP ? editor ? producing ? production design ?
idea person ? all of the above ??

i guess it all depends on where one is sitting at the moment .. from what i see - there are production company's that do music video's .. they have directors ( 1-15) under contract .. the company shops the DIRECTORS reels around to music labels/ groups .. once they get a job .. Directors usually have a list of DP's , production designers , editors etc they like to use .. many times a different company is hired to edit ...

sometimes it is wise to work in the "industry" to get experience ( you meet alot of persons/contacts ) then start a company ..
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Old September 27th, 2005, 02:18 AM   #7
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If there's a local community TV station, try applying there. I started volunteering at our local one and it has given me some incredible opportunities.
Mark Utley
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