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Old May 1st, 2006, 08:12 PM   #1
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Location: San Francisco, CA
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Freelancing for local crews?

Hello guys. I was unsure of what forum to put this in and this seemed like the closest match. I am wondering how some of you guys go looking for freelance work. I don't know where to start and am kind of overwhelmed by the whole situation. Anything, weddings, news crews, whatever would be OK for me, but where do I start? Equipment isn't a problem, I'm entirley equiped and ready to impress whoever I /ask/ but, like I said, I just don't know where to start.

For example, if I wanted to ask my local channel NBC channel (not a big channel, small town in rural Montana) if they needed some freelance work, how should I ask such a question?

Thanks,
-Sam
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Old May 1st, 2006, 10:21 PM   #2
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Heres how I would ask "Hi my name is:(insert name here) and I'm a freelance videographer. I'd like to start doing some stringer work for you. I have all my own gear and would be willing to do the grunt assignments to get started" Some along those lines if of course you're willing to work sporadically and cheap to start with. The bigger question you should be asking is who do you ask? To that end I would say either the news editor, assignment desk or the video manager. Title may change due to size of station. It's not all that hard to ask the question. You merely looking for work. It's finding the right person to ask so ask to see the person who is in charge of location crews or the person in charge of hiring outside labor or the person who contracts independent camera operators.
I still do some stringing now and then for an agency - I used to sleep with a PD/FD scanner going on my nightstand. My wife put an end to that :-()
Good luck,
Don
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 11:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom
I still do some stringing now and then for an agency - I used to sleep with a PD/FD scanner going on my nightstand.
I appreciate your advice, Don. And the quoted text above doesn't sound like too bad of an idea. When I live in/closer to town I will have to try that out. Too bad most night calls will be domestic disputes around here.

Edit: I guess it might also be important to ask: how should I know if I'm getting ripped off or not? Will they offer me a price or will I have to offer them a price?

-Sam

Last edited by Sam Sutch; May 2nd, 2006 at 12:28 PM.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 03:10 PM   #4
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In this area the general going rate for freelance stuff is generally between $150 and $300 depending on what it is. A big fire with some good interviews with the Chief and maybe an eyewitness will bring more than a car accident that only ties up traffic-(no one hurt) I hate to say it but in the news biz, they want to see the "blood and guts" not the real stuff maybe but certainly the more gruesome the event the better for them. (ratings) It's a very tough way to make a living but if you don't mind working fairly cheap for the time involved and running out at 2AM in a rainstorm (I don't anymore) it can be exciting.

good luck,
Don
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