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These Are the People in Your Neighborhood
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Old May 14th, 2007, 01:30 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Anchorage, AK
Posts: 315
Greetings from Eagle River, Alaska

Hi Everyone,

I happened upon this forum a few weeks ago, and I've been spending as much time as possible reading and soaking up the vast wealth of knowledge that's stashed in here! Thanks to everyone here to help make this the most informative-and friendly board I've ever seen.

Anyway, a little bit about myself... I moved up to the Anchorage/Eagle River area from Chicago back in 2005 because my 3D graphics/animation/video game production career was going absolutely nowhere. I've wanted to live here for almost 10 years, so I figured I might as well take a chance and give it a shot. A few months after my arrival, I landed a job at a local TV station as a production assistant. I was totally thrilled at first, but as time went by, I began to understand why morale was generally abysmal (stories for later). A few people ended up leaving, including my direct supervisor. And so now, 2 years later, I'm basically handling everything from internal station promotions to all the aspects of commercial production. Also, I think I'm the only person in town that can use Autodesk's 3D Studio Max...

While I love working with video and the various challenges that come with it, I've been seriously thinking of starting a production business on the side to bring in some extra income. I'm sure some of you have learned that those of us that work for small market TV stations don't get those glamorous salaries!

Anyway, I'll probably spend a lot more time just reading and learning about the ins and outs of video production and all that stuff before I start posting my two cents. I do know my way around Premiere, After Effects, and a couple other programs, so I might be found hanging around those threads from time to time. Thanks again for putting together a great board!
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Old May 14th, 2007, 04:20 AM   #2
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Hi Shawn, welcome aboard DV Info net. It's good to have you with us!

Sounds like you're running around with your hair on fire :)

All the best,

Rob Lohman,
DV Info Wrangler & RED Code Chef

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Old May 14th, 2007, 11:22 AM   #3
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Location: Anchorage, AK
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Yes, I do admit that there are times when I think my hair is on fire... although it seems to suffer more from "slow" combustion which results with it turning grey... Have a good one!

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Old May 15th, 2007, 02:30 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Juneau, AK
Posts: 818
Cool, another Alaska guy!

Welcome to the dvinfo forums, it's a great place to hang out and learn.
I too started working in TV after I graduated from the University of Alaska with my TV production degree. I worked at KTVF (producer/director)in Fairbanks before moving on to KTUU in Anchorage as a news photographer/editor. Have worked for pretty much every TV station in the state (KTVA, KIMO, KTOO, KUAC, pretty much everyone) since then. Finally started up my own video production company in Juneau, as the pay flat out sucked. Now I don't make much more, but I work a lot less!

If you have any questions about any aspect of doing business for yourself just ask, I have learned a lot of the hard lessons. By the way, did you hear about the big cruise ship accident down here yesterday? Busy day here in Juneau for me as EVERY network wanted video of it.

Gabe Strong
G-Force Productions
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Old May 16th, 2007, 05:41 AM   #5
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Central Coast - NSW, Australia
Posts: 1,420
Hi Shawn,

It's a great forum - and that's a great name - Eagle River Alaska, I'd love to see some footage
Cheers - Paul M. :
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Old May 16th, 2007, 12:00 PM   #6
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Location: Anchorage, AK
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Hi Gabe,

Awesome! So there is at least one other fellow Alaskan in here!

I whole-heartedly agree that this forum is great. I've learned so much over the past couple of weeks, but it feels like I've barely scratched the surface. The funny thing is that this is one of those industries I sort of fell into by total chance.

My original goal was to establish a career in the video game industry, modeling environments or doing textures and lighting. Unfortunately, the only offers I could find at the time were those lovely "internships". You know, where you work 40 hours a week- for no pay. Granted, the experience would've been great, but landlords usually don't accept "But I'm getting better at 3D Modeling!" as rent payment. After moving up here, I figured I had to change my career path. But luckily, I was hired on to the local ABC affiliate in an entry level position doing graphic work and basic video editing. Before long, I found myself fully immersed in the land of video, and since I have the occasional opportunity to incorporate my 3D ideas, I'm finding it to be incredibly enjoyable and fulfilling.

Well, all except for the pay. I could go on and on about that, but maybe in a different thread. I've been thinking of starting up my own business up here as well, but jumping all the hurdles of planning and raising funds are becoming quite challenging. Its definitely a risk, but then again, I'm not one to back away from a good challenge! I'll definitely keep you in mind if I have any questions- which will come along the more I read through this forum.

Anyway, I did see some cool footage of that sternwheeler that ran aground. I'm sure our reporter was happy to report on something other than what's going on at the capitol building! Now, the big things I'm waiting for are more federal indictments for state legislators... Heheh, I think they should just put bars on the windows of the Veco building. Its seems like whenever there's any big crime going down, the FBI always goes there first.

Have a good one!

Oh, and Paul, thanks for stopping by! I will try and get some footage of Eagle River up here at some point- when I get a camera... In the meantime, I do have some still photography of mine posted at:
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Old May 16th, 2007, 12:57 PM   #7
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Location: Juneau, AK
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If you want a laugh, take a look at this thread

Make sure you check out the video link I post in that thread. By the way, I know I was kind of ripping your station on that thread, no offense was intended, I just get fed up with all the "low budget" stuff they pulled when I used to work for them. As I said in that thread, if I could afford a light kit working for the meager salary they paid me, I KNOW they could have done it, at least they could have been honest and told me they didn't want to eat into the profit margin. And the cell phone video don't get me started.

But anyways, you know all about the pay thing. That was one of my reasons for getting out. It's not like I make a lot more money than working for local TV....about the same or a little bit more, BUT I work about 2 days a week for that money. In Juneau, that's about all the work I can get. So I make about the same money and have way more free time.....good trade off in my book. My hourly rate is about 10 times higher than what KIMO ever paid though.

As far as starting a business, I was lucky and one of those guys who always drove a old beater and rented a dump cause I wanted to save money. So even on a news photogs salary I was able to save enough to get started without going into debt. I think I have about 30 grand into gear, camera, tripod, greenscreen, wireless mics, mixer, wired mics, edit deck, hard drive space, NTSC monitor, audio monitors, graphics and music libraries, tons and tons of video software and plug ins and the like. Like I said, feel free to ask me for any tips. Also, you should send me a demo of some of your 3d stuff. I may be able to hire you to do some just never know....
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Old May 17th, 2007, 12:23 AM   #8
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Location: Anchorage, AK
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Hi Gabe,

Hehe... All I can say is that I got a hearty laugh out that entire thread- and also that "Buy back Alaska" PSA. I couldn't imagine anyone being able to survive off of a mere $75k salary. But then again, I'm sure if you scrimp and save and eat Top Ramen and Hormel's "Potted Meat Product", you just might be able to eek out a meager living!

And then there is the Superviewer. I'm involved in that project, but I think that's all I'll say on that for now... I enjoy hearing the wide variety of opinions on it though. It seems that everyone has a slightly different opinion on why they think its good or bad. I'm curious to see how it all pans out...

And oh yes, I'm no stranger to the pay scale either. Hopefully, that will change a little soon enough, since I just had a very good performance review this morning! Woohoo! Don't worry about ripping on the station or anything like that- I'm sure you paid your dues... and then some! ;)

I'd be happy to send you a demo as well. I'm not one to scoff at a little extra moola.

I imagine it took you a little while to acquire all the equipment you have now. As for myself, being a computer geek has come in handy. I have a couple of systems that would perform adequately for this line of work. All I really need to do is boost my hard drive space, and I'm there!

Right now, I'm trying to save up for a Sony HVR-V1U. I know its not an F900 or XDCAM or anything like that, but it looks like a great "starter" camera, especially for breaking into the world of HD. From the test clips I've seen, I think its quality is on par or better than most of the equipment I use at work. Also, that 60GB hard drive looks like a dream come true! Some people have tried to talk me out of buying that particular camera, but I'm skeptical of their reasoning. Basically, I've heard that I should NOT purchase anything small like that because it doesn't "look professional"- AND because of the lack of "true" professional features, such as lack of an iris ring and the fact that it has a fixed lens. That sort of thinking just doesn't add up to me. Anyway, B&H has a whole V1 kit listed for about $8700. It includes several accessories in addition to needed supplies like batteries and a tripod. I think my next step will be to start seeking out other people's thoughts and opinions on the hardware included in this kit.

Well, on that note, I need to get away from the computer for just a little while... Have a good one, and enjoy that Juneau weather!
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