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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old May 15th, 2003, 02:20 AM   #1
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Working in Hollywood... Any Tips or Advice?

Hi All,

I currently living in Los Angeles and my aspiration is to work as cameraman for TV or Film (just like the rest of LA)

If I ask the question 100 times "How do I get started?" I'll probably get 100 different answers. Right now, I don't have any work experience except taking a class for 2nd AC at Panavison, and I'll be attending the Los Angeles Film School starting May 30th.

I really can't afford to film school, but if they say is true that it's all about connections, I figure this will give me the opportunity to learn the film making process, as well as, meet like minded individuals, and possibly meeting the instructors, which are all working professionals.

My question directed to the professionals out, there how do you get work? Let me explain.

Right now I am scouring the web for every job list, job website, bulletin board, email list, and paid membership sites for jobs. Sometimes I wonder if I an wasting my time and money.

Is this the route to go? Am I wasting my time? Are connections the only way to get jobs in Hollywood?

I subscribed to two PAYING sites that supposedly offer the "Ultimate list of jobs" Am I wasting my money? Do you know of any good sites?

How does a show/movie crew up? I can't imagine that they send out posting to Mandy.com... Do they?

I have never seen any ad that reads: Needed Camera Operator to shoot 350 million dollars movie called "Matrix 2". Submit resume to bob@yahoo.com."

Anyone every heard of the UTA (United Talent Agency) Job list? Supposedly THAT'S the job list that everyone wants, but can't get.

Any advice, tips or the UTA Job List would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Bryant
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Old May 15th, 2003, 05:08 AM   #2
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Well, what level are you now, have you already shot a lot of shortfilms and maybe even a feature, or are you just starting out.

It sounds like you are just starting out, and yeah, pretty much the only way to get started is through contacts, filmschools usually have a couple students that are alreday in the industry but want to learn more so become friends with them.

If you don't have any experience, you pretty much have to start as PA, and then on the set when and if you have the time, you can walk up to the DP and talk to him. If he likes you maybe he will give you some advice or even let you be his third or second AC, but the guys who have the AC positions know quite a bit already.

Basically just go out and shot as many projects as you can, help out other people and if you are a good DP they will automatically recommend you to others, if not, they won't.

About those websites, you have to have experience before they'll even consider you, unless it's a no payment job, but even then, they want people with at least some experience.

Hope that this answered some of your questions.
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Old May 15th, 2003, 06:11 PM   #3
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Hi Bryant--Yeah, the best advice is to work as a PA, especially if you don't have any experience. Just volunteer on everything. Also, get the la411, I think the website is www.la411publications.com. That is a list of a lot of production companies that everyone in LA uses. Start calling, ask if anyone is interested in interns, PA's, runners, ANYTHING. I met the guy who is Chris COlumbus's producing partner a year ago. Really nice guy, just finished Harry Potter II. He was just like you. Came from Tulsa, OK, didn't know anybody. Made, literally, 50 calls a day when he came here. It's persistence that pays off. There are a lot of slackers in Hollywood, too. Bust your ass--make sure the cup of coffee you bring the producer is the best they've ever had--and they will remember you. The best is to start calling, see if you can come into offices, and work on all those student/indies for free so that when you get your first real job you know what you are doing, or at least can wing it. But start with the LA 411, that's your best bet.

Peter

Also, Panavision is a great place to start, but a lot of guys there are "stuck", so I'd try the more aggressive approach.
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Old May 15th, 2003, 06:36 PM   #4
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I love this community..... I love that everyone here is very nice and helpful.

Thank you so much for the advice.

I will do that.
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Old May 16th, 2003, 12:33 PM   #5
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Great Bryant. Keep me updated on how it goes.

Peter
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Old May 20th, 2003, 03:16 PM   #6
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Some more info on what to do when in LA...
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