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Taking Care of Business
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Old November 30th, 2005, 04:50 PM   #1
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Need words of wisdom about career

Hi all

I've been on this board for a while now and have developed a lot of respect for the knowledge you people hold, so I figured this would be a good place to come to for advise about careers and life.

I currently work for the Australian government as an audio visual tech and with that, do a fair bit of video editing and production. Over a couple of years I have grown to love, and almost become obsessed with video production, in particular, editing - I also love camera op.
I've learnt a fair bit just by doing it, and have read books and watch videos etc... all to gain a deeper understanding, but the work we do is quite limited and so I have not had a good variety of material to work with.

I'm getting to the point ...

So the idea of doing a uni course has been keeping me awake. If I had the opportunity to drop everything and do it now, I would, without hesitation. But there's always a catch, isn't there?
I'm nearly 29, live with my girlfriend and her daughter with the usual debts and lifestyle that come with living in the suburbs and do not have a bulging wallet. So I need to work full time or at least earn something close to what I earn now (about $42,000).

I've searched for part time courses but all I could come up with was either full time uni or part time private college which I do not have the capital for.

Now I understand that with enough time and patience I could learn everything I'd like to learn through practice and private research, but it can be really frustrating and I feel like I'm missing a big ingredient - contacts - people to work with on a variety of projects.

So I am hoping to get a little advice on what to do. I want to work in video production (ideally editing or with the camera) but have no idea on what to do. I'm not aiming for feature film stuff - I'd be happy working for a small production or advertising company. I feel I have some talent that's worth developing but don't know how to develop it so as to be able to go for jobs with confidence.

Has anyone been in a similar situation? Does anyone know of part time uni courses that I could undertake?
Does anyone have general advice or insight to offer?
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Old December 3rd, 2005, 12:55 AM   #2
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ok then .... well, I guess some rewording is needed

What is the best path to becoming an editor (or even a camera op.) if you cannot do full time uni, and do not have money to pay for part time private courses?
Video production is part of my job, but it's ameture, so I need a way to learn, practice and build a some what professional reel.
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Old December 3rd, 2005, 09:51 AM   #3
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Go visit one or all of the news directors at your local TV station(s). Explain what you just wrote here. Ask them to allow you to intern... particularly on weekends and holidays when they're short staff. Nothing makes you learn faster than looming deadlines, and that's what the newsroom is about.

G'day, mate.
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Old December 3rd, 2005, 04:20 PM   #4
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G'day - hehe

Thanks, I hadn't thought of approaching TV networks for some experience
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Old December 3rd, 2005, 05:20 PM   #5
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It seems that a first issue is WHERE you will want to work. If relocation is not an option, then you have to figure out who might hire you in the area. Then go try to meet with the owner for 5-10 minutes to discuss trends in the industry for a research project (maybe for your job??). Stress that you are NOT looking for a job, just trying to learn about the local industry trends. Ask him what career talents will be most in demand in 2 years, and what skills are hardest for him to find now. Take your career to where the puck is going to be. And oh yeah, you just made a great networking contact, and can probably talk to him on the phone in the future iwthout too much trouble..
You are either growing or dying.
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Old December 4th, 2005, 11:53 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice Bob. :)
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Old December 5th, 2005, 01:06 PM   #7
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what Bob said, but two things:

1. if you feel you need education, there's no reason not to work fulltime&study on the side. although i don't have gf&her daugher, i have to take care 'o my retired parents so it's about the same. i work fulltime&currently take 4 courses. been doing it for a few years and will do so for another few years. thus, it's not entirely impossible. it's all about patience.

2. for your situation, i wouldn't study for this stuff. most of this IS practice&learning, it can't be taught. sounds like you're technically inclined, so you're pretty much there. follow what BOb said about networking&contacts. that's the majority of the biz right there, the schmoozing part. it's a very social job.
bow wow wow
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Old December 5th, 2005, 03:36 PM   #8
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the thought of going to uni was more to gather contacts and to mingle in like minded social circles
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Old December 5th, 2005, 05:42 PM   #9
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i went to the local community college for teleproduction, but honestly, i've learned a lot more doing it myself than i ever did there... the exceptions to that would be to maybe take a good class on lighting, and oh yeah, definitely script writing.

with the advent of the internet, the social aspects are taken care of, better than you ever could at a school... however, if you need to mingle with local people, find the local videographers association, and start going to the meetings.

if you don't already have a video camera, get one, and start shooting things that you are interested in... it's a lot more fun to edit subjects that you find interesting.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 02:53 PM   #10
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one more thing you can do....

here in st. louis, where 99.999999999% of all media jobs are sales, or sales, or sales, and did I mention sales, you have to either fund/grant your own work and struggle for an outlet, (pay pbs airtime rates to air it or community tv stations etc) there is no real way to make contacts.
news producers are very closed door and there is no film industry. (6-8 video production firms)

here is what we did for contacts - milage may vary.

find your local movie salon (no not rentals) where filmakers get together to discuss their projects and one or more will do screenings for feedback at the meets. talk to the directors get to know them, then make a short piece to be shown for feedback. once everyone knows what you can do... let them know your situation... this will at least get you some contacts, piece work (around your day job), expierance and sometimes they will give you a copy for your reel.

after all that the bootstraps approach is what we took.
if you have your own gear - weddings, rememberance pieces, freelance work on local commercials etc advertise in, phonebook, newspaper, production hubs etc.... my wife and I have been doing this for about 2 years with and now have some ok contacts. it wasn't until recently that we flushed out our gear with a camera and light kit - we'll see where that goes.
Frank Moss
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