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  1. Hi everyone, My name is Vatsala and I am graduating from the Film and Television Institute of India (F.T.I.I.) early in 2014 where I'm currently studying Cinematography (a three year post graduate program). I'll be moving to the SF Bay area immediately after I finish school. Once here, i shall be looking for jobs as a cinematographer and have several questions in this regard. I'm uncertain about where to start, so listing immediate questions here and seek your guidance: 1) a) How do I surface on the difficulty & opportunity scale in terms of opportunities to cinematography jobs as a foreign national? b ) Where do fresh cinematography graduates like myself typically start in the US - assisting/ camera operating/ 2nd units? Or does it depend from person to person? 2) What are the typical visa categories that would apply to me if I were looking for a job in this sector? Currently I'm visiting SFO on a dependent visa, which continues until i start working - how does that place me in the visa context while looking for a job? 3) a) What's the norm for foreigners people starting out here - do people freelance or get on to payrolls? b ) Does freelancing make it difficult to get sponsored by the employer especially since I'm not a citizen & competing with US citizens + fresh grads from the USA? 4) Are there any forums & people (online and on ground) that I can immediately connect with while I am visiting the Bay Area? 5) While I am here I would like to go and observe a camera crew at work. What's the best way to proceed on that front? I would really appreciate any help and information. Thanks so much for reading. Warm Regards, Vatsala
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