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Lee Tamer

networking to find work?

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Is the film industry truly about who you know? I ask this because I am stuck as to where to look for work that will pay.

 

 

Could someone advise me on what direction to go? Im hoping I will find that one gig that will lead to bigger and better work, I just dont know where to look

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It is a lot of who you know, how lucky you get. That isn't to say you can't get work without networking; but it plays a major part. Building and maintaining your personal relationships with others in the industry will be one of the most important parts of your career.

Case in point, I'm about to move to LA. I am lucky inasmuch as my old 1AC already moved out there and she's DoPing/Oping now on small stuff. I am thrilled for her and she's already said she'll introduce me to some cool people out there. It may not lead directly to work; but it'll lead to more connections who also have connections (and you know, she may get double booked).

Best way is just to go out for drinks with some people (people on here around you perhaps?). Attend networking events and film screenings, talk to people. And of course pound the cyber and real pavement selling your talents when you can.

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Is the film industry truly about who you know?

 

99.99%, Yes. Get on set, any set, and you can start to make connections.

 

Want to move to LA and make connections? Put your kids into soccer, stand on the side-lines, talk to other parents. After the first game you'll meet five people that are somehow connected to the entertainment industry. This is seriously how connections get made in Hollywood.

 

R,

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ive been thinking a lot of it has to do with where I live. Im in Maryland and the film industry is very small. The only fellow graduates i know that are getting work are members of the ICG local 600 and the IATSE.

 

Are guilds/unions a good way to go? The guys i know seem to be getting steady work.

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There is a certain level of work in which you need to be Union. Of course, the problem is that in order to get into the union you have to have work (and it is kind of expensive). Just because you're in Maryland doesn't mean much. You have DC market, Baltimore, both smallish, Philadelphia where I started out not too far away, and even places like NYC where if you can't work right away, you can of course day-trip to to meet up with people (megabus or amtrak). I'm not sure how Virginia is honestly, but point being there are always people to network with.

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90% of the paid work i get now, are somehow connected to 1 free project i did in the past, and i was just an assistant on that project. After a few years, you look backwards and connect the dots, that somehow got you where you are now. Also get ready for long periods with no work, and 30 sudden phonecalls on 1 day.

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So here's a question, for freelancers who have done this for many years, do you have a second job?

 

A very large number of film industry people I know have second jobs, or side businesses. Actors are famous for juggling multiple revenue streams at the same time.

 

The majority drive old junky cars (or don't own one period), live in small apartments (or double or triple up in houses), the vast majority are single and male. It really makes one question why on earth anyone would want to work in this industry? Both of my sons are banned from coming anywhere near the film industry. They can get real jobs and have proper lives.

 

Some friends have working wives who patch the holes in the lean times, and through their employers provide access to health insurance. Which is always an issue for free lancers in the USA. Not really an issue for Canadians or Europeans.

 

R,

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A very large number of film industry people I know have second jobs, or side businesses. Actors are famous for juggling multiple revenue streams at the same time.

 

The majority drive old junky cars (or don't own one period), live in small apartments (or double or triple up in houses), the vast majority are single and male. It really makes one question why on earth anyone would want to work in this industry? Both of my sons are banned from coming anywhere near the film industry. They can get real jobs and have proper lives.

R,

What fun is that??!! Live the adventure, baby!!

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Though Im still cutting my teeth as well, Ive picked up a few thing recently on the topic.

 

Knowing when to work for free should be important to you. I am just starting to get fairly busy myself Though I have had steady freelance gigs for a few years, I had been working with people who were trapped at the same level I was (Crappy gigs, low pay, No exposure). Every now and again, someone who has been succesful, will take on a project for personal reasons that others at their level have no interest in. They will give the same line " great oppurtunity for experience Blah Blah" Thats not as important as an Introduction in some respects. Find out who they know. The DP they last worked with might be getting big in your market, and you can say " wow I'd really like to meet him/her". Get a phone number or email, and offer to do a gig with that person for experience. If your ready for that level of work and perfom well, you will most likely be considered in the future for paid work.

 

I do have a second job. I shoot local TV programing. Its great for now, because my second job is still shooting. Don't be afraid to try and sneak a foot in with your local news company. Keep it Part Time though, with flexible hours or still freelance (Its an easy world to get stuck in)

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Is the film industry truly about who you know? I ask this because I am stuck as to where to look for work that will pay.

 

 

Could someone advise me on what direction to go? Im hoping I will find that one gig that will lead to bigger and better work, I just dont know where to look

 

it's fair the say that any facet of the entertainment business is based on relationships.

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im fortunate to have supportive parents who are happy that Im putting my name out there and doing any job I can find. I landed my first AD job on a indie film and have a PA job on a big budget music video.

 

My parents did suggest i get another job, and it seems to be recommended here as well. Im just trying to figure out what that would be.

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