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Jinuk Lee

Internships, Job Prospects, and Dreams

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My name is Jinuk Lee, I am a Los Angeles based filmmaker and student. I currently work as an AC (usually 2nd) and have worked on a few commercials/branded content and plenty of no budget independent short films and music videos. For unpaid student projects, I try to take on a bigger role and I typically work as a DP, Cam Op, or Gaffer.

For the past two years, I have been trying to get more work on bigger budget sets, but as someone with no personal connections in the industry, it has been somewhat difficult. Therefore, I've had my sights set on interning at rental houses such as Keslow, Panavision, and Abelcine, etc. After plenty of rejections and non-responses, I am stumped on what I should do, or can be doing. I understand that this is a huge industry with plenty of skilled people, but it can be sometimes discouraging when I see friends who don't necessarily have as much experience or technical knowledge as I do get these positions because of a connected family member.

I don't mean this post as a complaint, I know it takes years of dedication and hard work, but I am feeling lost, and I was hoping someone on this website could share with me their own experiences and point me in the right direction. Thank you!

#cameradepartmentisthebestdepartment #teamrackfocus

Edited by Jinuk Lee

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do you personally know the 1st ACs you have worked for? has there been any regular work with the same persons so that you can build those connections?

they might be able to get you to bigger projects if they like you and your work.

Basically it is best to try to get around people who work A LOT, like every day of the year in different projects, both higher end and mid range.

this may not get you much DP work though but it will help with connections and experience etc. and advancing towards 1st ac jobs or rental house work if that is what you'd like to do.

and it helps with resume which may help quite a lot when finding more DP work

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the Finnish film industry and indie field is quite different from the US one but here the indie projects generally don't lead to any kind of paid work ever... at most they may lead to more unpaid cheapass indie stuff. the indie & pro fields are pretty much completely separated unlike in the US where even the "indie" films may have decent budgets and actors etc and the same persons behind the camera than in bigger productions.



If wanting to do DP work or directing or editing here in mainstream feature films one basically needs to have a degree from the one specific Finnish film school... there is many other good schools here as well but that one specific school mentioned has much better industry connections, much better financing for their education programs and readily available support from the main financiers of the local pro movies so that it is much easier to advance to feature films from there than from any other Finnish film school.


The connections are what really get you forward. they don't have to be family members or anything, just the right pro persons who trust you and love your work and thus want to help you forward :)

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Here in Australia working at a rental house is a very common route for people looking to make contacts, lots of assistants and occasionally DoPs have started there.


Prep techs at rental houses tend to turn over fairly often, as people move into the industry after a few years, but you probably need to keep asking and maybe get familiar with staff so that when a position comes up you have a chance at it. Dont just ask once and then give up if you dont hear back.

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It probably sounds totally random but also look for side work as a production assistant / runner and also as an extra.


My wife literally has no acting skill or "film" skills what so ever but does both and gets on sets of large movies and TV shows quiet a lot and I don't think she started with any connection other than putting her name down to be an extra and ending up on a bunch of e-mail lists from agencies.


Once you get that foot in the door just try and move laterally.

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Thanks for all the responses! I think I'm gonna try PA-ing more and even think about being an extra. Do you guys happen to know any websites where I can apply for these positions? Cheers!

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