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Best way to find jobs?


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#1 Matthew Griffin

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 10:25 AM

Hey guys just got into steadicam and wondering what the best way to get some jobs are? Is it just word of mouth? How do I get into commercials? Mandy nor craigslist seems to be a place for commercials is there somewhere where these jobs are posted? Thanks in advance guys!!
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#2 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 11:43 AM

I find the Holway/Hayball book offers some good advice along those lines. Study it closely. Here are my somewhat random thoughts:

I see you are trying to buy a Flyer. This, plus your experience level, will dictate that your first jobs will probably be in the wedding/event, indie film, documentary-charity and ultra low budget music video areas. Maybe local commercials or real estate walkthroughs. Stuff where, frankly, you can make mistakes as you learn without the stakes being so high that you stumble and fall.

What camera equipment do you have? What kind of jobs do you WANT to do? What kind of jobs are you currently QUALIFIED to do? Be honest with yourself. (you don't want to ever take a job you can't deliver on!).

If you are already an experienced DP/camera operator with good lighting and composition skills, contact your existing clients and let them know that you offer this new service. If you aren't experienced, get some experience and skill pronto. A Steadicam operator is first and foremost, a camera operator. If you can operate well conventionally, you have a leg up in learning to fly a Steadicam well.

What city are you in? Different cities offer unique opportunities...Nashville is obviously a music hub but other cities have thriving indie music scenes, and there may be local ad agencies that do low budget corporate work.

Call local film schools and offer special deals to student filmmakers. Team up with someone who is directing low budget music videos and offer your services. Volunteer to shoot a PSA for a local worthy charity.

A Flyer is largely a niche-market Steadicam. You won't be competing with established operators, you will be offering a limited, specialized menu of Steadicam services to producers and directors who can't afford a "big rig"...so they wouldn't ordinarily use Steadicam at all. Your job is to get them excited about something they never thought they could afford...and then you must deliver, so make sure you are prepared to do so! You must also aggressively manage expectations, so that they don't expect more than you can deliver with your rig.

Get footage of everything you do and build your reel and resume as quickly as you can. Keep practicing your line dances.

Call and introduce yourself to experienced local operators and take them to lunch, get to know them, and try to establish mentor relationships. Get to know as many producers, directors and DP's as you can. What are your current skills? If you're just starting out in the business, you may be able to hook up with a small production company where people wear a lot of hats...where you can get the chance to light, operate, edit, PA/grip, on 2-and 3-man crews. Then when they have a need, they can pull you in with your Steadicam.

Hope this helps. Best of luck to you!

Hey guys just got into steadicam and wondering what the best way to get some jobs are? Is it just word of mouth? How do I get into commercials? Mandy nor craigslist seems to be a place for commercials is there somewhere where these jobs are posted? Thanks in advance guys!!


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#3 Matthew Griffin

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 03:48 PM

Wow thanks for all the information man, very handy. I have a lot of experience as an assistant cameraman, as well as good film knowledge of lighting and composition. I am in my last year of film school at Columbia College Chicago. Which I am currently stationed, Id have no problems traveling for a job if the pay was worth it you know? I hadent thought of calling the other schools nearby and letting them know I can offer them my services. So far I have just been telling my hub of contacts in Chicago I usually work with. How would I go about finding production companies and or Corporate places? Thanks again
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#4 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 03:56 PM

Best way to find jobs????

1) Plan a vacation (as in buy plane tickets)

2) Buy expensive tickets months ahead of time for a Broadway show

3) Make multiple meetings/ doctor appointments, etc for a given day

You'll end up with work offers for the above days - guaranteed!
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#5 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 04:14 PM

LOL

So THAT's what I've been doing wrong!

Best way to find jobs????

1) Plan a vacation (as in buy plane tickets)

2) Buy expensive tickets months ahead of time for a Broadway show

3) Make multiple meetings/ doctor appointments, etc for a given day

You'll end up with work offers for the above days - guaranteed!


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#6 thomas-english

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 08:21 PM

Alec, you are absolutely correct.

Arrange a date with a beautiful girl works well for me. Promise I'll go to a family meal or event is also effective but mostly if I feel tired I get work, if I feel fresh I don't.

So all night drinking sessions at clubs and bars all over town meeting beautiful women and ugly producers whilst generating huge hang overs is a tried and tested formula.
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#7 Erwin Landau

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 09:28 PM

I have to disagree with wearing many hats.

If you are serious about becoming a Steadicam/Camera Operator, that's what you have to do and that's what you have to do very well to be taken seriously. How many guys to you know that call them self, grips, camera assistants, editors, director of photography, PA's, craft services AND by the way are Steadicam operator that did anything good or are making a living with it?

Yes you have to make a living until your career takes of, but don't let the day job drive you into the corner were it becomes your career... and it happens more often then not.

I know a ton of people like this. Working on there "day job" 5 to 6 days a week and "shoot" on the weekend. I don't know how many times people like that called me to ask if I could channel some low budget stuff there way. Usually after the second time I get the answer: Sorry dude (actually if the call me dude i don't call them back after the first time) i have to work on that day... I don't call them again. So are you a "whatever" or a Camera Operator? You decide.

But that's just me...


I have a good one: I once brought my van for service, hadn't worked in a week and had nothing lined up. I can lock my back, so I don't care to leave all my equipment with him (he's been my mechanic for the last 10 years)... I just walked in the door at home as my phone rang. Can you be in Malibu in two hours, Suuuure, see you there. Hang up call my mechanic... he has already taken most of my engine apart... (Oh sh**) it would be 2 hours to put it back together again... Great! Convertible it is... (haven't used it in a while, is the battery still good? Of course not) run over to the mechanic, get a battery walk back home.... later transfer all my equipment into my rabbit and drive to Malibu. Show up under the eyes of the whole crew building my rig ready ... your up... I do one tracking shot of a dog 4 takes.... that's it! Thank you very much get your check at the production trailer, see you next time...

3.5 hours after the initial call and all sweat (try to get your gear into a rabbit after you had it in a full size van for a while and not forgetting anything) and busted knuckles (Anvil cases and small convertible folding roof technology don't mix)... I walked away with a full pay check... and the hardest day I ever had to work... and some Camera operating on the side...

If you are not ready for work, it will get you every time...
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#8 Brian Freesh

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 10:41 PM

I know a ton of people like this. Working on there "day job" 5 to 6 days a week and "shoot" on the weekend. I don't know how many times people like that called me to ask if I could channel some low budget stuff there way. Usually after the second time I get the answer: Sorry dude (actually if the call me dude i don't call them back after the first time) i have to work on that day... I don't call them again. So are you a "whatever" or a Camera Operator? You decide.


Which is exactly why Friday is my last day at my day job!

Not that I expected more work than I got, mind you. I knew all along I'd have to be available if i wanted jobs.

Hey Erwin, channel some low budget stuff my way? {-P

Brian |-)~
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#9 William Demeritt

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 12:53 AM

Hey Erwin, wanna throw some low budg... DRAT!

Really digging all the information in this post, thank you all for sharing the tips. Over a year since I relocated to LA, building DP's and clients doing G&E work. I finally cut a Steadicam demo reel, loaded it onto the iPhone and waited. Now, I've got a free moment on set, I show off my reel to the DP's that know me from my G&E work. They see my reel, and say: "Oh wow, I didn't know!"

So, my lesson learned: you've got a client list, a list of DP's, people who can hire you... they're the first and best group to approach with your service. Don't be shy!!!

I'm going to go book next week with dentist appointments, doctors visits, UPS deliveries and ask a few ladies to dinner. Bring on the work!
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