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Agent for an up and coming steadicam operator?

agent steadicam

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#1 Kiel Michael Eulberg

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 07:11 PM

So as the title implies, I am an owner/ operator who is building his clientel. I've been in LA maybe a year and a half now, and while my list of clients is slowly growing I'd love to have some sort of agent that could get me work. I'd gladly pay 10% to be working more gigs. Most agents only seem remotely interested if an operator has big name features or tv show credits to their name, and I was just wondering if anyone knew any agents that would be good at finding work for someone who is talented enough to get the job done but does not yet hve the connections to get on big shoots. Any advice would be appreciated of course.


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#2 Steve Acheson

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 07:23 PM

I have been looking for the same. 


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#3 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 08:16 PM

Agents rarely get you work. They do make deals for you. 


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#4 Jessica Lopez

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 01:03 AM

And there is no agent for operators that don't have theatrical releases. What agent would want to hustle for someone with very little experience? And 10% of a low budget job is pennies. 


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#5 Kiel Michael Eulberg

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 05:08 AM

A fair point Jessica. What I mean is that I am decently experienced. It just seems the ONLY way to get an agent is build yourself up to the point where you would not even need one.


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#6 thomas-english

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 06:25 AM

Agents are purely and simply for handling your business when you have too much work. They really don't get you work and are often not as good at the finer points of negotiating a deal than you are especially at the lower end of the market where value can come in an amazing project you want to do or a make-up/costume girl you need to spend more set time with.

 

At the higher end of the market they give clients assurance, they are contactable when your up a crane in the rain and have a good idea as to the jobs you like doing. They are great when you have too much work and your never checking your messages. They rarely need to negotiate the finer points at this stage as you'll be doing mostly full rate work and your business will be less nuanced. 

 

Only consider an agent when you absolutely have to have one then when that happens they are fantastic. 


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#7 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 03:53 PM

A few things.  

 

Agents as its been said, don't get you work, ESPECIALLY if you don't have a deep credit list

 

Agents want to see a track record and see a constant stream of employment

 

Agents make your deals as such they want you working on projects that pay over scale

 

a few shorts isn't decently experienced in the eyes of an agent, just saying


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#8 Daniel Stilling DFF

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 12:03 AM

I know this is not what you want to hear, but an agent is not for you at this point in your carrer. as said above, they will only want to see you if you have a good list of (known) credits and faces in your reel. 

IMO you are better off using your energy getting better and better jobs, instead of chasing agents...

While I lived in LA, I had an agent and only got 3 jobs from him. The rest all came from me, he did the negotiating part...


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#9 Kiel Michael Eulberg

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 03:37 AM

I asked, and I learned. It was a good lesson to learn about this line of work, thank you all for the info.


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#10 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 09:53 AM

Kiel, I learned from your question too. Thank you for stepping in and asking.
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#11 Jessica Lopez

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 09:24 AM

Getting work as a Steadicam operator is tough. You not only have to prove your operating and experience to yourself, producers, directors, and DPs but you also have to network with other operators. All those people play a role in ones career.

Then there are organizations like The Society of Camera Operators and the Steadicam Guild. Both have numerous events, workshops, meetings, and opportunities to volunteer. Showing up, helping others, learning, and networking is a great way to advance. Always good karma by helping.

No one is going to hand a job to someone they don't know. And word of mouth is a powerful tool.

People ask how I have been progressing in my career. I didn't just show up out of nowhere and expect jobs. I've been laying the groundwork in the Steadicam community for 4 years before I even purchased my first rig. Now it's been 4 more years as a newbie operator, and I'm still in the early stages of a long Steadicam career. I finally got in the union last year.

It's 2014, you have to find new ways to reinvent yourself while on the quest for work. But also try not to step on other operators toes, and try not to take a job from another operator when it involves rates. After 1.5 years, I'd say you still have another 1.5 years to go before you get better paying work. And that's still not at the level us newer ops dream to be. Those jobs are even further down the road.

So that's my advice, take it or leave it. Most choose to leave it.
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#12 Michael Nelson

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 04:20 PM

Thanks for asking this. I was also wondering similar things and learned from this thread. 


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