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First Timing It.


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#1 Josh Powell

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 12:24 PM

Hey,

 

I have done the workshop. Bought my zephyr. Practiced the heck oughtta it running around the woods. Chasing things through the city. Getting better and more confident with the gear and the techniques.

 

Where is the best place to get my foot in the door?

 

I've shot footage basically for free for friends and friends of friends but at a certain point one needs to get paid. Not necessarily a lot--I recognize this is the dues paying time--but something but as sure as dues must be paid so too the rent.

 

Where are the best places to look for work as an independent, freelance steadicam op at the beginning of their career?

 

Should one just post oneself on Mandy or something?

 

Any suggestions, advice, criticism, etc, very welcome.

 

jp


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#2 ryan t jenkins

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 12:46 PM

I know there is a NYC meetup happening this weekend, might be a good place to get started since you are in brooklyn.  


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#3 Keith Wood

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 05:46 PM

What are you shooting, and what do you WANT to be shooting? 

 

The answers to these things are your answer.  A bunch of street scenes might interest the local tourism board, or local politicians.  Walk in with a demo clip and find out.  Shooting a bunch of horse-carts in the park?  Find a horse-cart company and put together a commercial for them, an on-spec rough-cut.  Check with real-estate and insurance brokers, they may want some documentation and see your Steadicam skills as something they can use, without seeing how new you are (remember, Garret started this whole phenomenon with a demo clip of shots that hadn't been seen before)!  Got a lot of scenes of the docks or utility workers?  Put together a puff piece to get interest from the local labor union.  Go shoot Little League tryouts and a game or two, then sell the video to team sponsors (be sure to get shots of the sponsors' signs and especially any products which are donated).  If a pizza place is one sponsor, get shots of the kids digging in after the game.  A shoe store?  Low mode, follow a runner around the bases. 

 

I'm sure that you have business cards.  SIMPLE business cards:  "JOSH POWELL, Photojournalist, Videographer, Steadicam Operator" and your phone number and email address.  Forget fancy (and expensive) cards.  No physical address, unless you have a storefront.  AVOID any geographical reference ("Serving NYC"), those limit you.  Don't throw them away, but anyone who seems like they might have a use for you shouldn't be allowed to escape without your card.

 

There is a MASSIVE amount of money to be made from industrial videos (one company near me spent tens of thousands of dollars on a 10-minute familiarization video for visitors), and after you do a couple of those, you can shop that same basic format to other companies.  I got a job doing a video for a tour-bus company when I got a couple of nice B-roll shots of their coaches arriving at a tourist attraction ("I'm a videographer, and I wanted to tell you that the paint schemes on your coaches showed up very well when they arrived here a few minutes ago -- if you give me your email address, I'll send you the clips after I get this other assignment edited, either tonight or tomorrow . . .")  Of course, not only did I get HER card, she got MY card.

 

Weddings, parties, town hall politics, club meetings and activities, a walk through a big garden, urban-cleanup projects, ANYTHING being planned . . .all of these are opportunities to pass out cards, even if they don't need you now.  It's like a pachinko game, one contact can bounce you to a job for someone they know, then that job can bounce to another, and another, and sometimes you drop into exactly the right pocket and hit the jackpot.

 

Again, shoot what interests you, and that interest will show.  Put your demos onto your smartphone and in your tablet, and ALWAYS have a thumb drive with demos (ONLY!) on it, that you can hand to a particularly promising prospect.  With a card, of course.

 

You NEED a website a website with a simple name, then A), mark the URL on the back of your Steadicam vest and your gear cases, and B), put examples of your work on the site for people to see.  Hand out LOTS of cards. 

 

I haven't the slightest idea about Steadicam get-togethers, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone at the one mentioned above can use a second shooter on some upcoming project and is willing to give you an opportunity.

 

Oh, and did I mention cards . . ? 

 

Kaze


Edited by Keith Wood, 25 February 2017 - 05:47 PM.

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#4 Josh Powell

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 12:15 PM

I was out of town shooting this past weekend and couldn't make this month's meetup. But that's a terrific idea and I won't miss the next one.

 

Where are these posted?

 

And thank you Keith, you're a veritable encyclopedia of good advice. If you live anywhere near Brooklyn I'd love to buy you a beer and chat.


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#5 Keith Wood

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 12:13 AM

I'm a couple of thousand miles from Brooklyn, but thanks for the offer.

 

Good luck!


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