June 1, 2017 at 10:24AM

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Tips for Finding Entry Level Production Jobs?

I live in a town with an essentially non-existent film industry proper. There are a handful of videographers and music video creators based here, and I'm particularly interested in being a PA or something on a music video set (I'm still in high school and very inexperienced). The problem is that every time I research online, all that I find is how to book one of these videographers or production companies for a gig. How should I go about trying to build relationships with some of these places and actually find work on sets? Thanks!

5 Comments

Being a high school student, you are likely also a minor. Aside from general Dept of Labor laws governing minors, there are other laws that strongly discourage employers from ever having a situation where a minor is alone with a single unrelated adult, even for a few minutes. How many small companies can guarantee that they always have either zero or at least two adults with you at all times? That's not a burden that many small companies can afford to bear.

June 2, 2017 at 1:33PM

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Thanks, I hadn't thought about that before.

David Jordan

June 4, 2017 at 3:57PM

I second what Michael says on the minor thing. You should focus on creating your own opportunities--making short films, maybe trying to do some event work (might not be exciting but it pays better than shorts and also helps you become more reactive to situations) or seeing what else is possible in your area. Other than that, you could research how to become a good PA so that when the opportunity to be one arrives, you can make a superb impression.

June 3, 2017 at 10:28AM

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Gareth Ng
Cinematographer
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Thanks for the advice!

David Jordan

June 4, 2017 at 3:56PM

Companies have to be extra careful now, but...

Have you tried just contacting them? Cold calls, emails, showing up at the office? This was the early 90s, but I reached out to a local wedding production company(that's all there was) to hopefully work over the summer and they interviewed me and let me tag along on a gig. I proved enough that they let me be second camera and that was that. Got some nice cash every Sat or Sun and good experience going into college. Obviously those were different times and now anyone can shoot weddings. At least now you can show people what you've got SO EASILY, and you have every amazing tool at your disposal.

Try editing on 2 VCRs hooked together, instead of Premiere, shooting on a handicam in VHS-C=) Going to a 3 chip SuperVHS camera, with the deck hanging on your left shoulder, was exciting. The whole rig weighed 1/2 as much as me.

I figure now, programs in high school have local contacts if your H.S. has a production program. Otherwise, make your own videos in preparation for college.

June 4, 2017 at 8:46PM, Edited June 4, 8:49PM

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Josh.R
Motion Designer/Predator
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