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    #21
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    Also, do what you love. The one full time job I held on video forEVER ago was for a company that worked in combating youth suicide. The video they hired me on? A shootout in a parking garage I created out of passion. Yeah, ironic huh? I asked about it and they said "we were just so impressed with what you could do with so little, we thought you could do even more with a lot." So, there ya go. We got connected because they spoke at an event and I said "I love your mission, here is my card."

    Another friend got a full time gig after making a series of videos around motorcycling. A motorcycle company saw him filming at an event. He gave him their card, they were impressed with his stuff (motorcycle content he shot for fun out of passion), and now he shoots motorcycle content full time.

    I've also met many clients doing something I inherently enjoy. I don't shoot motorcycle videos, but I have met clients through riding motorcycles. Or scuba. Or travel, and chatting next to the person on a plane and talking about their business and next thing you know...

    I guess there's a lot of ways to go about everything, but following one's passion (so long as it intersects with genuine skill) is often one of the best ways to stumble into the right relationships and work.

    1. Do what you love
    2. Be someone people love
    3. Talk to everyone because you love people, not because they're a prospect, and you'll almost certainly inadvertently meet a lot of prospects (either directly, or indirectly - because everyone knows someone).

    Bottom line: love. people. passion.


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    #22
    Senior Member bill totolo's Avatar
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    You've tried the shotgun approach which can work if you get lucky, but now you might try being laser focused.

    I was fixated on Panavision when I was just starting out. You'll have to decide what kind of work your heart is set on.
    Find out who works there, how best to approach them. E-mail or speak from the heart. Find out the kind of work they need, learn how to excel at that, re-learn, re-work, study, show passion and persistence. Keep grinding. One day it will pay off in ways you could never predict. It may not be in a way you expect, it may not make you rich, just be open to possibilities.
    Bill Totolo
    L.A.

    www.billtotolo.com


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    #23
    Senior Member PegLeg Media's Avatar
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    I meet a lot of people and usually have someone email me from my website or IG about small projects at least every 2 months, I'll take on the side work but I'm not strapped for cash at my current job, i just don't want to be working small single projects forever, I want something full time or at least 6 month contract jobs at a time.

    About my goal, I want to find a smaller production company that has a video team and I'm not the one worrying about clients.

    An example of why I'm posting this... Ive been doing video for over 10 years, I'm filming a YouTube interview today and overhear my executive team meeting with a local ad agency about doing a professional tv commercial for us and I'm not going to even be involved as the lone video guy at my company. I want to just hand them my resume when they come in and I'm about to that point of not caring anymore.


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    #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by PegLeg Media View Post
    I meet a lot of people and usually have someone email me from my website or IG about small projects at least every 2 months, I'll take on the side work but I'm not strapped for cash at my current job, i just don't want to be working small single projects forever, I want something full time or at least 6 month contract jobs at a time.

    About my goal, I want to find a smaller production company that has a video team and I'm not the one worrying about clients.

    An example of why I'm posting this... Ive been doing video for over 10 years, I'm filming a YouTube interview today and overhear my executive team meeting with a local ad agency about doing a professional tv commercial for us and I'm not going to even be involved as the lone video guy at my company. I want to just hand them my resume when they come in and I'm about to that point of not caring anymore.
    To your last point, the same way that you get much bigger raises in income by changing employers than through internal climbing (usually, at least statistically), you will have a hard time finding work that is way outside of your reputation without finding an "in." Your current employers associate you with the work that you are tired of doing. They have no motivation to hire you for the bigger production stuff since they have no reason to think that you'd be any good at it.

    So, you need to do some work that at least starts to speak to that higher level of production that you seek. Others have provided a lot of good insights regarding how to try to crack through, but the psychology that I've described above is important. Not just in video/film. In everything. People will associate you with what you do, both in terms of quality as well as content.

    I also would make sure that you are doing some interesting passion projects (partly for the sanity) so that you can target some styles or looks that you are turned on by in an isolated and controlled context. For example, you could use more people in your reel. Shoot something that is well lit, and perhaps a bit styled, with a tiny team (just barely beyond alone) so that you have some intimate shots (can be corporate, docu-style, commercials on spec, etc). Does these on the side.

    You still have to do all of the networking stuff, but you sound frustrated and stagnated. You have to mix that up and kick up some dust. You can't wait for others to inspire your next move, and applying to jobs from the outside is a numbers game that can only help kill your inspiration.


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    #25
    Senior Member abreu-canedo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PegLeg Media View Post
    I meet a lot of people and usually have someone email me from my website or IG about small projects at least every 2 months, I'll take on the side work but I'm not strapped for cash at my current job, i just don't want to be working small single projects forever, I want something full time or at least 6 month contract jobs at a time.

    About my goal, I want to find a smaller production company that has a video team and I'm not the one worrying about clients.

    An example of why I'm posting this... Ive been doing video for over 10 years, I'm filming a YouTube interview today and overhear my executive team meeting with a local ad agency about doing a professional tv commercial for us and I'm not going to even be involved as the lone video guy at my company. I want to just hand them my resume when they come in and I'm about to that point of not caring anymore.
    Yeah, it can feel a bit demoralizing being passed over for a job. Below, I'm mostly responding to your comment about the executives not involving you in their commercial.

    There can be many reasons for why you are not being considered. Primarily, this executive team probably knows that the pipeline for a broadcast commercial or piece of "content" is something that traditionally begins with the creative, which at a professional level, begins with an agency. Unless you own or are a reputable agency, a marketing or executive team isn't going to you as a "lone video guy" to create broadcast/content campaign. There is a lot at stake for the company and they don't want to risk with people who aren't pros in that field. I wouldn't hire a good mechanic to design me a car from scratch, just because they are a talented mechanic who wants to potentially be a car designer in the future.

    It sounds like you are a Camera Operator (or in some fields, videographer). If you want to be working in the types of projects that your company is reaching out to the agency for, as a Camera Operator, you need to make connections with the production companies that the agencies are contracting to execute their vision. And then, what are you offering them? Do you want to be a Camera Operator, or are you offering them your services as a DP? You probably could get hired as a Camera Operator if you work hard to develop that relationship, perhaps do a few jobs for free with them, just to see if you gel nicely with their team, and slowly develop to the point where you are their go-to person. However, most low to mid tier agency work, the DP is also operating, to keep costs down. So unless you can light, lead a team and have a proven track record (because the success of the production is largely riding on the DP), you just aren't even in that conversation.

    Based on your reel, I think you could potentially get hired as a Camera Op, but not as easily as a DP for most agency level work. Don't get me wrong, I can't compete with top DPs either. But I'm sure you are talented and driven enough that you could build to that level. If you are willing to invest in yourself by either creating spec work that you fund yourself, by partnering with other directors and producers where they are wiling to give you a chance to partner with them on and spec project for free, or by doing the slow build working as PA on mid-top level agency work, and climbing the ranks from there. The bottom line is, if a producer or director looks at your reel and they don't see what they want their project to look like, they will most likely hire the person who's previous work does.

    So A: you are not an agency with proven record of creative direction on marketing campaigns. B: you are not a production company with proven track record delivering an expected quality and working efficiently at certain budgets for advertising or content agencies. C: you are not a proven DP who has proven that they can light at a high level and lead a team as a department head within a traditional filmmaking workflow for agency level work. And D: you probably can be considered as a Camera Op, but only at the lower to mid level agency work where there is little demand for Camera Ops because the DP is usually operating. The fact that you have 10yrs of experience will likely mean very little to them.

    Look, I know this sounds harsh, and I'm not speaking from the top of the mountain, here. I too am not the most skilled DP with a flawless track-record, and I'm also strugling to progress as a DP. But take this with a grain of salt, but I interpret a lack of clarity and understanding of the industry within your comments that led me to write what I wrote...with an intent to be helpful. I could be totally wrong about your understanding of the industry and your skills and abilities, so feel free to disagree with me. Also, this is not just directed at you, but I see many folks who are in the on-man-band, low tier, where the boundaries between roles and business models are muddled, and it can be easy to stay in that place as a "video provider", will do anything, just need money world and end up doing themselves a dis-service by employing the right tactics in the wrong direction, and vice-versa. Agency, production company, director, DP, camera operator, editor. Many folks in this arena aproach jobs where they should be an agency, but approach it with the camera operator mentality. Of course, this is a generalization and shouldn't be applied to all scenarios and people in this one-man-band / videographer (even though I'm not a huge fan of this word) arena.

    In retrospect, I do think you are in the right direction of trying to connect with folks you can learn from, and build with a team to levels higher than where you are right now. So perhaps you really do have a clear idea of what you want and how to get there and it's mostly a lack of network. In that scenario, nothing builds network more than favors. Try to be useful and do favors for folks more talented than yourself. Doing PA and intern work is a great way to get in the door, if you desire to build relationships with a more reputable production company.

    Lastly, this is all generic advice. Yes, there may be a company who would consider you to spearhead their entire commercial/campaign, just based on your reel, website and resume. And yes, you may be able to be hired as a DP for a production company producing work for an agency. And yes, you may be able to be hired by an ad agency to produce their creative, just based on your reel, website and resume. I'm strictly speaking hypothetically, and from my experience of the industry. YMMV.

    In any case, I hope at least some of this is valuable, and I wish you all the best! I'm sure you can achieve your goals in a matter of time, so if you have the drive and passion, keep at it.
    Last edited by abreu-canedo; 03-01-2018 at 12:24 PM.


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