Should I have a real career before turning to film?

Updated on : December 7, 2021 by Bobby Edwards



Should I have a real career before turning to film?

I'm a production coordinator, and after working with people in various positions in the industry, one thing stalled. The people who excel are usually the ones who can't do anything but film. If there's anything else you can do that makes money easier than movie, it's going to do it again the moment the going gets tough, and things get tough pretty fast. But if all you know is to make a movie, you will push it and do it excellently. This industry is not a piece of cake, it is a form of voluntary torture that people who work in it take just because they want to see a made movie. In moments of the making of his movie

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I'm a production coordinator, and after working with people in various positions in the industry, one thing stalled. The people who excel are usually the ones who can't do anything but film. If there's anything else you can do that makes money easier than movie, it's going to do it again the moment the going gets tough, and things get tough pretty fast. But if all you know is to make a movie, you will push it and do it excellently. This industry is not a piece of cake, it is a form of voluntary torture that people who work in it take just because they want to see a made movie. At times in your film career, you will question your sanity and the validity of the industry itself. You will have an interesting life full of sweat, tears and blood.

Ask yourself if you can dedicate your life to making movies. If not, take it as a hobby. Make a short film or two every now and then whenever you feel like it. Earn a lot of money to get the EP or some production credits. And making movies is a REAL career - if you can't see it as a lifetime commitment, it's not for you.

Making movies can always be a hobby. In the event that you want to professionalize and take it seriously, it depends on what you intend to be. Become a specific title or do movie-related work.

If your goal is to become a specific role in movie making, director, actor, producer, or anything, it will be a career unto itself, allowing no distractions. Ask yourself if you really have an idea of ​​how the film industry works, how a movie is produced. If not, learn it first. After that, if you still want to go further, then you need to join an education. but you better make sure you're good and can

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Making movies can always be a hobby. In the event that you want to professionalize and take it seriously, it depends on what you intend to be. Become a specific title or do movie-related work.

If your goal is to become a specific role in movie making, director, actor, producer, or anything, it will be a career unto itself, allowing no distractions. Ask yourself if you really have an idea of ​​how the film industry works, how a movie is produced. If not, learn it first. After that, if you still want to go further, then you need to join an education. But you'd better make sure you're good at it and that you can take on failure. The story of Ang Lee - Wikipedia, before he became famous he had 6 years of difficulties after graduation, without the possibility of filming anything, seeing how the golden time was running out without any achievement, he even began to learn computer programming to try make a living.

But if you want to get involved in the film industry, there could be many crossroads between your career and the film industry, you don't need to sacrifice anything. Stanley B. Lippman (the author of C ++ Primer) fulfilled his dream of working at Walt Disney so it's good. He writes his story in the introductory chapter of his book Essential C ++.


These are the stories I know.

You'll have a choice to make, whether it's to do what you love now or after you've worked a job that takes time and resources from you as you dabble in film-making. If you have the opportunity and / or desire to pursue cinematography, why would you spend time deviating from that desire? Seeking greatness in our desires cannot be done by halves. You deserve to try it; at worst, you can say it didn't work.

If you don't think of filmmaking as a "real career", it is definitely the wrong field for you. It is not a supplement, it is not an alternative option, it is not a free-time job. OTOH may need some part-time jobs to improve your finances while you get started.

Unless you're ready to go all-inclusive, it will never be more than a hobby for you.

It depends on whether you want cinema to be your career or just a passion.

If you want your career to be filmmaking then focus on studying filmmaking ... If not then you can learn about filmmaking through workshops / online and practice it for fun ...

However, please do not make the mistake of thinking that online film education / workshops can provide you with the education and training you need to pursue a career in film ... That could end up being very tragic :)

You should probably have a real career as a backup. That is, being able to do something to earn money while trying to make movies or after you give up.

Film school might be worthless (although it does teach skills) as most studio jobs seek a 4-year college education in Mass Communications or Film, Radio and TV.

It is competitive. Thousands apply for the very few entry-level year-long trainee programs for camera (becoming a loader clapper), assistant director (working with extras or atmosphere), animator, assistant editor (learning how to get the shots, organize them for the editor and director, save the records, find the takes, find the audio tracks). These are paid programs for one year ($ 250 per 8-hour day plus overtime). After the year you

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Film school might be worthless (although it does teach skills) as most studio jobs seek a 4-year college education in Mass Communications or Film, Radio and TV.

It is competitive. Thousands apply for the very few entry-level year-long trainee programs for camera (becoming a loader clapper), assistant director (working with extras or atmosphere), animator, assistant editor (learning how to get the shots, organize them for the editor and director, save the records, find the takes, find the audio tracks). These are paid programs for one year ($ 250 per 8-hour day plus overtime). After the year, you buy your card for $ 2,000 to $ 6,000 and try to find your own job. You can only work at the job for which you have a union card. It is very difficult to get a second union card and very expensive. You have to pay fees for both.

There are also driver jobs, you require your own car. No union. For the producer. It can lead to a job as a production assistant within the office.

You cut your teeth getting a job at Joe-Blow Toyota in Waco doing their TV commercials for a year or two. Then maybe you can get a job at a small production company or television station. That can lead to union work in ONE JOB and you have to buy the card after 90 days and the cards cost between $ 1,000 and $ 15,000.

You'll see jobs at places like Disney or ABC News looking for stage managers, line producers, editors, writers. They like to see 4 years of college and 3 years of work experience. It could be local to a television station in Boise, Idaho.

The working day at television stations is generally 8 hours, although some require overtime.

Working hours at a prime time production, studio, film or television company are generally 12-16 hours, 5-6 days a week, as they are manufactured on the assembly line and you face layoffs from movies and television shows.

It could be a job at Boeing to do their in-house videos where you start out as an assistant in the back of the room watching for a year before they let you sit at an editing or mixing station and do something. He will carry the camera, tripod, microphone and set it up for the main guy filming and directing. After a few years you can do that. You start to earn $ 20,000. After 5 years you are making $ 45,000.

Now you can apply for union jobs on networks and television stations.

They work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays. You may have a Wednesday-Sunday shift from 12 midnight to 8 a.m. and your job is to insert local commercials into network programs in designated black burst areas. You may be asked to edit a new fire at 3am. M. For use on the 5 a.m. news. M.

This is life in show business.

At the end of movie making, you get fired and you have to find your own job. You can be in a commercial from one day to a week and then get fired. You might get on a pilot for two or three weeks and then get fired. You go into a show that could be canceled after 8 episodes and you get fired.

As the director of a union session, you cannot touch a wire. You cannot move a chair. You cannot move a light. Those are union jobs that belong to your crew, all you can do is tell your First Deputy Director what needs to be done and he will tell the Union leaders who will do the job or assign someone.

This is life in the industry.

To be honest, FILM SCHOOL could teach you Premier Pro or Final Cut or even Avid better than a university. Classes are smaller, but you pay through the nose. There are no qualifications to be admitted as there are in the university (SAT, ACT, English tests, math tests) and in the United States, the university is liberal arts. You only take between 40 and 60 credit hours of film studies during the 4 years and 120 hours. In the American physical education it is required to be 21 years old.

I guess it depends on what you mean by being a filmmaker. You mean working on movies in general? Or are you actually making your movies? Working in the field of film and television is not that difficult. There are two-year technical programs that allow you to choose any aspect of the film world that you want to be a part of. In almost all of these cases, know that (unless you work for a studio), movie making is not a 9 to 5 job. Sometimes it is 12/18 hours a day months, almost nonstop and so generally away from home. The higher you are in production, the more stressful your

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I guess it depends on what you mean by being a filmmaker. You mean working on movies in general? Or are you actually making your movies? Working in the field of film and television is not that difficult. There are two-year technical programs that allow you to choose any aspect of the film world that you want to be a part of. In almost all of these cases, know that (unless you work for a studio), movie making is not a 9 to 5 job. Sometimes it is 12/18 hours a day months, almost nonstop and so generally away from home. The higher you are in production, the more stressful your job becomes. You end up forming incredibly close bonds with a lot of like-minded people. He also often meets some of the most fascinating people. Depending on your position,

Now, are you making your own movies? That is much more difficult and stressful. It's akin to starting your own business (which you almost always have to do anyway), financing / releasing your movie (state grants, investors, tax incentives, etc.), finding the equipment to make the part, finding a distributor (ridiculously difficult process for anyone who is not well connected) and many other incredibly risky moves from a financial point of view. What determines your success in this area is your willingness to work with other people, an incredibly motivated mindset, good problem solving skills, good management skills, financial security, a good understanding of how movies operate as far as film is concerned. sales, etc. At this level, being a producer, writer and director means that you are essentially creating a product. That product does not guarantee that you will make money, but you have to convince countless people, and yourself, that it will. While this is infinitely more stressful and financially risky, it is also potentially much more rewarding. If your movie is successful and you start landing studio offers, you may well be on the fast track to becoming quite wealthy. A final anecdote: a family relationship of mine has a brother who began his career in the film industry in one of the most challenging positions ... a writer. Her sister became the chief liver surgeon at a large California hospital. His brother was considered somewhat of the vagabond of the family. Every now and then I got a job but most of the time he was struggling to pay the rent, many times he was homeless and crashing on people's couches in Los Angeles. However, he was persistent, because he knew that the world of film and television was something that HE wanted. He went through ten years of hardship, got his break, and became a writer and producer for The Vampire Diaries. Now he is dedicated to producing exclusively. Now she earns double her sister's annual salary working only half the year. If you are willing to put up with a lot of nonsense, connect with people, work hard, and learn constantly. You can make a VERY good living making movies. work hard and learn constantly. You can make a VERY good living making movies. work hard and learn constantly.

Hi, Kim,

There is a lot of good advice in this thread, but I'm not sure anyone has addressed your main underlying problem, which is that no one in your immediate area can match your specific passion and interest in filmmaking.

Unfortunately, this is something that many people have to deal with forever in this industry. I'd like to tell you that there is a "secret society" of cool and cool people who love movies, have fascinating ideas, and want to work collectively to help everyone improve their game, but reality is a * big * part of movie making. independent. (The largest?) Is trying to co

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Hi, Kim,

There is a lot of good advice in this thread, but I'm not sure anyone has addressed your main underlying problem, which is that no one in your immediate area can match your specific passion and interest in filmmaking.

Unfortunately, this is something that many people have to deal with forever in this industry. I'd like to tell you that there is a "secret society" of cool and cool people who love movies, have fascinating ideas, and want to work collectively to help everyone improve their game, but reality is a * big * part of movie making. independent. (The biggest?) Is trying to convince other people to do things that * you * think are a good idea when they don't particularly care.

It's rare that someone else pushes you to be a great filmmaker - the ability to whine, beg, connive, convince, and if all else fails, just do it yourself is a great, great, great, part of the business on every level. , professional and amateur.

There isn't a filmmaker out there who, at some point, hasn't had to learn to do various things that he's not particularly interested in in order to make a project come true or figure out how to make a project. that was not attractive to others, a little more attractive.

So you've established that you don't share a lot of artistic similarities with your friends in terms of the types of projects that interest you, so you'll have to come up with a movie that * does * interest you. And once you've done that, can you find actors who are inspired by the material? If not, do you change the material or try to find more actors? Or travel to another place where you can meet different actors? Or record it yourself with hand puppets or learn to animate so you don't need actors? Or organize a free acting workshop with the compensation that the actors have to work with their script? Or make an animatic with a sketch of a storyboard to * show * the actors and convince them that it's a good idea ... this is all so much a part of "movie making" like knowing how to use a camera or write a scene. description.

I wish there was some kind of magic solution I could offer you, but it might be helpful to know that you are not the only one who feels that way, and that you are struggling with issues faced by all filmmakers at all levels of the industry. . Even when you're a big enough star that the cast and crew are dying to work for you, you still need to convince investors, broadcasters, government agencies, and other people in the industry why they should support * you *. project rather than the thousands of others. projects that people are trying to do at any given time, and they won't be as interested as you'd like.

Best of luck!

In this day and age, having a college degree seems to be a necessity for most jobs, aside from selling burgers, packing groceries, or handing out latte. But, in the world of entertainment, specifically in the film and television industry, that is not always the case.

Because cinema is a combination of art and commerce, there are pros and cons in both directions. Let's get into what they are!

For starters, film production is notoriously one of the most difficult professions to pursue. Unlike being a doctor or a financial manager, there is no clear path to your first job. If you ask ten people

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In this day and age, having a college degree seems to be a necessity for most jobs, aside from selling burgers, packing groceries, or handing out latte. But, in the world of entertainment, specifically in the film and television industry, that is not always the case.

Because cinema is a combination of art and commerce, there are pros and cons in both directions. Let's get into what they are!

For starters, film production is notoriously one of the most difficult professions to pursue. Unlike being a doctor or a financial manager, there is no clear path to your first job. If you ask ten people on a film set how they got started, you will get ten different answers. So this brings us to the main benefit of earning a degree in film production: having a network.

When you come to Los Angeles, or if you've ever talked to someone who has lived there, chances are you'll hear the word "networking" 900 times. That's because in this industry it's really about who you know. Although there are several sites that post jobs related to film production, I don't know of a person on my network (yes, I live in Los Angeles) who has posted a job there, let alone gotten one. In this industry, it's all about trust and time.

In film production, time is money and you have to know that the person you hired can help you achieve a common goal, all with a good attitude. Nobody wants to be caught working with a jerk. There is also the problem of acceleration time. Projects often go from development to green light in the blink of an eye. This means that you need to hire an army of people within a few weeks. With so many positions to fill, there is no time to sift through resumes. Just ask someone you trust who you trust to fill a job. You meet up with that person, make sure he's not an idiot, and hire him. This reduces search days to hours.

So what the hell does this have to do with a film production title? The answer is your network. Going to film school is as much about the people you meet as it is about the technical skills you learn. If you look at the most successful filmmakers in the world today, they likely have equally successful friends (i.e. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, who met through USC). Film schools also help you find production internships so you can start meeting people who work in the industry, often leading to full-time employment. Especially if you go to a school like USC, NYU, UCLA, AFI, or Chapman. By going to these schools, you ensure a strong network that you can draw on to get a foot in the door.

At this point, you may be wondering “but what about the art of cinema? I want to make art! How am I going to be the next Godard if I don't learn to skip the cut or the next Michael Bay if I don't learn to blow shit? "In this day and age, you can learn everything you need to know about filmmaking through tutorials on Google and Youtube. There are many sites like No Film School or - cheeky plug - my site. Take me for example. I never went to the film school, I am completely self-taught and in most of my concerts I get paid as much as those with film titles. The only difference is that I don't have his mountain of debt ... I guess I could have used Quentin Tarantino as an example but who doesn't love talking about themselves, again, yeah, I live in Los Angeles.

To sum it all up, film school can be good. Especially if you are about to finish high school, you love film and / or television and you need to choose a major. There, you will learn a lot about movie making, make great friends who will hopefully succeed and get you a job one day, and you can focus too much on something you love. But it comes at a cost, and many times universities will teach you how to make a perfect big-budget movie when you should be concentrating on something on the level of El Mariachi or Tangerine. Things are very different in the real world (that is, they need to raise money). That is why when you ask any successful film director, be it Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, etc. what is their advice to aspiring filmmakers, they say “go out there and make a movie. You have a camera on your phone. Go right now, get your friends, record something, and post it somewhere for people to see. Then do it over and over until they're okay. "

I guess by "risky" you mean income. How likely is a person to earn a living?

First of all, I'm not sure that literature or psychology is much less risky than cinema. I have degrees in both. I earn a decent living, but that's largely because I have a Ph.D. A bachelor's degree in either will not necessarily provide an easier path to a steady income.

This is what I say to my own daughter, who is also in grade 12:

The quality of life of a person is directly related to the satisfaction they get from what they do. Not how much money they make. If you get personal satisfaction

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I guess by "risky" you mean income. How likely is a person to earn a living?

First of all, I'm not sure that literature or psychology is much less risky than cinema. I have degrees in both. I earn a decent living, but that's largely because I have a Ph.D. A bachelor's degree in either will not necessarily provide an easier path to a steady income.

This is what I say to my own daughter, who is also in grade 12:

The quality of life of a person is directly related to the satisfaction they get from what they do. Not how much money they make. If you get personal satisfaction from science, get on with science. If you get personal satisfaction from the arts, move on to the arts. The bottom line is that you can make a living doing just about anything. If you are fascinated by cows, you can earn a living tending cows. If you are interested in volcanoes, you can become a volcano expert and earn a living from them. You cannot earn a living in the same way, that is, not all activities will generate the same amount of money, but no one judges the quality of your life based on money. Well ... practically no one.

However, there are some details that must be included in the equation. You have to 1) dedicate yourself seriously to all aspects of whatever it is you want to do and 2) you have to base your lifestyle on your income. So if you love something that doesn't pay much, even when you work on it all the time and are willing to do everything about it, then you have to live simply. As long as you have a roof over your head, enough food to eat, clothes to wear. Are you okay.

Let's say someone wants to be an actor. Most people will tell you that they shouldn't do that because it's too risky and most actors don't "make it." But "making it" is not the goal of someone who really wants to be an actor. Acting is. If "making it" is what a person is looking for, then he really doesn't want to be an actor, he wants to be someone who gets rewarded. They want to be a great movie star. That is a childish ambition and the person pursuing it will likely fail because they are unwilling to act unless they see it as a path to reward.

But the person who really wants to spend his life acting will do all of the following:

1. Study. Earn acting-related degrees. Educate yourself.
2. Teach to act when they are trained. They can teach individual lessons, or teach children, or teach at the YMCA, or they can earn enough degrees to teach acting, theater, and film at a college or university.
3. They will do film, television, radio, commercials, industrial films, theater - local and fair - they will do sketches and plays and presentations. In other words, they will do whatever kind of performance is possible. Some of it will pay. And the better they get, the more they pay until they have a base income.
4. They will be smart with the money they earn so they can continue to act. They may buy a cheap car instead of a fancy new one to keep their monthly expenses low enough to keep performing. They will live simply.

If they do these things, they basically work hard in every way to act and don't put themselves in a bad financial position, they can earn a living and keep acting.

Simply staying debt free opens up a world of possibilities by dramatically reducing a person's cost of living.

In the end, I tell my daughter to think of it this way: imagine that you are lying on your deathbed at the end of your life remembering everything you did. What will you consider important? How much money did you earn? The things you bought? Or the countless wonderful moments you spent accomplishing what you love to do?

I hope this helps.

Good luck.

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