Some professional advice?
I am currently working in Radio and have been for the last 13 years. Over the last few years I have been doing some freelance video prod. for clients I have met through my radio job. I am looking at leaving radio all together to focus on video. I have a BA communications degree that I got ten years ago (where I learned video on BETA decks) so obviously my degree is somewhat worthless. I am self taught (through books) on AVID, Vegas and Aftereffects. I know ProTools, Adobe Aud etc...through radio. MY QUESTION? I am considering going back to school for either a MA in Comm. Video Empahsis or attending the Art Instititue in order to obtain a degree. Do I need some sort of "official certififacte" to do video full time? I have a reel, but no "real world" expirirence. I am also considering going to school so I can get an internship at a TV station, and I need to be enrolled to do so. Can anybody let me know if school would be the way to go or a waste of money? While I can intuitively produce a :30sec spot, there is a lot I would like to learn, more animation, color/lighting etc...help please. Thanks!!!!
I recommend NOT, NOT, NOT going for a masters, unless you want to teach... Go to a technical school, community college, that sort of thing.... Where you got the basic skills, meaningless, to be honest...
Here's what I recommend... Get an editing job at a local news station. I don't care how big the city you live in is, I guarantee that you will find one station that will have a part time entry level editor position open at one time or another. If you linear edited in school back in the day, the person who hires you will love that. I am willing to bet that with your current qualifications you could land such a job. Do your time, it's a great environment to learn in, and you're on your way!
I went to school not as long ago as you, a very well known film school, and they still use Beta SP for most of their editing needs...so you are not so far behind the times as you may think. You do not necessarily need to go to school for any job in film or television...but of course it never hurts. The best thing about going to film/television school is the contacts that you make. It all depends on how well you use them. I have been told the the networking is even better in Master's programs. But, it is a ton of money to go to school, and if you are not that concerned with a degree or letters behind your name (in my experienc, no production company seems to ever care about where you went or what degree you have, but rather what experience you have and how good you are), then I would suggest going to a program like New York Film Academy or Full Sail (I met George Romero at a film festival that I was in and he told me his daughter went to Full Sail and he thought the facilities were amazing...if it is good enough for George Romero's daughter...) Sounds like you already have a lot of skills under your belt. Good luck.
No one path of entry into the film/video business is right for everyone. Each of us found the way to much the same place by taking different paths. Knowing what I know now, I would not have wasted my time going to a univeristy and majoring in film. I'd like to say I would go to an art institute somewhere and surround myself with creative, passionate people. But the truth is, knowing what I know now, I wouldn't even major in film production. I'd take business courses. I'd learn about the bottom line and how to improve it; marketing, sales, managing money, etc.
I remember once hearing a radio interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jame Michener. Someone called into the program and asked him how to become a writer. His answer was simple. "Write", he said. "Get up everyday and write something, whether you feel like it or not."
I think his point was that if you love what you're doing all you really need is experience. Get out there and start working. Take any job you can find in the business, because, if nothing else, you'll make some contacts which will make it much easier to move within the fraternity. Find professional organizations in your community, art directors club - users groups - advertising associations - corporate video producers and attend their meetings. Meet people. Look at other's work. Read all you can get your hands on. Experiment. The bottom line is not "what do you know." It's "what have you done."
post your reel Graeme!
I am afraid my reel is pretty lame...It consists of a few spots that I was paid for, and unfortunatley were viewed in various communities around the country. It contains a very cheesy local cable spot that I cut together and built a few animated sequences for. It was for a local SOCAL agency (I did not film it or come up with the concept) and it looks exetemely tacky. The other series of spots I did which did run in Philly, Boston, Baltimore and Pittsburg were for a spot where the client supplied the art and wanted it animated. Again very cheesy. I also did some specs for an East Coast agency where they gave me nothing more than JPEGS and wanted to make spots out of them. I would pride myself on the fact that I voice all of the spots, but again in the spots I produced the clientswanted me to talk a hundred miles a minute or sound EXREMELY "Happy" while voicing them. Maybe I could throw a plug in for my voicework and audio production here? I do voicework for a couple/three radio stations and freelance work for a nationally syndicated show....I'm cheap....sorry. I would love some advice on my reel (could I email it to you?) but I really don't want to post it after seeing some of the reels on this board! Some really good stuff!!
skip the school. waste of money and time. talk your way into the business. do stuff for free, for cheap, whatever. just do stuff. if you're good, you'll learn "real world experience." i've got a mechanical engineering degree but i'm a full time video guy. people will hire you based on what you can do, not what degree or certificate you have.
if you are NOT good, it doesn't matter if you go to school or not.
find a big church in your area and tell them you want to do video stuff for them for free. that's where i got a lot of experience.
I would agree with everyone that at this point going back to school isn't going to be worth much. Though it will open a few doors for you at stations looking to hire interns. At this point you would be paying to learn much of what you already know, and nothing that you somebody wouldn't be willing to show you at a job.
Network, look for local editing, video groups in your area, just in West Michigan where I'm at there are two that meet monthly. Places like that are always know who needs help.
The path I followed was getting into a production house, rather then a station. There I was able to trade my time(generally afterhours, digitizing, logging, so I could keep my day job) for opportunites to learn and use the equipment, and lucky for me I was working with a top flight editor, so it was a great experience. 6 months later I was offered a full-time job.
I think you shoudl keep in mind that opinions in this business regarding school generally follow along the same lines as those who have done school and those who have not. My advice is to go with what your heart desires. In my opinion, education is never a worthless pursuit. What many don't take into account is that graduate programs are not the same as undergraduate. Chances are you will make some great contacts and have a great time doing it. That being said, you will also want to consider where you want to go with video. If you want to be a cameraman, editor, audio guy, etc. they will most likely never ask where you went to school but, they will want to see what you know and if you didn't learn it in school you have to learn it somewhere other than on the job. That is another reason why school can be a valuable experience. If you aspire for different roles like producer or other managment then your degree will be very helpful (essential in my mind) and most cameramen will never arrive in the producer's chair.
It all depends where you want to go but just keep in mind that your contacts and your abilities are going to be your greatest assets.