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Where do I start?

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Marcelo Comerlato
Where do I start?
on Aug 23, 2014 at 4:31:33 am

I graduated a few months ago with a Bachelor's degree in Convergent Media (video production), but I don't have a demo reel to present when I apply for jobs, nor do I have any content from college to use.

So how should I go about getting experience to make a demo reel? I know trying to use home-shot footage is very amateurish and I want to stay away from that route(not to mention I do not have a professional grade camera).

I have experience(from college and self-taught) in production, filming, and editing, and I have experience with Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects pro. But without a demo reel, I feel as if I have no proof.

And I very much want a job with video production, it's my passion, and, frankly, student loans are piling up as well as other bills so I cannot stick with a low paying, menial job much longer.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

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Jim Scott
Re: Where do I start?
on Aug 23, 2014 at 12:39:15 pm

It's unfortunate that your college did not ensure that you developed a demo reel, and that you didn't collect samples of your projects in school and elsewhere. At this point you have a piece of paper supposedly certifying your competence but no evidence of it. You need to look for an intern position where you can start at the bottom (as most must eventually do), learn from those with experience, and develop a reel along the way. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but without a demo reel you are expecting someone to offer you something other than an entry-level position on the basis of your positive attitude alone. Even with a demo reel no one is going to hire you as an editor or producer until you have proven yourself ready under the tutelage of an experienced mentor. Unfortunately entry-level positions are rarely *not* low paying and menial… at least for the short term.

Good luck with your career. Stick with it and you'll fulfill your passion.

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John Cuevas
Re: Where do I start?
on Aug 23, 2014 at 12:54:02 pm

I second Jim's advice. When I graduated, I only had college experience, no demo reel and really no plan. At that point I sent resumes to every production company in the city and got 1 reply to be an intern. For me that's all I needed and i made the most of it. In addition the glamorous jobs of sweeping the studio, making sure the equipment was put back correctly, loading vans, carrying gear, charging batteries and going on food runs for the editors and graphics guys(pre-after effects days), I made sure to sit/watch/learn everything I could. I went from the guy doing all of the grunt jobs, to the guy digitizing and logging tapes, inserting commercials into shows, cutting short sequences to being hired as an editor. Been doing this for 17 years now, so somewhere along the way I must have gotten something right.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.

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Marcelo Comerlato
Re: Where do I start?
on Aug 24, 2014 at 9:28:14 am

Thank you very much guys! I will be sure to see if I can intern anywhere, I really want real world experience

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Jon Simpson
Re: Where do I start?
on Aug 31, 2014 at 10:03:46 pm

Hey man, I graduated from a degree in philosophy in 2009, a degree I pursued because I wanted to dig as deeply as I could into our world and what the hell I was going to do with the rest of my life.

I had already been learning things on, but I then fell upon oDesk and Elance and very slowly but solidly building a portfolio and a reputation. Just a bit over 3 years later, I am working full time at 30 an hour, about to give myself a 6th raise in that time to 35 an hour, having started off at 12.

It is all about the one step at a time approach and an insane commitment to quality and even working waaaaaaay beyond in order to bring THEIR visions to life.

If your own standards of quality are top notch, you will rock.

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Ian Dillon
Re: Where do I start?
on Sep 2, 2014 at 10:13:22 pm

If you want to do After Effects you can always put together a demo reel showcasing some logo animations from current brands by grabbing free logos and graphics online (Google Images) and adding some background, etc. But if you get a job, people are going to expect you to perform. Are you that good yet? You can fiddle around in your room until you're great, but I suggest knocking on the door of all the edit houses in your area and tell them you'll work part time for free. Like any job, once they find that they like you they will start paying. Many times this doesn't take long at all. Also, when I say "like you", I'm not necessarily talking about your work. If you have a great personality and people like having you around they will hire you for that. Every company wants a good new young worker they don't have to pay much. Get your experience there and learn learn learn. Once you've learned what you need there, and created a demo reel, then get another job that pays because the first one will usually have you stuck at a low wage.

Tip: To get past the receptionist and talk to the guy in charge, email them first and ask about project pricing. The guy in charge will usually email back. Now you have his name, email, and number and can bug the hell out of him for a job. Don't use your real email address though so he doesn't know how you got his info.

20 Year After Effects User
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Adobe Creative Cloud

Playroom Creative
We are an Orange County Video Production and Marketing company.

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