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Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?

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Tyler Groom
Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?
on Dec 24, 2008 at 5:51:10 am

I want to become an Editor for either a Television Show or a Feature Film. The question I have is do I have to move to Los Angeles to really become what I want to be? If not where else does editing take place?
Thanks for all your advice.


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grinner hester
Re: Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?
on Dec 24, 2008 at 11:22:47 pm

If your question is "do I have to?" no. no you don't.
It will help your chances infinatly though.
See, if you wait for big projects to come to you, you'll spend much time waiting. Go where the projects are and you can scurry for em in real time.
Every editor is gonna have to move at some point. May as well get it done with early on, man.



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Ian Johnson
Re: Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?
on Dec 26, 2008 at 1:47:53 am

If you don't have a girlfriend, wife, kids, dependents, deep roots or responsibilities, go now! The longer you wait the more reasons you will accumulate for not being able to move and eat ramen while living on someone's couch. It can be a hard beginning, but there is the potential to earn $65/hr and more. If someone else depends on your income or has an established local career of their own, it will be very hard to make the transition.


Ian



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grinner hester
Re: Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?
on Dec 28, 2008 at 1:58:33 pm

and when ya get there, Tyler, please dont work for 65 bucks an hour.
That's the kind of stuff that's messin' it up for the rest of us.
lol



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Tyler Groom
Re: Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?
on Dec 28, 2008 at 11:11:55 pm

What do you mean? Are you referring to people that have no idea what they are doing but are making 65 dollars an hour just because they know people?


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Bob Bonniol
Re: Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?
on Dec 28, 2008 at 11:53:14 pm

Ummm... What Grinner means is that $65 an hour to edit a broadcast TV thing or feature film is CHUMP CHANGE. The only people you'd 'know' who would pay you $65 an hour in LA are the one's looking for an extreme deal... And if you don't know what you're doing in that market, than you never got the gig to begin with. People who get jobs because they 'know' people get gigs that include Production Assistant, or "Assistant To (fill in name of somebody important here who warrants a glam squad)", or the ubiquitous (and meaningless) Associate Producer credit.

$65 an hour outside LA or NYC for middle of the road editing is not a terrible rate. BUT, (and please go check out the forum on Business for more good guidance), if you were to total up the $$ you spent on your gear, your software, your portable media, your insurance, your space rental, power, phone, ISP, etc... Amortize that out over a year... Add in what you think you're worth: I bet you'd be surprised to see it comes out to more than $65 an hour. Maybe even way more. The killer editors I know in LA, working on features or broadcast, rarely make less than $125 an hour. Some of them make A LOT more than that. I really don't know any that make less. Let me be clear: That's working on feature film and broadcast. There's plenty of editorial work (corporate, non-broadcast branding, music video, EPK stuff, etc) that pays less than that in LA or NY. Those gigs are also more easy to find. For many features, you can forget editing unless you are a member of the ACE (American Cinema Editors... The Editors Union). Getting into the ACE demands a lot of focus, dedication, getting the coffee, and late, late nights of logging and notating.

One of the doors that's really open in LA and NY right now is working in the music industry for labels and artist management. Budgets are totally demolished right now for media produced by the music industry, so a bunch of that work has migrated in house, or is being tossed to the lowest bid possible. It is NOT a way to make money, or even to survive for long, BUT it does get you into the scene, adds legit cred to your reel, and exposes you to the pool of people who are trying to climb the directorial ladder. Latching on to a director who's upwardly mobile is always good.

So much to say on this topic, and so much that's already been said... You should search for other posts on this, there's been a bunch. One final bottom line: You CANNOT get a gig in NYC or LA without being there... You can send reels and make cold calls until you are blue in the face. First question from anybody will be "Are you here in town ?" If the answer is no, then the next thing you'll hear is either "call me when you move here" or dial tone. To play the game you have to be IN the game (I said this on another thread recently).

So save your money, as much as you can, pack your stuff, and GO. You'll never know if you can do it unless you go and try.

Good luck,

Bob Bonniol

MODE Studios
http://www.modestudios.com
Contributing Editor, Entertainment Design Magazine
Art of the Edit Forum Leader
Live & Stage Event Forum Leader
HD Forum Leader


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Tyler Groom
Re: Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?
on Dec 29, 2008 at 4:44:22 am

Okay, so it looks like I would have to move. Are there any other places that have a decent amount of work? I am not really big into the big cities. I noticed your studio is in Washington, is there much work up there?


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Bob Bonniol
Re: Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?
on Dec 29, 2008 at 4:59:12 am

Any semi major market is going to have some gig flow... Seattle's really tight right now. There are the big guns in town: Digital Kitchen, Flying Spot... a few others... Lots of dudes hanging desperately on to jobs. Used to be TONS of corporate up here, but it's really dried up.

If you don't mind mid size cities, Nashville's got a ton of music industry work... Both Carolinas have a fairly active production scene... Vegas of course. Depends on what kind of work you want to do

MODE Studios
http://www.modestudios.com
Contributing Editor, Entertainment Design Magazine
Art of the Edit Forum Leader
Live & Stage Event Forum Leader
HD Forum Leader


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Tyler Groom
Re: Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?
on Dec 29, 2008 at 6:47:37 am

Well I really want to do editing for Television shows or feature films... What areas do you suggest? Thanks for all the help everyone, I really appreciate it.


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Tim Kolb
Re: Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?
on Dec 29, 2008 at 8:45:41 pm

[Tyler Groom] "Well I really want to do editing for Television shows or feature films... What areas do you suggest? Thanks for all the help everyone, I really appreciate it."

Not to be curt...but check your subject line and your first two responses.

Los Angeles

New York





TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,


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Tyler Groom
Re: Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?
on Dec 30, 2008 at 7:45:26 am

Well I know that there would be more opportunities in LA but are there any other places that have decent amounts of television show or feature film editing?


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grinner hester
Re: Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?
on Dec 30, 2008 at 9:08:15 pm

head west, young man.



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Mike Cohen
Re: Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?
on Dec 31, 2008 at 10:12:56 pm

I guess a legitimate question for you is, where do you live now and is there any work there?
Given the economy, moving without an actual job lead means you will be waiting tables to pay your rent. Have you worked editing broadcast shows in your local market? I think more important than "do I have to move?" is "are there jobs worth moving for?"

Provide some background on your work history and why you are looking for a change. Do you have a reel that would make a producer want to have you cut his or her show?

Mike Cohen


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Tyler Groom
Re: Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?
on Dec 31, 2008 at 10:42:09 pm

Well I actually don't have a reel at all right now. There isn't much work to be done in my area. I live in the Fresno,CA area. I graduated high school in 2007 and I haven't done much video work. I don't really now how to start. I have two Sony PD150 cameras, but I don't really know what to film or how to go about making an editing reel, or cameraman reel. Let me know if anyone has any advice. Thanks for your help.


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John Davidson
Re: Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?
on Jan 1, 2009 at 1:51:26 am

Find yourself a college and get into a broadcast/communications/media program - doesn't need to be anything spectacular - most any college will do. At your age nobody is going to hire you do do anything more than schlep tapes or be a runner, so you might as well be getting an education and chasing sorority skirts (which is an education in and of itself!). College isn't required for this industry, but it gives you access to more expensive equipment to train on. Plus, people you meet there may later be clients.

Now that we have a better understanding of your age and situation, I think these other guys will agree with me. There are alot of broke, unexperienced & uneducated 20 year olds in LA that are desperate for any work they can get. You can get broadcast experience anywhere there's a radio station, cable company, or some other small media outlet. I started in radio 12 years ago in backwoods Georgia and attended a tiny college there - none of which hurts me. Actually, our best network client this year came from a college friend who is a VP there.

You're really 10 to 15 years from being experienced enough to cut a show, so you might as well spend that time wisely.

John
Magic Feather Inc.


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Tyler Groom
Re: Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?
on Jan 1, 2009 at 10:04:34 pm

Thanks everyone for all of your advice. I apologize if it seems like I am rejecting advice to move because that is not my intention at all. I just have most of my family and a girlfriend here. So I guess a better subject question would have been what can I do to prepare myself for a move to LA in the future,while I am going to school here? Once again thanks for everyones advice and I apologize.


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Bob Bonniol
Re: Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?
on Jan 1, 2009 at 10:25:11 pm

Tyler,

It seems from your recent post that you are in the learning phase... I see now that your ultimate END goal is to edit features or television, but you are at the beginning of that curve.

First, know that knowledge is everywhere. But it's especially here, all over the place, so search and utilize tools like the cow.

You must know that your development needs to be multi-fold. You will need to continue to acquire knowledge of the tools; how to use them; what's the right technique; where is development taking that stuff; and how does it all work together. At the same time you need to develop knowledge of process. This can be glimpsed in abstract studies (i.e. reading about it), but nothing replaces doing it. I suggest you go find yourself an internship in a local Production company, or post production facility. Perhaps the most valuable thing you might gain from that experience might not be in spending your internship watching the editor, but instead trailing and helping the people around who are producing the gigs, or managing projects. You need to understand what the map of production looks like, how and WHY things happen when they do, who is who... It leads directly to another subject you need to learn and develop: Political aptitude. In this business, even at the lowest possible denominator so much is defined by how we work the system. The system being the people, circumstances, and situations in which we find ourselves having to create. There's as much political manuevering and tactics at play in the world of production as there is at a congressional party caucaus. You have to know that you HAVE TO KNOW who the players are locally, within the company, that are working around you, that are working where you want to go, and then you have to know their circumstances. Oh god, it's all just scratching the surface... In any case: Become a student of the human condition. And use what you discover to become wiser in the application of your own actions.

Then: Art. To be a true jedi at all of this you have to be a ceaseless student of it. You have to be an enthusiast of the form you work, and ideally of as many other forms as you can pack in. You need to inform your own technique with context. Context is built from observing form and function all around you, but also in searching it out everywhere... In museums, in film, in the streets, in architecture, in literature, in history. You have to become a story teller. You have to read the Hero With a Thousand Faces...

You MIGHT think about attending more schooling. Many choose to hone their craft and to make the kind of exposures I'm talking about happen by going to grad school. Being in academia brings you into contact with many interesting memes that you will never otherwise run into. It can shape you as an artist. It can also make you part of an inherent network of people who attended, are attending, or will attend that program. The old boy network goes a long way in getting gigs, particularly if you have done your schooling somewhere like USC, UCLA, CalArts, NYU, etc...

FOr some school is not it, and that is OK. But in that case you have to fashion your own life long process for constantly being knowledgeable, clever, witty, wise, compelling, and commanding. This is demanded of all creatives. Then you must apply yourself also to your craft.

So for you: Think about that stuff I said... But make your way up locally first. See if you can successfully infiltrate the food chain in the comfort of familiar territory. View it as a training exercise. If you can carve a niche for yourself in your area, then maybe you can do it for yourself in the big game. Along the way make sure to learn as much as you can about everybody who has intersected your path in a project. Get out there and know what a camera can do. Understand the fundamntals of good lighting. Study audio and it's unbelievable power to make something that looks good, feel great. Study actors, performers, subjects. Become an expert in the patterns of speech, of the drama of conevrsation.

And for god's sake if you can't dance, then figure it out, because you have GOT to have rhythm.

Good luck,

Bob Bonniol

MODE Studios
http://www.modestudios.com
Contributing Editor, Entertainment Design Magazine
Art of the Edit Forum Leader
Live & Stage Event Forum Leader
HD Forum Leader


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Tyler Groom
Re: Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?
on Jan 2, 2009 at 7:17:46 am

Thanks for the very detailed response. Is it possible to just focus on editing, or do I need to be multi-faceted?



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Mike Cohen
Re: Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?
on Jan 7, 2009 at 8:17:20 pm

Aside from people who cut features, I would say there are few "editors" who only edit. There are a lot more jobs like what most of us on this forum do than dedicated editing jobs. Thus you need to know how to do a little of everything. Especially nowadays that software and computers are so affordable - it is the skills that pay the bills.


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bruno silva
Re: Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?
on Jan 13, 2009 at 2:34:08 am

I live in Westchester, NY. 20 minutes from midtown. I also would like to work on a Television Series. Would you guys still suggest moving to LA? Im working as an Assistant Editor for a small production company that doesnt pay very much.


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grinner hester
Re: Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?
on Jan 18, 2009 at 11:41:21 pm

still would.



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Rick Turners
Re: Do I have to Move to Los Angeles?
on Feb 22, 2009 at 10:12:39 am

As a recent grad of one of the schools aforementioned (and one of the few experienced using high end post production systems and formats etc) I can say officially say that schooling before entering the film industry in any form is essentially a waste of money.
I have met grads from USC, CalArts, UCLA, AFI.. all of whom started as PA's in both production or post.
Why? Because the attitude in most professional environments in the industry is "You cant do this work until you've done THIS work."
"you cant edit a show, until you've edited a show"... that means you either make your own show that gets bought and you prove yourself that way, or someone (your dad who owns a shop, or your uncle who started editing before the market was saturated) hooks you up with a position where you can learn on the spot.

It's a long haul.

I'd invest your time in a company and start as a PA.



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