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how to approach a post house/job/company for work

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dewan edwards
how to approach a post house/job/company for work
on Feb 11, 2010 at 7:53:07 pm

Well, looking at the "did I choose the wrong career" post kind of humbled me even more then I already am but hey I have already invested a lot of time and money into wanting to edit. So can someone give me advice or point me to info on how to contact post houses for editing jobs. The bottom up is what I except which is fine. I currently plan on just searching online post houses in my area and try emailing samples and calling. Is this a good approach, is there any advice on what I should have prepared? I have a site and a reel I am just unsure of how to go about contacting places for work. I guess I am looking for info on the right way to start. Any all advice is welcome, and yea I am in the LA area, lucky me. I might look into San Diego to.

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Glen Montgomery
Re: how to approach a post house/job/company for work
on Feb 11, 2010 at 9:01:35 pm

You have to realize that there are hundreds of other kids doing the same online research and sending emails, because its easy. To separate yourself you have do the hard stuff. You need to sack up and walk into every post house in your area. You have to sell yourself as if you are a politician. You have to make them want you in their company, to be someone they are comfortable spending 8-10 hours a day with. Yes a slick reel does help the confidence quite a bit, but you have to convince them that they should actually watch it. If you don't have the slick reel (which I did not have when I hit the streets), you have to sell yourself as a go getter and someone worth investing in on the long run. I interviewed with the company I am at 3 times over a 6 month period, but I every time I made sure they knew I was dedicated to learning and was ready to be groomed. Eventually a place will give you a chance if they see that fire and then you go make the most of the opportunity. I know I am being a little harsh, but it's because I wish someone had been hard on me when I started looking for work. The internet is a huge help, but it wont work as your only avenue for searching. You have to get face to face, and then you have to sell yourself. Good luck man, its hard but well worth it. As Grinner is always harping on, go get on the phone right now and talk to a real person or tear a page out of the phonebook and pound the pavement. Oh, and be nice to the receptionist, otherwise you wont talk to anyone.

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Richard Herd
Re: how to approach a post house/job/company for work
on Feb 11, 2010 at 10:17:06 pm

Digital Signage is a quickly growing industry. Although the skill set is really a video editing skill set, the jobs are coming through via graphic design. Sometimes called "multimedia" sometimes called "graphic design II." In a lot of ways, the folks doing the hiring are unaware of the exact skill set. It's like an RGB v. CMYK debate. Traditionally, a creative director (graphic designer) will land the client. THese CDs now need to add value for their clients by adding an entire video deliverable.

Often the software that delivers the content (not authoring, delivering) is Scala.

Marketing and media buying companies are scrambling for example to find a distribution channel so that say "Nike" can put their :30 spot on the digital signage in Athlete's foot. There's a bazillion examples like this: Calloway wants their :30 spot in Sport Mart. Coors wants their :30 spot in Walmart. We, digital signage gurus, cannot find enough talent to fill the need. In my department, I'm the only video dude, whereas there are 3 graphic designers. Because my skill set is perceived correctly as specialized, my compensation ain't so bad.

To get a sense of what's going on, check out digital signage expo for example

My typical work flow is like this:
-- shoot on aghvx200
-- edit in FCS
-- convert In Design/illustrator/psd files into AE animations
-- make it look pretty all together
-- export, compress, deliver

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Juris Eksts
Re: how to approach a post house/job/company for work
on Feb 11, 2010 at 11:10:20 pm

I was doing this recently, in a country I'd just moved to, where I knew very few people, (although I had extensive experience in the job).
My approach was: first to get a list of ALL the production and post-production companies in or near the city (in this case Dublin, Ireland).
Phone a few a day, talk to the receptionist (nicely) to get a name of a person with whom to talk to about getting advice.
Side note 1 - the Receptionist (or whoever picks up the phone in the first place) is a key character in your quest! - respect them, and respect their advice.
Side note 2 - I think that, if asked for help and advice, people are very likely to respond positively.
Get THE NAME you need, ask for their e-mail so you can send them a CV (sorry - resumee).
Ask to be put through to THE NAME, (and it may take quite persistent calling to actually get through to them) and ASK THEIR ADVICE, - ask if you can go in to see them and the company, ask their advice as to what to do, and ask if they mind you sending them your CV.
(Side note 3 - there's a balance between calling busy people often enough to get through to them, and calling too often and being very annoying).
This will take a lot of effort and calls, and every now and again you may actually meet someone face to face.
If you get that chance, have a nicely presented CV and/or a show reel to give to them. But the main thing is that they have a face (and an attitude) to a name.
You'll have to do that literally HUNDREDS of times, - don't get bitter, don't give up, one day the chance may happen that they need someone the day after you've called, and your CV is on their desk.
- That's how luck works.
(You've got to work very very hard for years and years to be an overnight success).

And just keep plugging away!

Good Luck

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Stephen Smith
Re: how to approach a post house/job/company for work
on Feb 12, 2010 at 6:32:37 pm

Juris has some great advice. That is what I did and it worked for me. To add a little. When making your phone calls for the day. Do them all at the same time. Don't make a call and then take a break. Every time you pick up the phone you need to build up your nerves. If you take a break you have to start the process all over. So first you create a list of all of the companies as stated by Juris and then you decided who you will call today and call them one after the other. This will also get you in a flow that will help you out.

Also, when you get the NAME and meet with them. Ask them for three NAMES of people they now and ask if you can use their NAME when contacting the three people they know. By using their name when the phone call will go a lot smother and trust me, when you are connected with someone they know they will be more willing to help you out. Best of luck and hope this helps.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials

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grinner hester
Re: how to approach a post house/job/company for work
on Feb 12, 2010 at 2:08:03 pm

You'll call em and ask em if they can use a go-gerttin' assistant editor and take anything that's offered to get your foot in the door.

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Jeremy Garchow
Re: how to approach a post house/job/company for work
on Feb 12, 2010 at 8:59:03 pm

[dewan edwards] "So can someone give me advice or point me to info on how to contact post houses for editing jobs."

You approach them with a chain saw, some sh*t kickin' boots, a bottle of whiskey and a calling.

And a great attitude.

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dewan edwards
Re: how to approach a post house/job/company for work
on Feb 12, 2010 at 11:15:59 pm

Thanks guys, getting my war gear together and getting ready to hit the streets next week. We shall see what happens.

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adam taylor
Re: how to approach a post house/job/company for work
on Feb 17, 2010 at 12:02:05 pm

one little tip that i have never seen mentioned anywhere...and i know it worked for me!

I went to a company for what i was lead to believe was a chat about a potential project. When i got there i found it was set up like a traditional interview, and was thrown off balance by the way the interview was conducted. Afterwards, at home i analysed the event and was really convinced my performance was crap! As it was a gig i really wanted, i set about re-organising my ideas and thoughts, came up with some new proposals and even did some costing charts, then i phoned the guy back and told him that i would really like to come back in at his convenience because i did not feel i had come across very well, and that i had some further ideas and suggestions to put to him.

He agreed, we met again, this time it was much more informal. I already met him once so was aware of how best to approach the guy, and this time there was no personnel manager in attendance. We had a much more fruitful discussion, and i have now been working there for the past four years, doing the job of my dreams.

basically, if you want the job, you have to fight for it. If you need a second shot at it, ask! But only if you are convinced you have more to offer than you originally expressed.

good luck


Adam Taylor
Video Editor/Audio Mixer/ Compositor/Motion GFX/Barista
Character Options Ltd
Oldham, UK

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Scott Roberts
Re: how to approach a post house/job/company for work
on Feb 17, 2010 at 4:14:13 pm

I had trouble finding work right after college, and had to take up a job as a janitor with a college degree for a few months, which sucked, but motivated me to get the hell out of there. What I did was look up the address of every post house I could find (in the Chicago area) and mailed them a resume (that pretty much just listed my college courses and what I learned in them since I had no REAL experience) and a cover letter that was maybe 3 paragraphs long that pretty much said I'm having trouble getting my foot in the door and would love the opportunity to prove myself because I know I have what it takes. I think what I did wrong though, was not send anyone a demo reel (I had DVDs, but didn't have it online because I didn't know any better). So in my several months of mailing out my resume, I only got called for two interviews. But the second one I actually mailed accidentally to a stage production company who happened to work in the same building as a post-house, so the staging company gave it to the owner of the post-house, who coincidentally was looking for an assistant editor. So as much as you'd probably hate to hear it, luck probably plays a large role in getting a job before you even have a chance to prove what you're worth.

The first interview I dressed up uncomfortably nice, and was very nervous, and played it too safe and came across weak I think. The second interview I just wore a sweater and jeans, and just sort of laughed with the guy and talked about college and movies during the interview. I've been working at the place of the second interview for the past 3 years.

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dewan edwards
Re: how to approach a post house/job/company for work
on Feb 18, 2010 at 12:41:22 am

Thanks guys, this really gives an insight into what others have gone and are going through. I do have one resume question. I have went out and done some work on my own for companies making them product videos for their sites. Should I list these as work under me i.e. (company Dewan Edwards) or work under the actual clients name i.e. (company Body Building Buddies)and list what I did for them. Just want to make sure it comes across good.

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