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Andy Balla
ideas for finding work
on May 22, 2011 at 12:00:19 am

Hi all. SO I've been doing location sound for about 5 years now. I've finally got together a decent gear package...It needs to grow, but I've hit the wall on what I can spend for now. Still, I've got the basics and can rent the rest. I've worked on many short films, done commercial and corporate work, and am about to start my second feature length indie film. The first one I worked on will be available nation-wide in the USA in October, and international distribution is in the works.

My question is this...Since I live in an area that is not exactly a hotbed of film and video production (Western North Carolina), does anyone have ideas on how to go about pulling in more jobs? I have been considering moving to an area that has more activity (such as the New York City area, where I grew up), but I feel like I would be having to start over and make new connections, and throw away the networking I've done around here for the past five years. I trawl sites like mandy.com and productionhub.com daily, but there is so little work posted in the southeast. Any thoughts?


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Eric Toline
Re: ideas for finding work
on May 22, 2011 at 12:15:46 am

Contact every sound guy in a 100 mile radius, introduce yourself and tell them that if they get double booked,get sick,win the lottery, etc, that you'll cover for them. Also say that you'll work for whatever the rate is and most important that you won't hand out your business card to their clients. Opening a dialog with other mixers in the general area is the best way to establish yourself and your credibility. Good luck.


Eric


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Andy Balla
Re: ideas for finding work
on May 22, 2011 at 12:25:13 am

Thanks for the reply, Eric. I hadn't thought of that approach, although in my area, I'd have to contact every sound guy in about a 300 mile radius! At least you've given me some food for thought and the beginning of a plan of attack, so to speak. Thanks!


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Noah Kadner
Re: ideas for finding work
on May 22, 2011 at 2:35:09 am

Yeah if it were me and I was really serious about a long-term career I'd move to NYC or L.A. Smaller markets are really hard to make it a full-time living.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Andy Balla
Re: ideas for finding work
on May 22, 2011 at 3:50:31 am

Well, I'm definitely willing to travel, though.


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Stephen Hall
Re: ideas for finding work
on May 22, 2011 at 4:49:50 am

Andy, I am in about the same position. I'm in what you'd might call a "medium" market, not LA/NY/Chicago, but not Two Egg, Florida, either. I've got a better-than-average kit, with a few outstanding pieces of gear, and four years of school of hard knocks. (Let me also mention that Ty Ford helped me through some conceptual stumbling blocks when I was just getting started. Thanks, Ty!)

There are a couple of guys in my area who seem to be making it doing sound mixing, but everyone else is struggling, has a day job, etc.

I like the advice from Eric Toline. I'm going to try it.

Best of luck to *all* of us sound guys just poised to dive in..

Stephen Hall
http://sound.facesproject.org/


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Noah Kadner
Re: ideas for finding work
on May 22, 2011 at 5:29:04 am

I dunno- I guess if a stranger called me up out of the blue and said they do my job for me whenever I couldn't for whatever reason- it'd be real rare that I'd put them up for a gig rather than someone I knew already personally and could vouch for the quality of their work. But that's just me...

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Andy Balla
Re: ideas for finding work
on May 22, 2011 at 12:03:46 pm

I already got a reply from one of the guys I contacted. He told me they actually have a small group of guys that meet up for lunch once in a while. They pass work to each other within the group. Like you said, Noah, they have standards about quality of work and gear. They also don't undercut each other. It sounds sort of like a union. Anyway, I'm going to meet up with them soon, so that's a start...


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Ty Ford
Re: ideas for finding work
on May 22, 2011 at 2:44:18 pm

Hi Andy,

Eric's point is a good one and Noah's is the perfect caveat. Get to know the other audio guys. Just a phone call wouldn't work for me either. I have a short list of guys here in the Baltimore Washington area. We have talked to each other a lot; and with some face time.

The most important facet of these relationships is trust. I trust these guys have the gear and knowledge to do the job. I trust that they behave professionally. I trust that they won't stab me in the back for a job. In this day and age, that's pretty special and not everyone is capable of living up to it.

We loan or low rent gear to each other sometimes if someone needs something. We offer background info about producers and their pay and any attitude foibles. We build close friendships. I'm not sure this happens in the other crafts.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide





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Diane Reid
Re: ideas for finding work
on Jun 6, 2011 at 11:58:37 pm

I would suggest signing up with the Film Office's directory of crew and talent. http://nc.reel-scout.com/crew_login.aspx

Most states now have film offices and many have links to their crew directories. http://www.film.virginia.org/

Also, the media communications association http://www.mca-i.org/

If there's a local chapter for your area, networking with other pros may be an option. Best of luck and God bless all of you who contribute to these forums. I'm learning a lot.


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Andy Balla
Re: ideas for finding work
on Jun 7, 2011 at 12:15:29 am

Thanks! I'm already signed up with the NC Film Office, and Production Jobs North Carolina on FB. I'll look into more options there. I've actually picked up a few good jobs lately through my listing on mandy.com, so that's pretty cool.


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