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Need some business/career advice.

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Taylen KellerNeed some business/career advice.
by on May 3, 2010 at 11:23:26 pm

Hello! I recently have decided to pursue a career in multimedia and post production. I have prior experience working with Adobe Premiere for small clients and currently use Final Cut Studio. I am sort of lost at the moment and could sorely use some advice and outside opinions.

I am interested in trying to get a job at a post-production house or start a business that focuses on providing production, post, and content distribution online for small and medium-sized local businesses. I do not have a degree in film or multimedia so the Apple professional certification programs (FCS Master Pro, ACMA, XSan Admin, etc) as well as CompTIA (A+, Network+, Security+) certifications have drawn my interest.

My question is from a hiring standpoint how attractive/influential are these certification programs to employers? If I were to work for someone else I'd certainly like to edit but I would also like to focus on media administration, server/workstation management and content distribution.

If I were to start my own business how attractive do you feel these credentials would be to potential clients?

Thanks so much for your time and insight/knowledge! Constructive criticism is VERY welcomed.


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Mike CohenRe: Need some business/career advice.
by on May 4, 2010 at 12:48:33 am

Taylen,
This has been discussed often on this forum. Kudos to you for seeking out advice.
Check out this similar thread:

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/17/869108

Regarding certifications - clients want to know you can do the work they are paying you for. Employers generally want the same thing. Focus on your craft and building a set of useful skills and samples of good work. You can be a great technician, and if you want to be a technician, that is great. But to be a storyteller and artist, what you need is practice and a series of challenges to make you work hard and become a master at what you do.

Mike Cohen



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grinner hesterRe: Need some business/career advice.
by on May 4, 2010 at 3:07:16 am

[Taylen Keller] "My question is from a hiring standpoint how attractive/influential are these certification programs to employers?"
Certifications are for engineers and a degree means nada to most. Your reel is what will get ya jobs and it sounds like you have that... are or working on it. Polish it up and shop it around. Take what's offered and move up from there.





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Mark SuszkoRe: Need some business/career advice.
by on May 4, 2010 at 4:16:42 pm

Taylen, it is interesting that you're approaching the business from the admin and support end. There is some logic in this from a business standpoint. The folks who really made the most money in the Gold Rush were not the prospectors, but the shop-keepers who supplied them.

Everybody tends to spend their energy concentrating on the "sexier" aspects of the work, the creative end is the most visible part of the business... but without a solid support system, productivity - and profit - are limited. So in this case I would say, if what you want to really do is administrate and support the "engine room" of an established large post facility, then the technical certifications may be useful to you. The really high-end facilities keep their own "code jockeys" that write custom apps that give their shops an edge over competitors. Eventually a lot of those apps evolve into plug-ins sold to the general industry, they can even become stand-alone businesses.

Maybe you are wanting to be in that end of the biz. While its a smaller segment of the overall biz, I would imagine that it has less competition in the number of people that get into it, though they would all be competing with pretty advanced skill sets. So you're going to need a lot of work on the front end to get those qualifications and be considered for the engineering type jobs. Be prepared though to repeatedly explain to folks that you may not be primarily an editor, sp much as as a technical facilitator to those editors.

I would say keep your hand in, doing regular editing as well, because you need the same vocabulary as the users you are going to support in order to work with them to meet their needs. An editor who also knows how to code will wind up working on the sexiest cutting-edge projects of all, WETA Lord of the Rings and Avatar-level stuff.


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Ned MillerRe: Need some business/career advice.
by on May 4, 2010 at 11:35:01 pm

Marry someone who makes a great, steady income like an attorney or doctor. Preferably an only child so someday you both will stand a chance of getting an inheritance. I'm serious. Good luck!

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
http://www.bizvideo.com


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Taylen KellerRe: Need some business/career advice.
by on May 5, 2010 at 3:45:01 am

Thanks for the food for thought everyone, this post is especially illuminating. I do enjoy editing but I am also attracted to the "nuts and bolts" side of post production and would like to fulfill both an administrative/technician role in addition to being able to participate in the actual editing process.

I am continuing to mull this over and in the mean time I feel that striving for Apple and CompTIA technical certifications will be a great way to start while trying to get more experience editing and putting together a demo reel.

Thanks everyone!


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Emre Tufekci S.O.A.Re: Need some business/career advice.
by on May 5, 2010 at 12:10:27 pm

Marry someone who makes a great, steady income like an attorney or doctor.

LOL, I married a dentist. When we got married she told me that believes there should be two paychecks coming into the house.

She works at two jobs....... :)


Seriously: I think the Apple and CompTIA technical is a good idea. I think film schools are good things but not mandatory. We are not doctors that require a diploma on the wall or be board certified. Anybody can do what we do.

I dont care too much for resume's or demo reels (there are expections). If I hire an editor I pull them into a bay and tell them I have taken the system apart and they have 30 minutes to put it back together. Then we look at the reel+resume. I dont want to hire an editor who will throw his hands in the air everytime there is problem.

I say go for the certification, the creative stuff you can learn on your own.

Just my 2c

Emre Tufekci
http://www.productionpit.com



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Mike CohenRe: Need some business/career advice.
by on May 5, 2010 at 1:07:27 pm

I tell this story every so often:

Clients often ask me where I went to school for this, "this" being medical video. Did I get a degree in biology? Where do you go to learn this?

The answer is, I learned on the job.

However, I started with the company duping tapes and going on shoots as an assistant, to learn the ropes. And then I worked my way up.

However, once an opportunity presented itself in the company to do some editing, it was both my academic as well as my technical training that got me the job. I always say college teaches you to be a critical thinker and teaches you good work habits, not so much actual job skills. Most of the technical side of things I learned by being motivated and taking the extra time beyond classes to learn. I made friends with the tv studio engineer and he mentored me for two years.

But with some initial job skills, such as figuring out a foreign edit bay, some basic troubleshooting, timing an edit system and using a waveform and vectorscope in the case of the job opportunity I was presented with made all the difference. I showed that I was able to think on my feet, not "throw my arms up in the air when there was a technical malfunction" (TM Emre Tufekci SOA) and work until the job was done.

So have a strong work ethic and enough of the technical skills needed to get the job you want. If a certification is the way to get it, or simply buying donuts for your teacher, do what you think is best for YOU.

Mike Cohen


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