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How to get into "different" video work??

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Jay Evs
How to get into "different" video work??
on Dec 12, 2010 at 4:19:23 pm

I will be looking for a new job in video soon, from scratch, in a new city.

I've been through the process of applying to production houses and video jobs before. But Im wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to find and get involved in more 'out there' stuff. Im still 'young' and would like to be working with other young people. I dont care if im getting low pay, so long as i can somehow get into an environment that is creative and lively. i know this sounds VERY general, but Id like to avoid seeking another standard job editing for a production house, and find other more adventurous ways of making money from video. BUT, i dont really know what else is out there. Im not too interested in the film industry either. But dont know what else there is. I guess there are groups of people getting their own unique projects started, which involve video, but how does one go about sniffing out these things in a big new city? for sure, there arent any job listings that say "Interesting alternative job involving video".

does anyone have any ideas how to even start looking or what other kinds of areas there might be in video? i.e. something with an underground feel to it. and like i said, id be happy making peanuts so long as im being stimulated.

thanks for any ideas.


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Ron Pestes
Re: How to get into "different" video work??
on Dec 12, 2010 at 10:27:20 pm

Go to Craigslist for the city you are in and click on "TV/Film/Video" and also "Crew". That will show you all the video type work in that area. Good luck.

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walter biscardi
Re: How to get into "different" video work??
on Dec 13, 2010 at 12:05:41 am

This post would be better served in the Business and Marketing forum where topics like this are discussed daily.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
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Biscardi Creative Media

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John Davidson
Re: How to get into "different" video work??
on Dec 13, 2010 at 2:03:56 am

You are young and passionate with a healthy dose of idealization. Nobody wants to dishearten you - but there aren't that many gigs like you want. For me, jobs I'd take peanuts for doing are:
1. Writer for "The Simpsons" (I'd just love to hang out with those folks)
2. SNL cast or writing staff
3. Conan O'Brien writer
4. Or get involved somehow with anything Judd Apatow has going on.

So make a bucket list for your career. Think about the things you love and put them on paper. Do some homework and perhaps you could find an internship at a place that does some aspect of what you love. Perhaps there's a production company for your favorite show that handles all the shows audio, or color correction, or animation, etc. Look at the credits, google the companies, ask for internships with their HR departments.

Worst case, make your own creative space. Writing needs no financing and no crew. Good luck!

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Mark Suszko
Re: How to get into "different" video work??
on Dec 13, 2010 at 3:55:09 pm

See, here I think is an example of a situation that can be helped by applied social media tools. Craig's is a start, but you could also create a facebook page just for the project. There are also established sites out there like Massify (Can't believe I plugged those guys, but that's another story), that create a nexus where like-minded folks can gather and collaborate and coordinate.

As far as more "unconventional" video projects that are not indie films of some kind, there are things like "Funny or Die", which takes submissions, ATOM films, etc. So you have potential platforms already out there to showcase your work product. If you're looking for something more like in the performance art scene, I dunno... find a Burning Man web page and start talking to folks?

Really what I think you're saying is you don't want to work for a conventional job... so you have to invent the job you want. For that, look inwards to your own interests and passions. The most successful people on this web site all have that in common, at least: a driving passion for what they do and the way they want to do it.

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Tim Wilson
Re: How to get into "different" video work??
on Dec 13, 2010 at 5:31:27 pm

[Mark Suszko] "Really what I think you're saying is you don't want to work for a conventional job... so you have to invent the job you want. For that, look inwards to your own interests and passions."

The best career development tool ever: yellow pad of paper. Has to be yellow.

Don't start by thinking about a "job," or jobs you'd like to have. Make a list of things you like to DO. Not "do for a living." Just DO.

After you've made a raw list, start doodling. Make circles around the things that REALLY jump out. Cross out anything that doesn't look as interesting as the others. Draw lines connecting things that might be related. Get really active with the piece of paper. The physical movement of your hand, and the visual feedback from the changes you make, really helps.

After THAT, start seeing how you can put that together into something that looks like a job. Maybe it won't look like any job you've ever seen. But once you know what it is, you can start working your way toward it.

For the video-specific part of it, figure out the kind of video you'd like to make, and just start making it. You say you don't mind working for no pay? Well, here's your chance. See how far you can go on no budget, but also freed from a client or boss's lack of imagination.

Then go back to the yellow pad of paper. Has to be yellow.

Tim Wilson
Associate Publisher, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine

My Blog: "Is this thing on? Oh it's on!"

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Richard Harrington
Re: How to get into "different" video work??
on Dec 13, 2010 at 7:19:07 pm

Look at for topics and genres you like. Join local user and professional groups in your area. What you are looking for takes face to face networking too

Richard M. Harrington, PMP

Author: From Still to Motion, Video Made on a Mac, Photoshop for Video, Understanding Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Studio On the Spot and Motion Graphics with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Studio Techniques

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Timothy J. Allen
Re: How to get into "different" video work??
on Dec 13, 2010 at 10:42:52 pm

I think that is not only good advice for those like Jay who may just be starting out, but is also the kind of exercise all of us should take some time to do every few years.

And, yes... make sure the pad is yellow. That's important.


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Bill Davis
Re: How to get into "different" video work??
on Dec 13, 2010 at 11:24:46 pm

I'm gonna disagree with Tim W. here. In his heart, I KNOW that even he understands that pastel pad tolerance is a noble thing... within the rules.

Yellow pads are perfectly acceptable during the period around Halloween and Thanksgiving and if nothing better is available. However one really should transition to pastel BLUE or pastel GREEN pads when nearing the Easter season, and I personally prefer to restrict myself to pale GREY pads during the holiday months and at least until February. (Consider it a nod to neutral WINTERs colorless landscape) ALL should, of course, eschew the horrid glare of the dreaded WHITE pads. Pastel pads in a Technicolor Dreamcoat array of possibilities — are not unlike subtle scents applied to massage oil - the visual equivalent of AROMA THERAPY - and God knows we all need all the mood calming help we can get as we approach the end of this year!

Oh, By the way, whoever suggested surfing to Craig's list should re-consider the advice. It seems that since the CL Pashas decided to burnish their public image by tossing the ADULT content creators out of their dank, but at least well-labeled hole - those folks have spread like rats to virtually every "VIDEO" related sub-group - making the task of simply looking to see if there are any vaguely interesting lowball projects in ones area the surfing equivalent of strolling around Times Square in 1980 or so.

Forewarned is forearmed!

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Nick Griffin
Re: How to get into "different" video work??
on Dec 14, 2010 at 12:36:57 pm

Thwack! (The sound of me smacking the middle of my forehead.) YELLOW pad?!?!? THAT'S what I've been doing wrong all these years??? And as far as Bill's insight, you mean all these people walking around the set in nothing but bathrobes aren't here for an exercise video? Boy was I naive when I took this gig.

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Jay Evs
Thanks for all the replies!!!
on Dec 14, 2010 at 12:51:05 pm

Wow I didnt expect this many great replies in just a couple of days.

Many, many thanks for all your great tips. Im on it....



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Mike Cohen
Re: How to get into "different" video work??
on Dec 14, 2010 at 4:00:27 pm

[Bill Davis] "BLUE or pastel GREEN pads"

This part of the conversation reminds me of the 5 part colored carbon script paper we used back in the day. Canary for the director, pink for the audio engineer, green for the producer, blue for Jim Boyd and purple for Susan Warnick. This was the WCVB mid-day news in the early 90's. I don't know if they still use these carbon form feed scripts here in the early 2010's - but this is how I remember it!

I often do this sort of brainstorming sitting on airplanes. I used to carry around a hardbound notebook. Now I use my laptop, but you can't be quite as free form electronically as on paper. When all else fails I'll use one of those vomit bags the airline provides, preferably a clean one! It is actually funny that the airline assumes the possibility of every person on the plane needing to hurl, or at least they want to be prepared for one person getting sick by placing these bags at every seat.

Ok, back to the program - how to find non-traditional video work?

Here in CT, we have a burgeoning film community. I'm not talking about Spielberg taking over New Haven for a month - while that was no doubt good for New Haven. We have many people of all ages participating in independent filmmaking activities. The ring leader of some of this is a guy named Neal Thomassen. He works full time in video for a non-profit, but has dedicated the rest of his free time to organizing film and video activities in the state, holding annual film mixer seminars and film screenings. And he cross promotes other activities, groups, freelance gigs, unpaid fun activities and networking in general. Being friends with him on Facebook provides monthly opportunities to connect with others with like interests.
I went to one of his mixers and met about a dozen new people in film and video, and also got connected with my state's MCA chapter. In fact the president of my MCA chapter was my theater 101 professor from college.

Find someone like that in your state or city and you will be on the right track. A lot of off the grid production work is also outside the banking system. But if you have a passion, find something you like to do and you might make something out of it.

Mike Cohen

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Doug Collins
Re: How to get into "different" video work??
on Dec 15, 2010 at 10:58:24 pm

Gotta say I'm surprised that no one mentioned these Cow forums: JOBS Offered - Low/No Pay
JOBS Wanted

Seems like it might be a good place to start.


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