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Can’t Find a Job

I’ve called up everyone I know, even the ones I hate and swore I’d never work with again. I’m cruising all the usual websites, even my old alma mater’s job board (which never has anything good, despite being the oldest film school in the world).

I finally resorted to a tactic I absolutely loathe. I called every TV show I like, and asked if they had any open positions.

I don’t recommend it. I called fifteen shows in a row, and got fifteen straight rejections. I felt like I was single again.

Almost everyone said I could fax in my resume, and they’d keep it on file. I’ve filed hundreds of such resumes in my short career, and have never once opened up that binder to hire someone. I asked my boss, and she says she’s done it a couple times in her twenty year career, mostly for day players.

I’m going to start calling movies next, but I expect to have as much luck with film as TV. (By the way, the Hollywood Reporter‘s production listings tend to be more reliable than Variety‘s, but you have to have a subscription to see those online.)

I recently received an e-mail from a new website, called FiveSprockets.com. It seems to be a social networking site, along the lines of Trigger Street, but with job listings, too. Right now, though, the site is too new to have anything interesting up.

Speaking of networking sites, I found a Yahoo! group similar to the Google group I mentioned the other day. LA Producer is for “Los Angeles based Exec Producers, Line-Producers, UPMs and Production Supervisors or Coordinators.” Ask your coordinator friends to join, and reap the benefits of menial labor.

While we’re talking about links, Hollywood Juicer directed his readers to Life Below the Line, a blog about sound mixing and boom operating. It’s as sexy as it sounds.

This anonymous blogress claims to have “Tales From the Bottom of the Film Business,” but my readers know this can’t true. Literally. Still, a very good read, and highly recommended.

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10 Responses

  1. Hello. My name is Jose. i need your help as recently i had finished school and i have applied to many production sites such as recently such as, mandy and craiglist without. results. The question is what web site should i use? Because i keep hitting the wall.

  2. I am a career personal & on set assistant. The work is, and has been for the last few years in New Orleans, it’s only June they have 21 movies and 5 TV series slated. Amazing crew and always open to taking on assistants who don’t have ‘credits’ to speak of, and they pay a ‘good’ living wage. LA has become closed to any assistants who don’t have connections. Good luck to everyone.

    1. Jenna, Help me! I know you don’t know me but I live in Baton Rouge and am trying to break into the film industry. Do you have any tips for me? I have sent my resume out to all upcoming films but haven’t gotten anything.

  3. Karen, You Are Awesome!
    Thank you for the advice. It couldn’t have come at a better time. I greatly appreciate your honesty, frankness, and sincerity. You shed light on points that I had considered & gave me a fresh perspective. I wish you well on all your future endeavours.

  4. Hey Jennifer,

    I’m from Chicago and moved to LA a year ago. You’re right, it’s heard to find an in to PA for the few features that come through the city. If you want to stay there, check out the Chicago Film Office, the Chicago Scriptwriter’s Network and the Chicago chapter of NATAS. They provide info and contacts for upcoming films, and it’s a great way to get to LA natives.

    If I had known better, while living in Chicago, I would have taken steps to get in with the casting and talent agencies there. There are a decent amount of them, and they know the people you want to know. I didn’t learn that tasty tidbit of info until after I moved here.

    But the most important question probably is, why would you want to work to be a script supervisor? Does anyone really pay their rent and eat from that position? I know people in Chicago and LA that want to be script supervisors, but few people are able to hold that as a position for very long. Productions seem to be hemorrhaging from LA and moving all of the country. Below the line people who’ve worked in this town for years are constantly complaining about how hard it is to find work. Why would you want to enter that lifestyle on purpose?

    Maybe it’s me, but the only happy below-the-line people I have met live in Louisiana. In fact, I know some actors in LA planning a move to the south just because work is increasing there. Though LA was once an obvious choice for film production, if your goal is to work below-the-line, you might want to pick a city with less competition, more work, and lower cost of living.

  5. Hi My name is Jen & I am in desperate need of some sound advice from someone who knows the industry. I’m not sure which direction to go in right now. I went to Broadcast school, didn’t finish, but through persistence landed a gig at a local radio station I interned with for over a year. About 2 years later, I have a 2 hour show but still working part-time. My passion and reason for going to school was to work on films and tv shows. I’ve been considering relocating to Los Angeles or Canada to find work. I live in the Chicagoland area which sees a fair bit of movie action but I can’t find an in. I would like to start as a PA to learn the ropes and ultimately learn how to be a Script Supervisor. Please advise. I need help deciding which direction to take. Thank you!

  6. hey, you could always work at the Australian consulate. They have an opening for a Consulate Events Manager and Personal Assistant to the Consul-General. Pays pretty well, and it is in LA.

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