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Atlanta Isn’t Burning (With Jobs)

Kyle writes in:

I recently stumbled across your blog and have really enjoyed the reading. I have a few questions I was hoping you might give some advice on. I have interned as a P.A. on a few different occasions for editing studios in Atlanta, Ga. However, now that I have graduated I am finding it extremely difficult to find any production jobs (I found it easier as a student). Maybe I am going about this the wrong way, do you have any advice? Should I pursue a larger market than Atlanta?

Hard to say.

I don’t know if you’re going about it “the wrong way.”  Times are tough all over; you may just be yet another victim of the economic downturn.

Atlanta has a fairly large production base.  Ted Turner’s companies are there, and Tyler Perry just built a fancy new studio.  I’m sure there are a bunch of smaller, local companies there, too.

But that it doesn’t come close to what we’ve got in Los Angeles.  We have thousands of productions companies.  You could make a whole career and earn a pretty good living working for production companies nobody’s ever heard of.  Even with all the runaway production, no where else in the world has the film community we have, outside of possibly Mumbai.

That being said, there are a lot of people out of work here, too. You can’t expect to get a job right away.

I assume you made some connections during your internships? Why not use those to your advantage?  You’ll be starting from scratch here.  It’s tough all over, and you should use an advantage you can get.

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6 Responses

  1. I heard Atlanta was a great place to get modeling jobs, and has a lot of music labels. Its amazing how many bands and agencies I have come across that are from Atlanta.

    My friends in LA seem to be struggling really badly. The film business is in such a bad state of there for many. Tough times…Ill have to wait to come over

  2. No there aren’t 25 shows in Atlanta, but it is busy. I’m here on a feature now and there are two others shooting as well as two series and more on the way (one series just got cancelled).

  3. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. A guy I worked with a couple of weeks ago told me there were twenty-five shows going on in the Atlanta area at that moment. I have no idea how he knew this, but if he’s right, twenty-five shows (movies and TV) means a lot of jobs.

    APA is absolutely right that there are thousands of small production companies here in LA, all of which use PA’s on every job — but you still have to find them, then meet (and impress) the right people to have any hope of landing a job. That takes time, so if you decide to move to LA, be sure to bring plenty of money to live on while you look for work.

    Until you manage to establish yourself in any Industry community — be it Atlanta or LA — film/TV jobs are very hard to get. It’s a tough row to hoe in the best of times, and these are a long way from those happy days. That said, persistence pays off in the end — keep trying, and eventually you’ll catch a break.

    Meanwhile, get used to living on peanut butter and Top Ramen…

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