These methods work. Our people are working with celebrities, famous DPs and Directors, all over the country, and making a living doing what they LOVE in the film industry.
If you know you want to be a professional DP, Director, or Writer, I have a few questions for you:
How are you trying to become known now?
How much money are you making as a DP/Director/Writer?
How are you finding your work?
If it’s Craigslist or other low budget work, then you probably finding that it’s very slow, and you aren’t finding many professional opportunities.
You know there is this big industry out there, but you don’t know how to get involved.
You might see posting for DP work, but you don’t meet all the qualifications.
How do you get professional connections so you can work your way up to the good work?
You meet them on set and get hired on all their shoots. They will take an interest in you, take you under their wing. Share their connections with you, and in the future, when you are ready, they will pass work to you.
How do you get DP work when you don’t meet all the qualifications?
They put the qualifications out there to narrow the list. They don’t really care if you have them ALL…they are just looking for top people.
So you just need to look like “top people”.
How do you do that? I’m going to teach you that this week, but you just need to have it “goin on”… that means you are shooting like crazy. Doing events, reality TV, music videos, training videos, news…. and you know what else?
If you want to open any door, you need to come across as “extraordinary”. That is something I specialize in.
That means you do what others won’t do. So, you get on professional sets and personally know well-known DPs and Directors, these are people who influence you and mentor you… and you are on professional sets in between your freelance DP work. Believe me, you’ll come across as extraordinary and it doesn’t matter what qualifications they put on there, they will want you.
But what if it seems that people are not that interested?
That’s because you are trying to sell yourself. Which is a mistake. If you are selling yourself and your qualifications, then you come across as amateur… and that turns professionals off.
Professionals don’t sell themselves.
A professional would say, “I’m avail those dates, I can make it work between my music video and reality show… And then start asking about the job: What are we shooting? What camera? How are we doing the sound? What are you going for, for the look?”
Now, this obviously requires you’ve got a good little career happening and you are “in demand”. So, I’m going to teach you how to do that, this week.
How do you get to levels where you are shooting big feature films, nominated for Oscars?
First of all, there are so many people who call themselves DPs, anyone who went to film school and has an iPhone, thinks they are a filmmaker. But they mostly do small low budget videos. (Not a real production with 50 people crews).
So, when you are pursuing jobs, you don’t want to be associated with that group!
You want to be associated with real professionals, so you want to work on regular budget productions, $25,000/day, and also be shooting video as a freelancer. That way, you are seen as a professional who is connected and moving up. You will get jobs easily that way. Make sense?
You also need to be getting qualifying days so you can join the Camera union ASAP. This is so important.
You need your name on the “Call sheet” in the Camera department on professional shoots along with the paycheck stubs to prove it.
Because you need to be accumulating your Camera Union days so that you can join the Camera Union ASAP.
Why is that crucial?
Because when a DP refers you work, it can come in anytime.
“Hey, are you available next Monday, Tuesday?”
“OK, rate is $1000/day. It’s union. Who is your 1st AC?”
Now, if you are not in the union, you have to say, “I’m sorry but I can’t do it, I’m not in the union.” Egg on your face and the person who referred you… You cannot do the job.
And that could be the major opportunity that gets you to the next level…
I will talk about how to start accumulating your days to get into the union this week.
As you do DP jobs, you start off with tons of non-union jobs, you get your days, join the union. Then, with all the connections you’ve made doing the non-union work and the UNION work, you vector towards Directors and scripts that are really good.
After thousands of shoots, you will have thousands of connections, and a go getter like you, will have a list of people who you really like, who stand out as top people to do great work.
You will keep in touch with this core group, and seek out the opportunities to shoot something really great with them. And believe me, that opportunity will come… and it will propel you into the stratosphere!
How long before I start making good money?
I don’t know what good money is for you, but for me, it’s at least $100,000/year. That can take you a year, maybe 2 when you combine working on professional sets with doing your freelance DP work on the side.
Bottom line: You have stumbled into a very lucrative industry. And these big budget sets are ready to hire you, if you approach them the right way, so if you combine your own DP work with also working on big budget shoots, you are:
1. Making good money, which is what a career is.
2. Getting your days to join the union. Very important.
3. Finding well-known DPs to take you under their wing and refer you work in the future.
4. You need to “look extraordinary”… because people want to work with top people. And you will look that way if you work on professional sets, are connected with professionals, and are working on your own DP work…. all at the same time!