Minor markets are a great place to begin a career in film. There aren’t as many people to compete with for PA jobs, the position almost everyone in the industry does when they get their start. The shoots will be a bit smaller, but there will be enough of them to give you a chance to get on set, make some mistakes, and learn your craft. This will prepare you for the big leagues of the film industry, especially for union shoots where you don’t want to be messing up.
Many people chase their dreams of working in the film industry. With little to no experience and a nonexistent network, they pack their bags and move to a major city like LA or NYC. When they get there, they expect they are going to succeed. People who don’t have inside connections in the major markets often remain on the outside.
If you want to DP, a minor market could be a perfect place to start. They’re accessible and you might have chances to get your hands on camera equipment earlier than people in major markets. People from these big cities will often travel to minor markets to shoot where it’s cheaper, so your network where you live will eventually start to include people from the major markets. Once that starts to happen— that will be the time to think about moving.
If you’re already in a big market (LA, NYC, Atlanta, Chicago, Toronto, etc) don’t worry. You don’t need to worry about having the money to move to an unfamiliar place, so you can take your time with building your network.
There’s a pathway for everyone to get into this industry. If you want to get into film, start thinking strategically about what that pathway is for you. Ask yourself and be thinking about these questions:
Where are you living now?
What job do you think you want to do in the industry? This doesn’t have to stay the same forever :)
Where do you picture yourself living in 2 years?
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