Tuesday, June 8, 2010
How Do I?
I often get asked, how can I work on a big budget movie in town or get educated to prepare to? So I will reply with the best advice I can give. To the out of work men and women who are thinking about using the Michigan Works program to finance an education that teaches you how to be a best boy grip or gaffer, think again before you do. As I currently understand it the Michigan Works program that is designed to help the unemployed get re-educated is a one time shot (meaning after you are approved you can't do it again and again and again). So if that is the case, educate yourself in the best possible way to get work "in general" and perhaps navigate somehow toward film. If you want to be an on set production accountant, production manager, producer or development executive then look into getting degrees that assist in that such as programs in business administration; concentrating in finance or accounting - perhaps an BBA or MBA? If you want to be an electrician, camera assistant or grip...then get in touch with someone who is already working in a professional capacity in that position by looking through the Michigan Film Office production booklet - If you can or are allowed to, ask the experienced professional the "how do I" questions that you have. If they are so gracious to give you time and answers, then appreciate it; furthermore inquire about union status and how one can join. Yes, there is a union for electricians, cameramen and lighting technicians that protects professional workers on these large scale studio film projects that everyone wants to work on so badly. Get educated about that, research it. So in final note. getting a certificate from a small, unheard of, and recently popped up school in film lighting won't help guarantee anything, and very rarely will it impress any professional. Set yourself up for success, get a real education from an accredited college or university and get a second opinion from a professional always. Think about it this way, you wouldn't want to go to a doctor or car mechanic who just has a certificate in some small area from a newly arrived unaccredited school would you? If you want to study the creative ends of the film business or the technical ends while attempting to achieve a real degree, look into programs at USC, UCLA, NYU, Columbia, Chapman, Florida State, Northwestern...the list goes on! On the other hand, If you are looking to put yourself in a positive position to get back to work then get a real education in a real subject that can be transferable to the film business in some way. You'll thank yourself for it.