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Introduce Yourself : Help!!! by Sydney Paige Piantes

Sydney Paige Piantes

Help!!!

Hello! I'm Sydney and I'm 22 years old. I am currently about to graduate from University of Oregon with a BA in Cinema Studies in June. I am very excited to finally have a degree under my belt, but I have no outside experience beside school in cinema. I want to move to Portland, OR or Seattle, WA for the next year or two but I am very open to moving wherever I need for a job. I do not know where to start because I would love to be a Producer. Does anyone have any advice on how I should get start to begin my film industry career? I am willing to volunteer but dont even know where to start there!

Cody Andrew Whealy

Hi Sydney, I recommend moving to LA. Portland and Seattle have indie scenes, but you won't find an "industry." I currently live in Seattle, and any film work you find will be for no budget films and any career would be in corporate work for Amazon, Microsoft, etc. Make friends by getting on as many sets as you can as a PA. As your friends make more and more stuff you will be able to take on more responsibility and work your way to producing. Be on time, be useful and helpful, and people will want your back! Hope that helps, good luck!

Doug Nelson

Hi Sydney - I'm just up the road a bit from you. Glance at my profile; if there's anything I can do for you, just let me know.

Jean Buschmann

Hi Sydney, First off congratulations for setting a goal and seeing it through! I have a practical and fun suggestion for you, to avoid that dreaded catch-22, wherein no one will hire you without experience. Namely, reputable CROWDSOURCING CONTESTS, that many high profile national brands often rely on for their novel approaches, and let's be honest, low production costs, . They will allow you to "cut your teeth" and build your portfolio/reel in a variety of ways.

Since there are various levels of producing but you have a degree in Cinema, I'm assuming you want some hands on experience in filming and editing as well. A crowd-sourcing site will offer you the possibility of winning or placing as finalist, which is something you can list on your resume, but beyond that, it's the experience of seeing what other filmmakers and videographers come up with when tasked with the very same project that is invaluable. Not only will that inspire your creative growth, it will allow you to make connections with people in your field. - Go-getter types, which is what you want.

On the non-commercial, or purely creative/filmmaking side, there are also similar 24 to 48 hour film contests that will allow you to connect with small groups and compete to complete a short film based on the same concept, within well, 24-48 hours. Again, the experience will stretch your creativity just by seeing how other groups approach the vary same task.

Both of these arenas can be TONS of fun for people just starting out. Just be realistic about them, seeing them as growth opportunities, and don't be too disappointed if you don't officially "win" - as the downside is that they are super competitive, and known to draw some VERY experienced teams of creatives who just like to compete, and who also aim at wining the top prize money. :) (Which is why some people criticize them as a foolish "race to the bottom" - as more and more brands use them to access the skills of experienced crews, on the cheap.)

Still, they can be extremely valuable for people in your position. - Those who are starting out and will benefit immensely from both the experience and the new connections. Just please spend time researching the reputable ones, since they tend to come and go.

Best of luck! Wait, make that hard work. ;)

Cheers!

Evette Betancourt

Atlanta, GA assuming the production ban doesn't continue

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