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Did I waste 4+ years?

zeta1983's picture
Last seen: 6 years 6 months ago
Joined: 03/11/2008 - 8:10pm

I graduated with a degree in "Media Studies" and a concentration in "Production Technology" about a year and a half ago. I learned to edit video and audio, and run a news program. Unfortunately, there was very little in the way of anything that has actually helped me make a living. I thought I was going to become a video editor, but it's hard to edit video when your training consists of one lesson of AVID and one lesson of Final Cut Pro. It was very basic. I'm making less than $6000 a year now because I don't have sufficient skills.

What should I do?


Ken
Ken's picture
Last seen: 7 years 8 months ago
Joined: 01/12/2007 - 10:54am

zeta1983,

Well, just about everyone and their pet dog wants to be a movie-maker. So it will probably take you a while to build up to a good full-time job as a video editor. Start making contacts. Participating in events like the 48 Hour Film Project is a good start. Even though such events don't pay, they give you both experience and exposure. Also, see if there are professional video organizations near you.

Good luck,

Ken Hull


Jennifer O'Rourke's picture
Last seen: 6 months 6 days ago
Joined: 03/07/2008 - 10:44pm
Plus Member

I felt that way, too, but my education was many moons ago. We did nothing but watch the instructor edit our videos. I wrote a class paper for another teacher on a job I'd like to get as an editor for a new cable TV channel that was just starting up. But the teacher gave me low points because he believed that style of shooting and editing was annoying, no one would watch it and it was a fad and wouldn't last. That cable channel was MTV.

What I did get out of the education was an understanding of equipment usage and the techniques, and an understanding of the phrase "know the rules so you know when to break the rules". What I also got out of school was the contacts, ... the teachers, and my fellow students and even the local TV stations. The students really helped each other out, and many of the teachers were connected to the local video industry.

The advice I would tell others who have just graduated and realized they didn't have enough real-world skills, was to find the work and offer to do things for free until you could get paid to do it. I did a lot of free work at our local PBS station. Back then, in the 1980s, the gear was outrageously expensive, and we didn't have access to free software downloads like you have now.

Play around with some trial software and learn everything you can from them. Then look at your local music connections. Bands are always needing to do a music video, but can't afford to hire a top-rate videographer. Offer to do their video for the cost of dinner and your tapes, for instance. And do this with a few other civic-minded clubs and organizations who want to record their events to build your skills and to develop a good resume tape. Eventually you'll get the work, but make video your priority. Shoot a lot, join a club, or, like Ken Hull above says, join groups like the 48-Hour Film Project and get connected. Good luck.

Managing Editor jorourke@videomaker.com VM Customer Support: 1-800-284-3226


DaveArthur's picture
Last seen: 7 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: 09/05/2007 - 8:33pm

Zeta,

Don't sell yourself short! If you completed a media studies program, then you have at least some skill in creating video already. As far as building your video editing skills goes, a copy of Final Cut Express is less than $200 and it functions almost exactly like Final Cut Studio. You can build your skills with an off the shelf camera and computer with this basic software.

If I were you, I'd start making videos myself right away. Make instructional stuff and get int on YouTube and other social video sites. Be creative and start showing the world how good you are. Look on Craigslist for people looking for video crewmembers or videographers for various shoots or events. Be willing to be a grip and drag lightstands around if that is all you can find. Every gig gives you an opportunity to learn and make contacts.

Start putting together a reel of your work to show people who might be interested in hiring you as an editor or videographer.

Start creating your own How-To and Special Interest Videos to sell yourself. The market is strong and growing for informational media and it has never been easier to create professional quality products and to reach your customers.

You chose a great area to study. The opportunities are wide open, but people aren't going to come looking for you in the beginning. Get out there and start working. The paying gigs (or video sales if you are producing your own) will come as your contacts and skills develop.

Dave

www.HowToVideoPRO.com


videolab's picture
Last seen: 9 years 10 months ago
Joined: 11/17/2004 - 9:47pm

My first questions are what (geographic) market do you live in, have you done at least one internship, and what part of the video market do you want to work in. It is very difficult to start working in a large market with no experience. Period. Whether your good or not. So if you have no experience get a internship. It may not pay (the good ones don't) but it will lead to a job potentially. If your in a huge market you may have to move to a small market for a while. I lived in Dallas TX while in school and moved to Savannah GA to get experience. And It was a great experience. I was promoted twice in the first two months it was the best experience of my life. I worked there for two and a half years as a motion graphics artist. (here is an example of my workhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A5TCOYk4Cg )I just moved to Houston and am attending a 4-year school (i have a two year degree) If you want to work intelevisionyou must climb your way to the top. Its exceptionally hard to get a job in a large market without a couple of years under your belt regardless of your degree (which will helpimmenselyby the way) If you want to work at a production or advertising house then get an internship at one and bust your ass try to make it into apermanentgig. This is the coolest industry to work in so don't give up!! Its a lot of fun and never gets old if you love it. So to answer your question you most deffinitly did not waste 4 yrs.


faqvideo's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 week ago
Joined: 03/28/2006 - 4:09pm

Experience in video editing is something you acquire with daily work, preferably on a deadline.

I agree with internship idea. Try it one day a week without pay - it'll come back with experience and possibly a job.

There many charities around, they will let you do some occasional production for them for free. You need to go through hours of hard work to be able to edit quick.

And on more thing, very important. Editing is happening in your head, not in the Final Cut Pro or tape-to-tape editing suite

FAQ Video


AnnouncerJoe's picture
Last seen: 6 years 6 months ago
Joined: 03/19/2008 - 9:07pm

I've been in-and-out of this business for 20 years, just can't stay away which is probably suggestion #1... if you like it, DON'T QUIT! Donald Trump was once bankrupt, Bill Gates worked out of his basement and Ted Turner was once fired. Success stories all have one thing in common - they kept at it!

#2 Be realistic, putting together a box office blockbuster rightnow isa pipe dream... putting together a how-to for YouTube isa decent weekend project... ya gotta start somewhere...

#3 Find a niche, and run with it! I actually put together avery lucrative podcasting businessby producing Little League baseball games. My broadcast career focused on the sports programs of local high schools... it'sfunny, this world wide Internet has allowed me to concentrate on small niche interest groups that don't get covered by mainstream media. I'm actually coming back to video editing right now because my next "Niche Product" in my sports podcasting biz is a pay-for-coverage (sponsored) sports cast/featured story.

It all depends on what you want to do.. I have one friend who video tapes for the local speedway on weekends - doesn't sound like much but he shoots from 7p-11p on Sat nite, then edits amaster DVDon Sunday while watching TV... then sells 40 copies (regular subsribers)@ $20 per... EVERY WEEK!!!

Best of luck

Joe


civilizedskies's picture
Last seen: 6 years 5 months ago
Joined: 04/08/2008 - 10:56pm

I too have a 4 year degree. I live in a small market and haven't been able to find anything! I'm now in debt, working retail since school and want to go back to school for a year. needless to say I forgot what I DID learn which is very little and I'm nowhere near what employers want skill wise. I'm boxed out.


chrisColorado's picture
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 04/03/2008 - 10:48pm

Hey zeta1983!

I discovered from one year at my community college that you can teach yourself anything a class can teach you...for less money.One bigthing college helped me with was a network of friends/contacts.

I know lynda.com has video training for every major software there is(Avid and Final Cut to Adobe stuff and Microsoft Office to Windows Movie Maker and iMovie). Go and look around.

Go Make A Movie! It doesn't matter if it is edited on Windows Movie Maker(my first and second movies were)and shot with an Aiptek media recorder(hard drive camera)from Circuit City(mysecond-fourth movies were).Get out and do something. You'll learn stuff to prepare you forwhen you have better equipment/more money/more time.

I find encouragement from Robert Rodriguez, who's book 'Rebel Without A Crew' tells about how he made 'El Mariachi' when he was broke and suddenly, Hollywood bought it!

Good Luck!!


Disccentralnet's picture
Last seen: 6 years 2 months ago
Joined: 07/07/2008 - 9:49pm

Editing like any art form requires the artist to practice,practice, practice. Find some gigs paying or not and develope your skills. The hard work could turn in to a great porfoilo to show potential employers.

Hang in there.


Ryan3078's picture
Last seen: 8 years 9 months ago
Joined: 12/27/2005 - 3:48pm

I think I'm going to end up in the same boat. I'm heading off to Ohio University next fall, and I think that I'm going to have to double major - in Video Production which I love - and in Computer Information Systems, to ensure that I can find a steady job.

Where I'm at now, video production seems great - it's fun, easy for me, and pays well. I've built up a list of clients including local artist groups, parishes, and organizations like the American Cancer Society. But the work is freelance, and I'm guessing that it's not gonna pay the bills in the real world.


grinner's picture
Last seen: 6 years 9 months ago
Joined: 12/29/2007 - 2:56am

If watnting to go to work in this industry, your gonna have to pick up the phone and make some calls. Take the first gig offered... it'll be for free. Take it. Do it. Thats a foot in the door, man. You'll be learning more there than you were when you were paying money to learn at a school. They'll then pay you a little and when you leave you'll get hired on at a higher level. This is how it's done.

I moved my family to five states in as many years, salray-climbin' and dream-chasin'.

you'll need to stop going to school to do this. KNow a degree means nothing at all to anyone at all in this industry. Your reel does.


ChosenList's picture
Last seen: 6 years 2 months ago
Joined: 07/15/2008 - 9:45pm

Check out http://www.ChosenList.com and our Video Agent Program. Its not neccessarily a career choice but its a cool way to make money on the side as a videographer. Shoot and upload classified video ads for people who couldnt otherwise. I have people making $5,000 a month. Its free to get involved and all the money goes straight to you.


chrisColorado's picture
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 04/03/2008 - 10:48pm

I taught myself web design during my last semester of college and now have a VERY WELL paying job doing web design with video editing every now and then when my boss needs it. It worked for me to teach myself another skill besides video. Now I have good cameras, good software, good money.

Besides, what is education for? TO TEACH YOURSELF HOW TO LEARN and more importantly, THAT YOU CAN LEARN ANYTHING YOU WANT!

I know you guys can do it. Two guys I've heard of didn't have very much formal school and became famous. You've probably heard of them too: George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.



chrisColorado's picture
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 04/03/2008 - 10:48pm

Oh yeah? I only have a one year certificate and probably don't need that. Making a couple features for hollywood. I think someone needs to make it in this field without a degree. Might as well be one of us, maybe me, maybe you.

Go for it Rob! Lincoln was looked down on for being a country kid.


Chris Harmon's picture
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 05/10/2007 - 12:04pm

An education is never a waste. Never! I have a Political Science BA, but Ijust started doing corporate videos. How? By getting every business experienceI could. Attend video industry conventions, take free gigs, work with your local cable access TV channel, focus on classes that have direct usefulness for you (FCP, Adobe, sound, etc.) and look at www.lynda.com.

Having a non-related degree allows me to talk with people on a wide range of issues, and when it boils down to it, videography is nothing more than a business. How you promote yourself and your work is at least as important as how technically proficient you are. There are plenty of starving "artists" out there- but the guy who can talk to the producer/CEOintelligently will get the job.


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 week ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am
Plus Member Moderator

I think I'm going to end up in the same boat. I'm heading off to Ohio University next fall, and I think that I'm going to have to double major - in Video Production which I love - and in Computer Information Systems, to ensure that I can find a steady job.

I realize this is a little late but the advice still holds.

I do video as a hobby (just getting off the ground as a side business now) and have been paying the bills as a programmer for 31 years (paid quite well including now) however, I would NOT recommend CIS, IT, MIS or anything like that as a future ocupation. I have seen hundreds (literally) of co-workers and friends lose their IT based jobs over the past 7 years - It really is not where I'd put my energy right now. If you can do EE or something like that there may be a future (but that too may go the way of the programmer - lower salaries, fewer jobs, moving offshore).

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com



birdcat's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 week ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am
Plus Member Moderator

What's CIS, IT, MIS, and EE. Pardon my ignorance. I can't know everything :)

CIS = Computer & Information Science (or as mentioned above: Computer Information Systems - basically computer programming)

IT = Information Technology (programming, network, security, hardware, etc...)

MIS = Management & Information Science (management of programmers & programming)

EE = Electrical Engineering (people who design & build computer chips)

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com


Ryan3078's picture
Last seen: 8 years 9 months ago
Joined: 12/27/2005 - 3:48pm

I would NOT recommend CIS, IT, MIS or anything like that as a future ocupation.

Good to hear a year in advance!...I am definitely going to go for a computer/tech related major - what would you suggest otherwise than Information Systems? I was originally going to try Computer Science, but learned it was almost all programming, which is not high on my list as a job, so now I am looking at something else computer related...


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 week ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am
Plus Member Moderator

As a data processing professional (for over 31 years now) I would highly recommend that anyone stay well away from any computer career. Too much is shipped overseas at this point - I would recommend getting a degree in management with a minor in computers if you want to go into MIS but I cannot in good conscience NOT warn folks about this once exciting and well paying occupation which has gone to crap in less than seven years.

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com


Ryan3078's picture
Last seen: 8 years 9 months ago
Joined: 12/27/2005 - 3:48pm

Is this what you have noticed in your area, or is it nationwide?

For the Midwest region, the projected fastest-growing careers for the 2002-2012 time period are in Healthcare, Computer/Information Sciences, Engineering, and Architecture. In addition to the Northeast and South regions, physician assistants and network systems analysts are and will continue to be in high demand in this region. Demand for engineers is high as well, especially industrial, environmental, and agricultural engineers (agriculture is very important in the Midwest, specifically in the Dakotas). For those of you majoring in architecture, look for high hiring activity in Kansas, Nebraska, and Ohio.

Top 10 Fast Growing Jobs thru 2014

  1. Network systems & data communication analysts
  2. Home health aides
  3. Physician assistants
  4. Computer software engineers, applications
  5. Medical assistants
  6. Computer software engineers, systems software
  7. Database administrators
  8. Diagnostic medical sonographers
  9. Network & computer systems administrators
  10. Hazardous materials removal workers

Seems to me that these are jobs in high demand! Are the stats really wrong? Are those you have noticed loosing jobs in senior positions, or low on the ladder?


4ca
4ca's picture
Last seen: 6 years 3 months ago
Joined: 07/01/2008 - 1:22pm

ya know... I have found that if you go where your heart wants to go... go there. Really. Usually if you follow your heart the money follows not too far after that.


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 week ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am
Plus Member Moderator

I have read trade publication after trade pub - They all say that higher paying IT related jobs in the US are on the decline.

If you compare the Sunday NY Times classifieds you can see this - The IT related jobs ten years ago were ten pages long (literally!) - Now they don't fill a full page.

I used to get calls from headhunters (IT recruiters) three-four times a week - Now that's down to once a month or so, all requiring the latest skills (I have lots of legacy stuff but not too heavy on latest technologies) and when they hear that I wouldn't consider jumping for less than $100K (make more than that now - remember I have 31 years into this) they have a heart attack.

If you are in college now, go talk to one of the career counselors they have - Also, you may want to speak to a local recruiting firm and ask them what's hot now and what they expect to be hot five years from now.

Computer Software Engineers are one of the hot jobs of last couple of years but they are on the decline. Computer Software Architect is hot right now and will be through next year (maybe longer - who knows). Database Admin's will always be able to find a job, their pay is declining however as more folks go that route and the job itself is starting to get offshored. Network folks get OK money and the good thing is that it requires a lot of hands on (which means you have a hard time offshoring) but again, lots of folks are going into that and soon supply will outstrip demand. If I had to choose one area to specialize in that would see me through the next ten years it would be computer security (attacks will always be increasing) and this area is still fairly new.

All of this is my opinion and based upon my observations - I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV - Your mileage may vary.

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com


Chris Harmon's picture
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 05/10/2007 - 12:04pm

It all boils down to this:
A: Find a career you like.
B: Try to make sure it is not too competitive or easily sent to a cheaper labor market.

I remember bragging to my Dad 10 years ago that with my computer skills, I would be in demand for the rest of my life- sure to have a job no matter what the economy did.

Fast forward to today. The Baby Boomer managers that are running the show could not care less about employee loyalty, the American economy or even the future of this country. As long as they can make a profit RIGHT NOW, who cares about tomorrow?

Our economy is in the state it is because of greed, pure and simple. Whoever you work for will be figuring out first and foremost how they can pay for their big house and luxury cars. Your needs and loyalty do not matter, so it is best to look out for yourselves.


NormanWillis's picture
Last seen: 5 years 9 months ago
Joined: 12/08/2008 - 5:56am

Hi Zeta.

>>"What should I do?"

If you ask me, if you are asking whether or not to pursue video editing as a career based on whether or not you can make a living at it, you areasking the wrong question. Not that you don't need to make a living, but the main question is, "What do you feel called to do?"

>>"Did I waste 4+ years?"

If any of us look back on our past, we can always spot the negatives: I'm sureeven the best of directors can do that:butit is irrelevant. The Spirit has led each of us to be where we are today (and who we are today). Regardless of whatever has happened to us in the past to us, each day is a new beginning. We have totake stock of where we are today, right now,and then play the hand we have been dealt.

So you have a degree, and you need experience before you can get a good paying gig? That is not surprising. Video editing is, essentially, art: and all of the maxims about starving artists apply. However, the question remains, this what you love to do, or is this what you feel called to do? If you love it, then pursue it; and find a way to put bread on your table however you can (so long as it is ethical, and legal). If not, then find something that you do love, or something that you feel called to do, no matter whetherit pays or not;and then find a way to put bread on your table. In the end, the money is far less important than doing what you love, or what you feel called to do, because you love it, and feel called to it.

No matter what you do, there will be a ton of work involved: that's just life. So if you don't want to wake up each morning and dread the thought of going to work, you need to find something that you either love, or else have a burning desire to do. For each one of us, what that is, is different: but the old saying goes, "Do what you love, and the money will follow."

Best of success, and please keep us posted on your progress.


composite1's picture
Last seen: 6 months 6 days ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator

Zeta,

There's a good deal of solid advice and anecdotes already so I'm not going to elaborate on any of them. Thing is, unless you're already loaded or your parents are well connected or blind luck causes the rainbow to end in your lap, no matter what you've gotten your degree in the only person able to make a place for you is you. Colleges and Universities are notorious for only giving students the 'academic' basics of an industry. Most curriculums are based upon being 'accredited' which is the college version of a 'seal of approval'. Unfortunately, to be academically accredited has nothing to do with being 'practically trained'. Colleges figure you'll get your real training when you get out on the job. All they are required to do is teach you the basic terminology and techniques of a given industry.

Now, is having that knowledge a bad thing? Absolutely not. If you can get an education, get it. Your degree will give you other highly valuable skills like writing for example and depending on what other subjects you studied a reservoir of knowledge that will come in handy when you least expect it. Those are the only real advantages of having a degree. You'll still have to get your 'hands dirty' and do grunt work like fetching coffee, logging footage and carrying gear. There's not a whole lot of opportunity to get out of doing that. While you're doing that stuff though, keep your eyes and ears open, ask questions whenever you can and make yourself available as you can. You'll find that having those additional skills will come in handy and get you work though it may be an indirect path to what you want to do.

Also, there are many different aspects to filmmaking as it is a collectively created artform. Yeah you can do it all yourself with your own gear these days, but it's hard and if you want to do large projects, you're going to need other people. Others have suggested you figure out what it is you want to do, that's a damn good suggestion. Scriptwriting is the genesis of any project, producing (despite what some may say in these posts) involves far more than just 'finding money' and is an artform in itself and no film gets made without it, directing (other than acting) is the most glamorous portion but carries the greatest weight of responsiblity as it gives the project it's visual and audio direction. After those you have Director of Photography which is the most critical part of the production and carries a similar weight as the Director (no pictures, no movie), Camera Person, Sound Designer, Grip, Gaffer, and Editor in my view the most difficult, thankless and most important position as the Editor 'crafts' the movie into its final form. Outside of those, there are tons of other supporting gigs that can be applied to the smallest corporate video to the biggest Hollywood production. So again, whaddaya' wanna' do?

I got into this biz indirectly. I had an art degree and when some set up gigs to work as an illustrator tanked, fortunately I had other skills to fall back on. Eventually, I joined the service as a photographer and then became a videographer. When I got out of the service, I was back at square one just like when I got out of college. Despite having terriffic skills and experience, nobody wanted to hire me. So I chewed the bullet so to speak and started my own company which I had intended to do when I trained as a videographer. Starting your own freelancing gig may be your best option and it may not. Whatever you decide, you best be prepared to roll up your sleeves and be prepared to 'throw some bows' because nobody's going to give you anything. There will be people who will help you along the way, but only because they see you bustin' your butt.

You are in this at a good time though. If you can lay down a 'regular gig' to keep a roof over your head and put food on the table, if you tighten your belt a bit you can save enough scratch to get gear. That's how a lot of us did and do it. At least you're not in the era when a videocamera cost $40,000.00 just to look at it (unless you're looking at a RED ONE!) Do not despair young one. If this biz is what you really want to do, you'll find a way to do it and that's for certain.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com



TDedmonSBP's picture
Last seen: 5 years 6 months ago
Joined: 03/23/2009 - 6:10pm

When I started in this industry I was also going to school to be a chiropractor. I was trying to figure out along which line to plan my life's journey. One thing that I kept hearing was, "Finish your chiro and then you can always make movies/do video on the side as a hobby." Let me tell you that this is absolute bovine scatology in terms of advice. If something is your passion, you need to pursue it and you need to know that what you are doing is something that you enjoy. I once heard that "if you love what you do for a living, you will never work a day in your life," and I believe this wholeheartedly which is why I am now less than a year from a business degree with emphasis on the entertainment industry with hopes to get a hybrid film/business masters after that.


NormanWillis's picture
Last seen: 5 years 9 months ago
Joined: 12/08/2008 - 5:56am

>>If something is your passion, you need to pursue it and you need to know that what you are doing is something that you enjoy. I once heard that "if you love what you do for a living, you will never work a day in your life," and I believe this wholeheartedly which is why I am now less than a year from a business degree with emphasis on the entertainment industry with hopes to get a hybrid film/business masters after that.

Amein.



TDedmonSBP's picture
Last seen: 5 years 6 months ago
Joined: 03/23/2009 - 6:10pm

It's a popular radio-friendly catch phrase of one of the talk radio guys I listen to, I love it.


composite1's picture
Last seen: 6 months 6 days ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator

On your poll I chose 'other' as your first choice wasn't specific to my answer. I think if you can swing it, go for 'training' (i.e. certifications), a 'degree' (BA, MA, MFA) and work in the field. Why? Because if you're 'in this to win this' you'll constantly need to update your info and refine your techniques to stay current. I would like to think that ultimately you would like to produce larger and larger productions as you go along. Going to conferences, training seminars and attending university grade courses will not only keep you abreast of the latest gear and techniques, it will allow you to network with other industry pros. My company's latest film went into production from a chance discussion at a conference with reps from a large production equipment firm. Had I not attended the conference, the project never would have happened.

Another reason to follow such a course is your competition. Every six months new college grads with shiny new degrees in production get turned out into the marketplace. You're going to have to compete with them, all those who came before you and all of the one's coming up behind you. Quiet as been kept, the days of 'just going out and working in the industry' are over. The trend now is to use these shiny new grads as unpaid interns. Yeah, they don't have full capabilies as production personnel but they have the higher end basic skills I mentioned earlier in the thread. Who do you think is going to get picked for internships? Some schmoe off the street with no background in production and no secondary skills or the schmoe fresh out of college with the basics? Additionally, you may find yourself not wanting to have your own outfit and want to work for a studio or production house. When you go up for those kind of gigs you'll be up against razor sharp competition. In today's economy, the comp is sharper than ever. The more knowledge, training and practical skills you've acquired will give you more opportunities to work.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


MazdaMan's picture
Last seen: 5 years 4 months ago
Joined: 05/23/2009 - 5:43am

Although I have absolutely no training or education in audio/video I do have a direct personal experience in another equally competitive field, professional racing. I spent $25,000 for a 1700 hour automotive tech school program 900 hours of that was NASCAR training, fabrication, chassis apps, aerodynamics, dyno operation, engine building, safety systems, the works. All of my instructors were either retired from nascar or currently employed on a team. The curriculum DID NOT teach enough to get you onto a team getting paid and probably 90% of the graduates couldn't even get on a team as a volunteer. The way I saw it I payed all that money to pick the brain of every instructor I had for every second of the 6 hours I saw them every day. I asked them questions until they started running out of answers. I graduated with honors, top 5 of my class and started knocking down the doors of every race team in charlotte, craftsman truck teams, busch teams, grand american series, daytona prototype teams, winston cup. 1.5 years of being turned out the door and even watching them throw my resume in the trash in front of me, finally I got into a machine shop paying minimum wage, I had a heart beat so I was qualified, after all machine shop skills are required in racing...

I kept pounding down doors, it took me 2 years to get my first interview, I didn't like the way it went but 2 weeks later they called me back for a 2nd interview and another 2 weeks I get a call that I've been declined. A while longer goes by and one night I get a call from a guy, he tells me his name but not who he's with and wants to know what my ambitions are. I tell him about what I want to do in racing and he asks if I would be willing to take a janitor position on a team until they had an opening. I said yes without hesitation, we arrange for an interview, he says not to waste my time with making up a resume for him to see, they'll learn everything they need to know in the interview. Come to find out the director of operations was personal friends with one of my instructors at school and asked him to send over his recommendations for 3 of his previous students. After a 6 hour interview they hire me into their engine program with a few major deciding factors, first was that I completed the school program I was in and therefor showed dedication, 2nd was because I asked them just as many questions in the interview as my instructor said I did in school lol, and lastly they felt I was capable of learning any tasks needed and was humble enough to learn lesser things first. At the time the team was Evernham Motorsports, our top driver was Kasey Kahne.

Might be a bit too much detail but I wanted to paint the clear picture that I would have never gotten there without the school and my instructors and as you can guess every nut who has ever turned a wrench on a car is knocking on their door for a dream. However a second point I would like to make is if it was worth it? After working with that team for a year I learned that if I spent that 25 grand on a mechanical engineering degree at UNC Charlotte I probably could have walked right into most of the teams without much resistance and may still be in racing now. When the economy started going south and sponsors started backing out the guys with the ME degrees kept their jobs and I didn't. The choise of what and were you go to school might be the bigger question to ask than if it was worth the time.

Sorry for the long post.


flogonojo's picture
Last seen: 6 years 4 months ago
Joined: 05/14/2008 - 4:41pm

I haven't read all the posts, but I want to post my two cents since I graduated a year ago from college with a degree in Television/Radio. I have felt a similar way, not that I wasted 4 years (otherwise I wouldn't have discovered that I like video), but I could have gotten a lot better education if I went to the right school. Let's just say our communication dept. was/is in dire need of some help. I feel as if I've learned as much or more after college working solely freelance video jobs.

Like everyone else has said, don't victimize yourself...pick up a cam and start making videos. Even if it's just going to the park and shooting random people. What I've found is that if you want to be in this line of work you really have to love it. I'm a Christian, and I really believe that no matter what your line of work is that God will provide what you need if you trust in Him. He has me! Anyways, I hope you find what you're looking for zeta1983. (Wow...I didn't realize that this thread was started 1 year ago. That's when I graduated!)


Rick Crampton's picture
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: 08/20/2009 - 1:08pm

Zeta, Schools which teach " creative " subjects seldom teach more than the mechanics. I don't know how one goes about learning the creative instincts associated with film and video other than by exposing themself to many, many hours of their chosen craft.

Do you really want to be a successful editor? I would suggest that if you could, you should jump into the fire in LA. See if you can weasel your way into an internship at a major studio. See if you can somehow crash the gate at the Editor's Guild and find employment as an assistant. Most top line editors are technologically handicapped and embrace assistants who can fight the computer wars and keep everything in the editing room organized and workflow uninterrupted. Being an assistant will expose you to more creative aspects of the craft than 100 years in school. Assisting should provide a living and client contacts which will ( hopefully before too long ) lead to an editor's chair.

A career as an IATSE member will provide excellent benefits and retirement!

RWC


grinner's picture
Last seen: 6 years 9 months ago
Joined: 12/29/2007 - 2:56am

You did not waste 4 years if you had a good time, man.
I've seen many get a degree in this field thinking that would some how entitle them to a high-paying job, or even help with that. Then they get a chip on their choulder when they see they have to do the same legwork as the guys who just made a reel and started networking. Your reel gets ya gigs, don't think a degree does. It doesn't.
While I have three degrees and have never used one, man college was no waste for me. The parties alone were worth the time. If you have the opportunity, you should go. If you just want to get to work in this industry, create a great demo reel, cold-call every production facility in your market, take what is offered (yes even if that is working for free) and climb the same ladders we all had to climb.
Enjoy it. It's pretty freakin' fun.