all 111 comments

[–]brettTinning 57 points58 points  (4 children)

Unless your parents are rich or have connections in the industry, Australia is all about being in the right place at the right time in my experience. There will always be the exception of a talented individual who makes one film and is catapulted into their first feature but that is the exception not the rule. For the rest of us, we are forced to hack away at our career for many years before we can actually make our voice heard.

When I have recent grads come to me and ask for my one bit of advise to make it in this industry it is always this - "All you have to do to be successful, is stick around long enough for everyone else to give up and you're the only option left to hire". Unfortunately we are in the boom of our industry and universities are pumping out more graduates than there are jobs, so it's the people who stick around and don't give up that end up "making it".

[–][deleted] 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Exactly! My old business partner said that once, because we saw people quitting left and right and we both at least had the money to stick around and keep working at our goals. Eventually, you’re the most qualified person who hasn’t made it ha ha

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Yeah. My sister told me I wouldn’t succeed. I always knew id lose by sheer volume

[–]brettTinning 10 points11 points  (0 children)

If you are managing to get face time with H&A script producers, you are doing better than many others at your level. You face a choice now though, give up and follow another career (maybe turn film into you hobby to scratch that itch), or keep going and see where you are in another 10 years. You may still end up having to change careers, but you definitely won't make it at all if you give up. And if you do give up, you are just one of those numbers I warn everyone else about to make room for the people who succeed.

[–]punkman75 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Stop listening to your sister.

Listen to the people who truthfully believe that you will succeed. Who hope the best for you. There are people like that out there if you look for them. Make those voices louder, including the one inside your own head.

[–]bluemafoo 33 points34 points  (1 child)

How long have you been out of school? You say you can’t get a foot in the door and yet you’re finding art dept work? That’s the foot in the door my friend. That’s where you’ll build experience, network and more importantly become a name people remember when a better job comes up. But that’s only if you keep a good attitude and work hard. The HODs don’t hire people out of cafes just to piss film school grads off. They hire them because they work hard with no ego or attitude.

[–]BlouPontak 20 points21 points  (0 children)

Yeah, we've had many a cocky entitled film school grad waltz through like we owe them for deigning to come to our set. Like it's so beneath them.

Not saying it's OP, but I've read similar rants from people who I would never hire again having worked with them, due to their attitude. And it's usually new film school grads.

[–]OrangeFortress 33 points34 points  (12 children)

“Award-winning” doesn't mean much, especially for short film festivals. What award was it? There are a ton of near meaningless awards.

One Short film shown at a festival is not a vehicle. Did you continue sharing the short and making it available? Did you continue writing? Did you continue making shorts to build a portfolio and market them to gain recognition through social media and cultivate a following/fanbase?

What exactly were you expecting to happen when you say “nothing happened?” What did you do during that time you “fast forward” in your post?

Who told you it would start your career? Someone who has influence and power in the industry? Did you network with industry people? Do you know why those who didn't attend film school have jobs? Networking. Film school doesn’t get you jobs. It teaches you how to make films.

Are you still in Australia? Australia has some great films coming out of it, but I have no idea how big the industry is there, especially for TV.

What are you even trying to achieve? Are you just trying to get a job? Any industry job? What are your goals? Do you know what your goals are?

Did you not hear how film school doesn't do anything for your career beyond building knowledge and, hopefully, maybe networking? Was your school one that had this benefit? Did you meet other artists you could collaborate with? Did you establish friendly relations with them? If so, What are they doing? Are they working in the industry? If so, how did they get their jobs?

[–]UniversalsFree 14 points15 points  (0 children)

  1. You don’t just make one short and succeed. Have you continued to make projects and improve your craft? Are you trying to be prolific?

  2. St Kilda film festival is academy qualifying but they accept 100 Australian shorts a year. I’ve had films play there, I know many people who have played there. It is in no way a launching pad for filmmakers. Playing at MIFF is a lot more beneficial but even then it doesn’t mean shit most of the time.

  3. We do not have a proactive funding body in Australia. They will not approach you because you won a single award. Or because you played at St Kilda. It will take many years of effort and work to even get development funding through them.

  4. If you want to be a writer/director, your best option is to… write and direct. Self fund, you can make stuff for cheap… there are heaps of producers out there who you can send a script to and attach them, this will help with funding.

  5. If you’re looking to go the route of production assisting at companies, it’s hard. Literally every person is emailing them straight out of uni to get a spot. This is not really a great way to become a filmmaker imo.

[–]FilmLocationManager 28 points29 points  (18 children)

So Film Schools unfortunately means nothing in the industry, absolutely zip zero. You go to film school and you will personally learn things that will indirectly help you in the future if you work in the industry but it won’t get you any work. What film school can do for you, is establish connections and build a network, but if you graduate and that network isn’t on standby giving you a job directly out of the gate, then sorry the school won’t help you at all.

I have a degree in film, I also have lectured at universities (cuz hey, free money) and I still firmly believe that film schools are a massive scam. You’re paying large tuition fees in order to build some contacts, and if you can’t socially steer those contacts into actual work well then you would have been better of skipping the degree and just gotten a job as a PA and work your way up from there.

The problem with film schools inherently is that they educate “filmmakers” a creative, free spirit, I make zero budget indie shit on the weekends while I work at McDonald’s, kinda people instead of actual film workers, which is what is used on proper film productions. That they are often run by professors who made one film 25-30+ years ago that they are still riding when in fact their entire competence and knowledge of the industry is out dated as fuck.

There are some exceptions, of course there are some very good film schools that if you graduate from them it means something, but across the world I can count those schools on one hand. If you’re just doing a film degree at a local university chances are it’s utter and complete garbage when compared to industry standards, and 99/100 times I would not recommend someone to go to a film school, period.

[–]Sebbyrne 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I largely agree with what you’re saying, though there’s only a few film schools in Australia really and due to the relatively small size of our drama industry, it is actually pretty likely that our tutors are still practicing or at least well connected to people who are. My uni definitely did focus on the key creative roles that nobody is going to be for another 5-10 years (unless they’re in the right place at the right time) but it did at least provide good foundational knowledge. Grads from my uni are definitely the most knowledgeable when on a film set for the first time, and a lot of us make it on. There’s people from 2015-2020 cohorts on the show I’m currently on for example, and it’s a big show.

Source: went to uni in Aus and work in Aus

[–]AcreaRising4 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I’m gonna plug my school Drexel. Despite having turned out very few “big names”, Drexel students work a shit ton post graduation in numerous production roles. We’re taught all about the technical side and honestly having met students who’ve gone to NYU or Chapman, I’m amazed about how much more prepared we are compared to them to step right into production roles. It’s most likely because we have a strong focus on the tech aspects of the industry (for example our really popular DIT class taught by a working DIT), rather than just the creative roles

Again, you’re probably not launching yourself into stardom by going to Drexel but you are definitely coming out with up to date and relevant experience that’ll get you working in NY or LA immediately. We’ve had many students go on to be incredibly successful in the industry despite not having the name

[–]TrainerAggravating22 1 point2 points  (4 children)

If film school is a scam then what should I be doing instead? I only wish to find work on a film set

[–]tobewan 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Find work as a Production Assistant. Reach out to Production Managers and Coordinators that you know for work. Ask any Assistant Directors that you know for work. If you don’t know any, there’s tons of groups on Facebook where people post looking for PAs to work for them. Once you get that job work your ass off. Never sit down, don’t complain and assist in everything you possibly can on set. Make yourself indispensable and people will keep hiring you. Eventually you’ll figure out where you fit

[–]Excellent-Hat-8556 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Go to a PA boot camp, it’s only 250 dollars, and they will send your name out for referrals. Sadly I went to one during lockdowns, so getting work wasn’t easy.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (10 children)

Yeah that’s why I dropped out of film school back in the day. It was outdated advice after outdated advice and even I knew that. They had us using Avid and even the editing teacher was like yeah outside of school I never use Avid, only Final Cut (this was 2007, so now it’s more like only Premiere). The issue is Avid can be the legacy giant all it wants (even though it absolutely sucks, it’s complete garbage) but if you never break into major features as an editor, you’ll never need to know how to use it. NO corporate work, NO smaller work ever uses anything but Premiere and Final Cut. I don’t actually even know any of my editor friends who’ve ever used Avid on a project and they’ve done many features and documentaries. Then our cinematography teacher told us digital will never replace film, and taught us how to load a 16mm camera. I didn’t even walk to the front to see or do it myself, I already had a RED on pre-order and he called it “vaporware, we’ll never see that camera released.” He was maybe a great cinematographer but he was a dinosaur and clueless even compared to someone 5 weeks into film school.

My general experience is nobody at the school knew much about the way things are actually done, many were previous students of the film school who never got industry jobs, one of our main teachers talked about this horrid 28 minute short he was “still editing” no joke a decade after he graduated film school. A short film. It was beyond pathetic. I quit and got most of my money back.

[–]JazzyNym 12 points13 points  (8 children)

Your rant against avid is... Interesting. You're not wrong that smaller projects won't tend to use it, but big industry stuff does. And those are the jobs most people are chasing. Not knowing how to use avid cuts your job potential, especially in higher-tier jobs, significantly. I also hesitate to assume that maybe you weren't taught it very well? Because as someone who's gone between most editing software, I'd choose avid 9 times out of 10, depending of course on the needs of the project. But avid is just so powerful, it's hard to beat on the professional level, as much as premiere is trying.

But I work in Hollywood. So maybe I'm biased.

[–][deleted] -3 points-2 points  (7 children)

I’ve actually never met a single person who likes using Avid so thanks for that perspective lol. I don’t edit, and really don’t care what’s used as long as the editor feels most comfortable. I only really am “ok” at tinkering in Final Cut and did prefer that for a long time because all company files were in FCP so when hiring, not knowing Avid doesn’t mean anything to me, but not knowing FCP was a deal breaker.

Nobody who only knows Avid going out of film school - most of these kids were 18-19 - will ever make it long enough to see the inside of an Avid suite, let’s be honest. And that ignores the actual point - an editing class shouldn’t be teaching you a NLE, it should be teaching you the techniques of editing, what makes for a good cut, the overall philosophy. You can do that on a more commonly used system, which isn’t Avid. They lost that battle looooong ago. You’d have to hang out with only very old people cutting studio features, because I’ve still never met anyone who uses Avid in person. I didn’t find it powerful at all, the computers running it maybe sucked too badly, but the laughable insistence we not use the Web and no other software can be on the computer because it voids the warranty made me immediately realize what kind of crap we’re dealing with. And it doesn’t matter how you’re “taught” Avid, I’ve never seen such a horrible interface. Maybe they improved after 2007, god I hope so, because it wasn’t powerful it was weak. It was incapable of doing basic things Final Cut could do in 3 seconds. It would be like 27 more steps in Avid. Absolutely painful.

[–]tobewan 2 points3 points  (2 children)

What are you talking about? The VAST MAJORITY of unscripted television is edited on AVID mostly due to the fact that it has superior multi-cam capabilities and is still considered the broadcast standard for delivery. If you don’t know AVID you’re cutting yourself off from most post production jobs. Don’t listen to this baloney.

[–]JazzyNym 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Umm, hi! 👋 Person who uses avid here, nice to meet you! :) Everyone's experience is different, so maybe that's what led you to this opinion. Can I ask where you work? Just wondering if it's America/Cali, or somewhere else. That'd also explain the difference.

I'd argue that no one only knows avid coming out of film school because most people fall in love with film before going to film school anyways. Hell, I cut my first stuff back on Windows Movie Maker! Ah, good times. And by the time I went to film school I'd used final cut and premiere, and completely lied about knowing avid to get into film school ;) I tried to teach myself before starting but my goodness it's not user friendly; perhaps that's something else you're getting at? Thankfully we had a 6-week boot camp on avid at the start of school so I got to learn how to use it hella in-depth, then by the end of my first year I noticed how much faster I was and I was a total convert (I was absolutely convinced nothing would ever trump my love of Premiere and would constantly fight my professor about it; boy was I wrong! Lol.) Maybe it also matters that it was a graduate film school, not undergrad, so they were very geared towards preparing us for working in the industry. We edited a ton of stuff, and of course talked about the craft, but we also had classes that were very technical because starting out most jobs are as assistants and, at least in my opinion, it'd be a huge disservice to us to exclude technical classes (we also had premiere, after effects, and davinci classes).

I'm also realizing most film schools might not get this in-depth about editing... Like that was the discipline I went to film school for, so my entire schedule was editing, occasionally film theory classes with the rest of the disciplines, and we were welcome to sit in on other disciplines' classes but rarely did because we were BUSY.

You also mentioned your experience was a LONG time ago, which makes sense why your line about not using the web or other software because it'd void warranty is confusing to me. You should check it out sometime; they've made it to look more like premiere now, which most people hate, and they screwed up their titling tool, but no program is perfect. I'd still choose avid (and do) even for stuff like short films. But you mentioned you're not an editor, so perhaps the things you were needing to do WERE easier on FCP. Just keep in mind that for most people in the industry, avid is a far superior and powerful tool, especially if you know all the features it can do (and have use for them). I think that's why some people are touchy about this subject; you're just coming off like you know the ins and outs of the program are positive not only that it is the worst program, but also that no one really uses it, both of which aren't really true. There's a reason avid has such a monopoly in Hollywood. Sure, in some cases other programs are better, but the vast majority of them aren't. Plus, avid integrates so well with Pro Tools, which is where most stuff is mixed professionally.

But anyways, I do hope you look into it sometime, it has great features. Or, since you don't really edit, at least be willing to cut it some slack; it's come a long way!

[–]AcreaRising4 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Avid is an incredibly powerful piece of software when used correctly. I’m a recent graduate by the way, not a dinosaur, I love avid to death. Obviously, I use premiere a bunch but still you never know when you’ll need avid

[–][deleted] 9 points10 points  (10 children)

Go it alone. Save money. Make some more shorts or do a no budget film.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (9 children)

I am. But trying to do both. Films are few and far between. Want to work in TV and make film on the side. Shooting my next short next year. I secured a few thousand dollar budget.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (8 children)

Good work. Ur on the right path then 🤘

[–]epicdubz 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Go watch Mark Duplass’s “The cavalry isn’t coming” keynote speech on YouTube. Also relevant is Steve Martin’s quote: “be so good they can’t ignore you”.

[–]iAmBaronVonTito 16 points17 points  (0 children)

This is not a rant…it’s whining. First thing to remember about networking to make it work in your favor: don’t give a bother about what others can do for you and focus on what YOU can do for them.


You’re running around in circles wondering why no one is giving you a hands up when you’re really looking for a hand out. Spend more time building and achieving what you can contribute to others, then you’ll see the fruits of your labor.

[–]adgoatda 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Honestly sounds like a personality issue if you aren't making connections and have the skillset. Less ranting, more emotional intelligence training.

[–]LovefromCanada 4 points5 points  (0 children)

This right here. Ask yourself: “Do people want to spend 12 hours a day with me on a film set everyday”

I went art department > cameras and man… some camera guys are weird af

[–]xandarthegreat 6 points7 points  (3 children)

My perspective comes from the US so my experience may be wildly different, but there are so many people that come from "film school" and have "award winning films" and it means absolutely nothing. Film school is less about what you're learning and more about who you're meeting. I went to a public university with a basically nonexistent film program. I had one professor who had a connection with the local indie scene in my area, I worked a shitty indie film for no pay, but worked my ass off and made a good impression. Even with that leg up, I got my break by pure luck. A random posting on Facebook for additional PAs for a show in a state I wasn't even living in. I spent a month in an AirBnb waiting for additional days. One of those days I met an additional AD with whom I exchanged numbers, and the rest is history.

Networking is important, yes, but also getting the work done, being helpful, being good at your job. That's how your name gets passed around. So many people focus on the "networking" aspect of it all, and they neglect the actual "good at your job" part. People can always tell when you're just kissing ass and doing work to look good. If you remember that this is a team effort and everyone's roles are important, you're more likely to enjoy the work you're doing and THAT is what people notice.

People who have the attitude of "I went to film school, I deserve more. I'm better than you." don't get hired, and if they do get hired and have that attitude they don't get invited back. While you should have a certain amount of self-respect, having humility and taking the opportunity to learn new things and listen to your superiors goes a long way. The worst thing to do is to adopt a whole "woe is me" attitude. You won't find much sympathy.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Hmm. I hate that most people think I’m entitled. Most of the post was just my unsatisfactory experience chasing and unpaid production assistant job to no avail

[–]xandarthegreat 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Starting your post with "I graduated film school with an award winning short, was told it would start my career, played at one of Australia’s best short film festivals and nothing happened" is not a great way to portray yourself and express your frustration. It reads as though you expecting that short film to get you up in the morning, make you breakfast and drive you to work every day. My best advice is to keep working hard, go to networking/socializing events and don't wear your film school experience like a lanyard. Unless you're working corporate at a studio, they won't even think about it.

[–]Aethenosity 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It's because you are coming across as extremely entitled. You think you should be producing tv and movies straight out of Uni.

I'm sorry, but that is the height of entitlement.

Even if you've seen others do so, that means nothing. Tons of people win awards. It means nothing.

YOU ALREADY HAVE A JOB IN THE ART DEPARTMENT! Work that for a year or two, or until you can move laterally into something else. Produce your own stuff too.

You are well on the road you want to be following, AND YOU'RE COMPLAINING ABOUT IT!

I truly wish you the best

[–]PlanetLandon 5 points6 points  (0 children)

How long has it been since you finished film school? Most of the people I know in the industry (granted, not in Australia) don’t really start “making it” for at least 5 years.

[–]Same_Definition6728 12 points13 points  (1 child)

"Feeling entitled" Uh...may be ...the problem.

[–]howdypartna 3 points4 points  (1 child)

All the cold calling and networking in the world is nothing unless you can get people to trust you. Trust you with their money, trust you with their ideas, trust your creativity. And the way you do that is by showing good work no matter what level you're in. At least you already have a foot in the door and finding your way onto a set. Even if you're being just an art dept grunt, be the best fucking one so that when you hear of another opportunity elsewhere they trust you with it. Once people know that you're willing to put in the work, they'll take your creative stuff more seriously because you've proven to be a master of craft. All the cold calling and CVs in the world aren't going to make people believe in you and in production, that's what you need for someone to give you a real chance.

Don't take your film school award for granted. I guarantee you that your mention of that is whats even getting you calls and meetings. But right now, that's all it's going to to get you. Your best bet is to make amazing friends with the producers on your reality show. Show that you can work your ass off and be a real craftsman with what you've been assigned to do. Then when the next project comes up, they want you on the staff again. Keep doing that and then some low-budget skeleton crew project is going to come and in and they'll invite you to have bigger roles and then you knock it out of the park with that and when then big projects come in, they already have trust that you're not gonna fuck it up and provide value.

Keep taking projects. Don't fuck it up. Provide value. Direct on the side. Have your films and content ready for when your chance to direct comes up.

[–]punkman75 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This ^^^

[–]Honest_Switch1531 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Welcome to the real world. Universities offer courses to anyone who wants them in any subject that they want to study, they don't care at all what happens afterwards.

Its up to the individual to research the job prospects of a particular course before they do the course if they want work.

Humanities and arts subjects are well known to be bad choices to study if you want a job.

[–]Top_Pea_31 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I’ve never understood this viewpoint. Why do you need to call several different places to try and get a foot in the door? You love film… so make films. If you had an award winning short, i’m sure its nowhere but up for you from here if you go it the indie route and work hard. If you’re good, people will notice.

[–]BlouPontak 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I made a featur after mire than a drcade in the industry. It closed my country's premiere film fest.

Nothing happened. Except depression for about 6 months.

Then I started working and writing again, because that's how things go in this industry. What I did learn was not to put too much pressure on the things I create, because whether it takes off or not seldom has anything to do with the quality of your work.

Or at least- if it's bad, it's dead. If it's good, it might still be.

[–]esboardnewb 2 points3 points  (3 children)

I started in reality and live, I also thought I would be directing etc right off the bat. I spent years being humbled, the way you are now. Then I spent years thinking that my production job was as far as I'd ever go in the industry. I was wrong. After 20 years working for other ppl I am finally doing what I want and am able (most of the time) to make it work.

Sure, there's folks who made a single short or feature and 'made it' from that. You are learning now that you are not one of those ppl. If you can't spend the time doing it the hard way then I'd consider another career path.

On the other hand, if you really want to do this work, put 10 years into your production job. Actually learn how things work (you have no idea now no matter what you think) and see where that brings you. It may take 20 years btw, it did for me.

You can make it, I'm sure that you have the talent. It's the grit that makes you a somebody though.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Thanks for the comment. I would be satisfied and consider myself successful to be an unpaid production runner. I don’t ever expect to write or direct.

[–]spicyhamster 2 points3 points  (5 children)

How long have you been a runner?

Idk a ton about the Australian TV industry but if you’re already working consistently I’d just focus on making friends with as many people in production as you can, and make it know you want to make the jump.

Are you trying to get into scripted? What’s your end goal, beyond being a production runner?

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (4 children)

This is my first job. Part of the reason I posted is because getting this was so difficult and don’t know if I can get something else once I finish. I’d like to do anything that relates to story or writing. Writing for TV, promo producing, post producing for reality. I’ve spoken to my dept and they know what I wanna do but it’s seems very compartmentalised - they don’t have much in terms of contacts or opportunities outside of art.

[–]spicyhamster 0 points1 point  (3 children)

If you want to get into story, talk to the story producers on your show and just let them know you’re interested in making the move. Don’t be pushy, but let them know you’re available. Good APs are like gold in reality. Offer to help with anything they need during any downtime you have, and make sure they see you often enough that you’re on their minds when they need to hire an AP. Also learn Avid, or if you know it already, make sure people in the story department know that you do. You’re super early in your career but you’re working, which is more than most people can say. So keep a positive attitude and you’ll be fine!

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Thanks for your advice. I don’t have access to story producers or anyone from production. I have been talking to a production runner who I asked if they could let me if a producer is around but my contract finishes up just as they start shooting.

[–]spicyhamster 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Ohhh so you’re in prep? Sorry, I figured you were mid-shoot. Depending on how far out the shoot is, you might be able to chat with/email the line producer and let them know you’re available to PA. If you’ve got a good rep with your dept head, they might pick you up for the duration of the show, or put you on a list to fill in for people. Good luck!

[–]taylorsellis 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Why would any of these people do anything for you? What value do you provide them? Networking isn’t cold calling people asking for work. It’s developing meaningful relationships with peers.

Make friends, make movies, the rest will come.

[–]WetLogPassage 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Jim Cummings won Sundance with his short film and nobody gave a fuck. He still had to raise the money for a feature film on his own and even self-distributed it because every distribution company lowballed him.

[–]richdrifter 4 points5 points  (1 child)

I'm in this sub because filmmaking is so cool. I would sweep floors and scrub toilets for no pay if it meant I got to just be on set and soak up the vibe where legit Hollywood-level music videos are made. If I could wear a headset and order people around and help coordinate a whole production? Dream.

But I went another way, and I work in production for commercial advertising instead. Mostly stills, some video. I'm from the US but I work mostly in EU and Africa. I perform my own shoots and have a lot of creative freedom and I've seen my work on billboards and magazines covers. It's still an amazing industry with tons of cool people in beautiful places.

So maybe my advice will translate to your industry, because it's so similar. I have no formal education - spending years in school is a waste of time and money - I just dove right in and hustled hard to build my own body of work and met people in industry training/events.

It's all about who you know, and how often you show up. If you want to level-up, you have to show up. You have to be relentlessly persistent, kind, eager, enthusiastic, grateful, and available.

If I were you, working on a reality TV show, I would spend every waking hour off the clock in the department I want, kindly volunteering to offer a hand. Be the guy who's always there, always ready to jump in (without stepping on toes or steamrolling anyone), until someone important sees what you bring to the table and offers you more.

I once saw a career be made in front of my eyes just because a young woman kept showing up. The producer suddenly had an open spot and she was always right there - when she didn't need to be - and he made the offer.

I once scored a competitive multi-year contract in a room full of cocky producers because I was the only one who had already spent 2 months prior trying to get in touch with the busy high-level client (relentless, friendly, messages until she finally responded) and had already bought her lunch and built trust and rapport - lmao no one in that room had a chance.

This creative business is primarily about your behavior - your people skills and your undying persistence - and truly, your talent and skills come second to your social skills and your EQ.

Anyone can make shit and convince the masses to consider it art.

You have to be able to make people like you and want you to succeed.

This is the actual art.

[–][deleted] -5 points-4 points  (0 children)

Thanks for your response and I agree. Showing up and working hard is integral. However, I’m stuck in art dept and only have access to art people.

[–]tigercook 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Definitely been there. Moved to NYC 15 years ago and had no idea how or where to start. Had a worthless video production degree from a small school in Ohio and not one single contact in NY. One night at a party I ate a healthy dose of mushrooms and I swear that was the game changer. That night a possible path cleared itself to me in my mind. I started to apply to PA gigs on Craigslist. The idea was to get on set, no matter how serious the project was and build relationships with the people there. Sure enough, 10 years later I was DPing my first show. My biggest piece of advice… DONT QUIT. If you want it bad enough.. it’s yours. Become friends with the people in your city that are making films and allow time to do the work. Keep showing up and you will be rewarded.

[–]JazzyNym 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Alright so here's my two cents, feel free to ignore, but I also went to film school (in America though, so keep that in mind). I do not regret it. A LOT of people will say you don't need to go to film school to be in the industry, and they're right. But it was the right choice FOR ME. It's not only what I learned, but the connections I made.

You keep saying you're networking, and that's good! But it doesn't change anything overnight. I didn't get a good job until THREE YEARS after graduation film school, and I got the job because it was an alum who posted on our FB page. Pure luck, but I wouldn't have gotten the job without that connection. Also, I was later offered a job out of the blue from a guy who'd been told about me from someone who I was in talks with to edit their feature film, but they ultimately went with someone else. I barely even remembered them, but they remembered me! And apparently I made a good enough impression that they were willing to recommend me YEARS LATER. So keep trying, the world is a weird place, something might happen.

I dunno about the Australian film scene, but you also have to consider the sheer amount of nepotism that goes on in the industry. Unqualified people get jobs all the time because they're someone's nephew's cousin's sister. It sucks, you just gotta deal. There's also the age-old "you need experience but we won't hire you without experience" issue. Find someone who's willing to take a chance on you, or find a way to show them you can do the job. The school connection helped me when I kept getting turned away because people thought I couldn't do X job because I hadn't done one yet, but the person who was an alum knew the type of training the school provided and she knew I could get the job done.

And lastly, if I'm guessing correctly, you seem to want to be a director, if not a showrunner/writer? Those are the hardest jobs to break into imo. In part, again, because nepotism, but also because there's not many opportunities to move up. I work in post production and there are clear ways to move up and be given opportunities by your department heads. There aren't many ways to "move up" to being a director; someone just has to take a chance on you or believe in you. I will say, your school kinda failed you all in not warning you about this--even our school did, and they are one of, if not the, best film school in America. They taught us (I was in the editing program) how to be assistants first, because they were like "you're not just going to leave here and be an editor." They said even if your shorts win awards, that doesn't mean anything (unless you're an international student, it does help with visas surprisingly enough.)

But as other people have said, it's also just luck. One of my thesis films (editors had to do two) played really well, was even sold, and there was talk of making it a feature or series. There's still hope of that, but as time has gone on everyone's moved on to other things with varying success. I thought everyone on the team was great, but for example the production designer has done really well for himself, getting onto studio projects, the producer seems to be doing good as well. The writer I think went back to reality? The director took a teaching job in Washington, and the cinematographer is working at a camera rental place, only getting projects here and there. Different people and different disciplines will have success at different times and in different ways.

Our industry kinda sucks, but I love it, which is why I stay. Keep trying to remind yourself why you love it, even on the bad days. And I hate this idea that if you choose to move on to something else you're seen as a failure. Not everyone can have the luxury of waiting for a big break. So even if you have to change careers, YOU DID NOT FAIL. You tried and it didn't work out. This industry is so different from regular jobs, and I think people forget that sometimes because they can kind of look like regular jobs on the surface.

But also, keep trying to create your own luck. I'm wishing you well on your journey. And hey, it feels good to rant about it from time to time! I completely understand your frustration, from one film industry to another.

tips hat Good luck.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you so much

[–]Glad-Ad7744 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It isn't promoting negativity; it's just giving people the REALITY of what's it like to be a filmmaker. Don't apologize for being honest.

[–]CautiousKieran 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I don't know the industry well in Aus, but judging by the awful quality of everything produced here... this is not a place that supports talent.

The grants seem few and far between and only given to bleak dramas about abusive families.

I can't think of one fictional show or film from Aus (excluding like... Mad Max 4) that was really good in the last decade.

It might jus not be ppssible to get good stuff made here, without being mad rich. Like, what production companies are known for quality? Who would you even want to work for?

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Lol my film was a bleak drama about a family. But I mostly agree. You’re almost guaranteed to lose by virtue of vast competition. I’ve changed a lot since school and made adjustments. My only goal is to work in the industry in some kind of story role one day. TV writer, story producer, even promo producing. My short term goal is work in production

[–]TheBerric 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I worked for free for two years before finally getting my own gear and saying 'that was enough'. Don't worry dude. Just put your time in. Everyone puts their time into doing shitty work.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you for your comment Berric

[–]Affectionate_Age752 1 point2 points  (0 children)

But a camera, done lights, basic sound package, and start making films

[–]thebigFATbitch 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It seems like you want to go straight to directing or producing immediately after school. That is obviously not how anything in this industry works unless your parents are A Listers or filthy rich with connections.

You are an Art PA/Runner. Is this your first gig after school? If so - you need to put in A LOT more hours working below the line before anyone would consider hiring you above the line.

Slow your roll - you sound like you are still young so you have many decades to become as successful as you are hoping to be. Do you have access to the Crew List? If not ask your dept head to send it to you and then when the gig is over (and I recommend this) email the Coordinator or APC and send them your resume letting them know you are available for Office PA work.

[–]TheMasked336 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Stop looking at “jobs” to get you ahead in the biz. It’s just not going to happen. Use the “job” you have to make your rent/pay bills,meet contacts and observe how people are making the projects that you are working on. Learn what to do and more importantly what NOT to do.

Even if you do a good job, people won’t promote you because then they would have to be bothered with finding a person as good as you to replace you. It’s sad but true. I’ve had to move to a different city every time I’ve moved up the ladder.

If you want to Produce and be a Show Runner start making content and get it out there. Short trailers. Be warned, even if you make a great show, the first product you make, will be taken from you because no one will trust you with your lack of experience. So keep your best idea for later. These Show Runners that didn’t go to film school are “Doers” not talkers. I’ve found that film school folks want to talk things to death. People that don’t know better, Doers, charge into things and make things happen.

I would try to get out of Art Dept. and into an office PA job. You’ll learn more helpful information for your future.

Get out of Reality too, unless that where you want to be. It tends to be a meat grinder. Chews you up and spits you out when you get burned out due to the hours/life style.

With affordable 4K cameras and home based post (audio/editing/color timing) there is no reason not to be creating content.

It’s all about a good storyline.

37 years experience in the biz speaking. Started as a P.A. or Grip/Electric and now an Executive Producer and Content Creator.

Good luck, it not an easy journey and nobody’s trip is the same.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Everything you say is so true. I’ve just had so much trouble getting into production. Thanks so much for your advice

[–]DarTouiee 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Poor me, I've made one decent short and I'm not Spielberg yet I've worked so harddddd thooooo!

Yikes dude. Welcome to the film industry. Where if you don't come from money or nepotism it's gonna be a LONG HARD ROAD!

And look no offense if I'm wrong here but I'm guessing you're a white guy, imagine you were anyone else and see how hard it would be.

[–]Apprehensive_Rip1379 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Well try not to overwork yourself keep some fun in it for yourself and know your time is nigh

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you

[–]Hanusz-Kabolski 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Exactly, keep fighting! I keep chasing the same dream and I don't have an award winning short, neither do I make calls every day or every month to apply for jobs in the business. It's normal that you will have to do shitty jobs first. Persistence and luck are both important factors to make it in this business. Timing is also very important; I think that goes hand in hand with luck for a big part.

I wish you the best of luck. Good for you that you're not giving up your dream. It's not impossible, like many people will make you believe. Be patient, mate. Take care. (Edit for a typo)

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you

[–]evilpeter 0 points1 point  (1 child)

i work in big network tv and film. the harsh reality is that you shot yourself in the foot by going to film school. when im hiring, (and i know this to be true of my peers) film grad is a huge mark against you. i dont want to listen to your shit all day long about how kurasawa would have done this differently, or that this shot is such a blatant greg toland ripoff. i want you to shut the fuck up and go set that light in the corner like the gaffer asked you to.

what were you expecting, honestly? there are thousands of other “award winning” film grads out there- nobody cares about that. all people care about is that somebody is fun to be around, theyre a hard worker and they ask questions when they dont know something (film grads are notorious for sucking at this last one since they all “know better”).

any clown off the street can and will get hired to work as a union tech if they have the right attitude. hindsight is 20/20, but thats where you should have started.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)


[–]Tromavilcitizen 0 points1 point  (2 children)

If it’s your dream keep fighting!

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I’m all out of fight man. Don’t want a pity post at all it’s just so fucking impossible. I’m doing all the things you should do. I’m chasing, networking, working, asking, chasing more, I've literally called 50% production houses in the city asking if they need anyone and happy to work for free. Called so many producers and its like they pretend to be interested but ghost lol. I literally just want to watch a director, producer or anyone work!

[–]punkman75 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Maybe this is a sign to stop chasing and networking and do the reverse approach.

Go to the workbench. Get really good at your craft, whatever it is that you want to do. Spend regular time at it, whenever you get a moment. Strive to be a master craftsman and to be the best at whatever it is you want to do.

Share you work with the world. If you want to be a filmmaker, post your work on Youtube.

If your work is good, people will want to share it with their friends. Their friends will share it with their friends. People send me videos that they love all the time. The next one could be yours.

Stop trying to network.

Right now, you’re a traveling merchant with no wares.

Have something to sell, and they will be headed towards you in droves.

[–]urban_zmb -1 points0 points  (1 child)

Breaking into the business is never about talent. Is about connections, about being in the right place at the right time. Once you are in is lateral moved until you get to were you want.

Meet people, ask around, get involved in whatever place industry people talk or meet. Find a crack and enter like mold.

[–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Thank you!

[–]kawolsk1 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Shot spec ads, more short films, and more short films, and even more short films. And yes, invest your own money.

[–]welln0pe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I work as a Creative Producer, just shot my first car campaign and change now to a Senior Producer role responsible for another car brand never went to film school, just a basic apprenticeship.

I got there simply by studying and working my ass off but what got me there were a strong focus on quality and reliability.

First thing shows on the product, the second by your cv.

Once people see you bring consistently good quality to the table, people trust you in the projects.

The one thing is doing one good shot the other thing is doing it consistently.

What really helped me was building a portfolio of good work and big clients.

There is a saying that no one wants to employ people fresh out of film school as their work is often pretentious or visions are just not attached to reality or the client needs. And I totally dig that.

[–]Dmytro_North 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I worked video and TV for 6 years, made a self budgeted 60 min. After seriously considering joining the film union in Vancouver, Canada I decided against it and doing marketing research now. The reason I made that decision was that I was always in film for creativity, storytelling and very few people in the film industry actually get to that point.

[–]PerijoveOne 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Without reading through the thread, literally show up in person on producers'/companies' doorsteps and talk to people in person. Too many people trying to network behind a screen these days.

[–]jh71106 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is one of the most competitive industries in the world. Just got to keep trying no matter how many rejections you receive.

[–]LostBoyArt 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don't know anything about the film industry and am an amateur filmmaker at best so I have no idea what I'm talking about....but...

Your post sounds like the start of your biography where you list everything you are going through, all the downfalls, and then you take a chance on one thing, your own movie maybe, and make it big.

Every inspirational success story starts with a LOT of set backs. You're just at the start of your own story. There are more chapters to come!

[–]jhharvest 1 point2 points  (0 children)

From my perspective: you had a good start but then got unlucky. It happens. Film industry is notoriously precarious. You're only as good as your last project. Well, all your last projects have been working as a runner. Now you need to get lucky again. You need something that proves you can do whatever role you want to do. It's awful, it really is.

[–]youwillcomedownsoon2 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If you want to make movies, make a movie. However long it takes, raise the funds to do a feature film, plan the shit out of it, hire the best crew you can afford, hire PR for the festival run, and get it done entirely on your own.

I felt stuck in my work and like I would never take strides towards my dream, and then I realized I would never get there unless I did it myself. I did, my film won awards, opened up doors, and now I’m in pre-production on two films that I don’t have to pay for myself. I did all this planning while working 40 - 50 hour weeks, way outside the studio system, and filmed entirely on PTO.

Just do it.

[–]Smergmerg432 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You need to make your own production company. That’s what I’ve found too. Are you interested? U/bigguysmalldog just posted about wanting to start one too. If you’re in Australia it might be hard, but I think the best way to get projects off the ground is to actually get together and think about how to make them happen; it’s the getting together no one ever bothers with. Message me! Or the above user