Thursday, April 23, 2009

Networking with Film/TV Industry Folk

Yesterday I worked as a PA/Driver in Trenton, NJ on a reality show called "Make My Day"; a British import about watching a selected individual throughout the day as he/she experiences a set of "coincidences" that actually brighten the person's day, culminating with a nice celebration after the reveal. The show is to air on TV Land, which I had supposed to be above reality shows; but if they are into it, then this isn't a bad show to deal with. After all, it's really about making the person happy, as opposed to driving them crazy or making them sick or angry or even dumber. Actually, I was invited to apply for a competitive show myself; apparently there is a show in the works that involves pairing good and bad drivers together and having them drive through NYC on various tasks to compete for a prize. That's all I know right now; I'll let you know when I find out more.

I'm posting this article as a plea or a point, if you will, on behalf of myself and my collegues who are crew members in the film and TV industry. Most of the PAs I know and have worked with in the past have been out of work for quite some time, or have been working a few short-term gigs here and there; maybe 1 or 2 days every other week or more. The gig I just came from was for two days, and before that I worked a two-day gig in the beginning of April. Needless to say, I am very underemployed, as are many other crew folks. And yet, when I do get work and speak to people I'm meeting for the first time; say a Key PA or a coordinator, they invariably say that they have been working steadily without any breaks. How can this be, other than the fact that they are very close with key executives, and in turn hire people they are close with? I suppose there is nothing wrong with establishing a good relationship with someone who can hire you consistently, but it seems right now there are either so many people with so few jobs available, or there is a lot of job hoarding going on. Several people have told me that there's a lot of work going on right now, but how can I find it if the work is not advertised?

That's why I'm setting up a network post in this article; I will from time-to-time post ads from various sources about upcoming gigs for PAs and maybe grips, art department or camera assistants; areas I intend to branch into when I'm not writing or directing my own productions. I'll tell you that at this writing, I am in line to direct a low-budget indie film, along with a few shorts that I've written. I'm certain that the directing gig, if the project is greenlit, will solve a lot of personal diffculties I'm experiencing, and from there I may have some say in getting my collegues more work. But without getting too far ahead, I'll start by posting a few links I found as of this date.

I invite you to forward via email or post in these comments any gigs you are aware of or discover in your daily doings; I will continue posting new gigs as they come. Networking has been the best way for us to find more work; as I had stated before, most new gigs are often not advertised, and we have to rely on the good faith of coordinators or keys who either remember our work from before, or who are willing to give us a chance based on someone else's word. Let's maximize this by spreading the word about each other, c'mon and network with us! >;)

(please note, I will only post paying gigs; no non-paying or intern gigs; we do this for a living, not for experience we already have. For those who have specialized skills or technical backgrounds, I will post gigs that call for this for you as well.)

From NYC Craigslist, week of April 19-25, 2009: - HBO Documentary Series - Freelance Broadcast News & Web Positions - MLB network seeking techincal assistants - Brooklyn Soundstage Assistant


Chyll Will said...

4/27/09 - Casting PA

Chyll Will said...

4/27/09 - Seeking Crew for Upstate NY indie film -

Chyll Will said...

4/27/09 - Cameraman needed (Westchester)