Recently I stumbled across a showreel for a camera assistant that I found, frankly, unimpressive and pointless. For a job that’s more technical than it is creative, do camera assistants do anything worth showing off in a reel? And, if so, is it valuable to have one?
Filmmaking isn’t only about directing or operating the camera. Crew, and all their various talents, fit into an incredibly complex filmmaking machine designed to grind hours into footage. So the question is: where do you fit within that machine? And what do you want to do on set?
Today I’m releasing the 2nd Edition of “Becoming the Reel Deal,” the ebook that helps you learn how to launch your film career in the camera department. And, yes, it’s still free.
PA’s undoubtedly have the most unenviable position on the set: they are expected to be able to do everything asked of them while being treated as if they lack the knowledge to do any of it at all. This is what I call “The PA Paradox.”
The best film jobs aren’t easy to find. Like a hole-in-the-wall restaurant or your favorite local dive bar, you learn about the truly great filmmaking gigs through networking and keeping an ear to the ground.
It’s tricky when you’re first asked what your day rate is. You don’t want to price yourself out of a job, but you don’t want to leave any money on the table either. So here’s five important factors that will help you decide what kind of paycheck to negotiate for.
Not every job is worth taking when you consider the opportunity costs. An empty calendar may be scary, but I’d like to exchange my time for money, experience, or creative satisfaction. And I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
Are you good at what you do? It’s a simple, but biting question. In an industry that clings to attitudes, your answer is more revealing than you may think.
Before you hop on the train to Tinseltown, you should make sure it makes sense for your situation, your job, and your life because — spoiler alert! — it’s not always the right answer.