Wait a minute, you mean to tell me I have to work nights and weekends? No one ever told me I had to work longer than 7 hours!! I thought it was all about art and being creative!!
After browsing the IATSE local 669 site tonight, I found some inspiration in the “Trainee Program” section. Towards the lower half the page, it read in bold black letters, “IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF”. When reading through the questions, I immediately thought, “this should be the FIRST thing anyone hears or reads that is interested in a career in production. These questions speak to not just the folks wanting to dive into the camera department, but the entire production world in general. Over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of people aren’t built for the LIFESTYLE that comes with being a working professional in the industry. It’s downright brutal at times, both physically and mentally. But on the other side, I’ve gained extraordinary relationships and had experiences that most people don’t ever get exposure to.
Those of you who are thinking about a career in the film industry, whether it be features, documentaries, commercials, music videos, corporate videos…etc, take a minute and answer the following questions. Be honest with yourself:
IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
1. Do I like working in teams?
2. Am I willing to work at least 12 hours a day MINIMUM, sometimes 18+ hours?
3. Do I have valid Drivers License? Do I have a vehicle, and is it RELIABLE?
4. Am I willing to work shift work, including nights and weekends?
5. Am I physically able to lift extremely heavy loads?
6. Do I mind being employed sporadically during the year with no knowledge of when I might be working again? The Film Industry is market driven. There may be a waiting period between rotations, sometimes a month or more.
7. Am I willing to work for minimum wage? (or discounted rates)
8. Am I willing to work in all weather conditions?
9. Am I willing to work in many different locations over the course of a job?
10. Do I have a cell phone, and a voice mail?
11. Can I follow VERBAL directions well?
12. Can I multi-task?
13. Film work has the potential to put strains on personal and family relationships, (very long hours, extremely high pressure and tension).
14. Above all, working in film is not a job, IT IS A LIFESTYLE!
Until next time…