Archive for the ‘Career Resources’ Category

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“Everyone starts at the bottom.”

This is a handy little verse I told myself over and over during my internship this summer. As I was making copies, carrying 20 coffees from Starbucks at a time, and generally doing everything that everyone else didn’t feel like doing, I comforted myself with the fact that no one just starts at the top of the ladder, everyone has to climb it.

Many of you may be considering internships in the film industry, something I highly recommend to anyone who wants respectable and reliable contacts for their future career. Though every experience is different, I’ll share with you some stuff I learned throughout my time as an intern so you guys can be as prepared as possible when you start interning yourself.

Tip #1: Smile like you mean it

No matter what kind of day you are having, always smile and act as friendly as humanly possible to everyone you come in contact with throughout your work day. No one is going to say ‘oh my gosh, that person smiles way too much, I can’t stand them.’ You’re going to make someone’s day by smiling at them and simply saying ‘good morning! how are you?’ and that person is going to remember you.

Tip #2: Make friends with people low on the totem pole

Though having the owners of the company love you is a plus, the people that are going to be in charge of hiring you are the assistants and secretaries of the film world. Get these people to LOVE you! Their jobs are usually really stressful and if you can make their day better or help them out, than do it. When they progress in their careers they’ll remember you and recommend you for their old positions.

Tip #3: Remember everyone’s name

Remembering everyone’s name in the office is usually not too difficult, seeing as you’re around them all day. However, if your internship gives you a chance to go on set, make sure to try your best to remember the names of the people you come in contact with throughout the day. By calling them by their first names and saying hi to them when they pop in and out of the office on non-set days, you’ll make an good impression on them–it’s not normal for people to remember names, especially on sets where there are so many names to remember!

Tip #4: Ask questions like crazy!

While in the office, its important to ask as many questions as possible, even ones you don’t really care about. Ask the accountants how the budget is allocated for each project or how the secretaries got interested in the business. Even if you don’t care, act like you do! These are people not usually talked to and they’ll appreciate your interest.

On set, do more or less of the same! As an intern, you have a freedom that most people on set don’t– you can talk to the different departments and not be annoying! When you get hired for an actual job, you’ll notice that most departments on set keep to themselves, however, as an intern, you don’t belong to any departments! Ask everyone questions, no matter what department they’re in, even if its not one you’re interested in.

But remember, office or on set, make sure to realize when people are too busy to talk– you don’t want to be that person that slows down operations.

Tip #4: Always carry a  few call-sheets, a pad of paper, pen, business cards, and a walkie-talkie battery around with you on set

Carry extra call-sheets so you can answer questions about what time lunch or wrap is– you’d be surprised how many people are going to ask you. Carry an extra one so you can give it to someone if they ask a question, you’ll seem prepared and helpful! You can also make notes on the call sheets next to the names of the people you meet so you can remember them the next day.

Carry a pad of paper and pen so that you can write down people’s names/departments– you’ll be surprised how many people are going to offer to help you out since you’re new. Also handy for coffee orders you’re probably going to have to get at some point.

Carry business cards — you look legit and people will be impressed!

And finally, carry extra walkie-talkie batteries — someone’s battery is going to go dead during the day and you’ll be that person that saves the scene with your swift replacement! If you hear “I need another ‘Hot Brick'” on the walkie, that’s your cue to give them a new battery.

Tip #5: Look a little above average every day

On set and in the office, you’ll notice that people in the film world dress down most of the time — jeans, shorts, t-shirts, sneakers… you’re not likely to see suits and heels most days. Even though it might be tempting to simply fit in, you have to remember that you don’t want to fit in, you want to stand out! Shower daily, do your hair (or for guys, make it look presentable) and dress a little above average every day, chances are, you’ll get noticed for it.

Tip #6: Always get to work/set 30 minutes before you’re supposed to be there

If you’re just going into the office, the time will give you a moment to relax before walking in and wake up a little.

If you’re going on set, it’ll give you time to eat breakfast and mingle with the rest of the crew, who will be getting to set 30 min early so they can grab a bite as well. Your call-time is when you should be starting to work, not when you’re actually supposed to get to set.

Tip #7: Don’t touch other department’s stuff

You’ll probably be with the production assistants when on set and you’re going to be tempted to help out the different departments. Just don’t.  Though it may seem like a friendly gesture to pick up that cord for the lighting department, or move that apple box for the grips, they’re going to see you as a threat to their jobs (union stuff) and are going to yell at you for it. You can always ask if they need help, but chances are they’ll be much more friendly if you are just asking questions rather than doing their job for them.

and NEVER give a professional on set suggestions on how to do things. You need to play the role of the inexperienced and eager intern; if you start giving advice to different people on set than it’ll make you seem pretentious. and NEVER EVER EVER give tips to the actors/actresses and director– just don’t. That’s dumb.

Tip #8: Do every job like your career depends on it

Chances are you’re not going to be given huge tasks to do as an intern. Instead, you’ll get tasks like helping assistants book flights for their bosses to go to Italy, getting/handing out paperwork, getting lunch, carrying messages between departments on set, and of course, getting coffees. Even if the task doesn’t seem important, act like its the most important thing you’ll ever do. Always finish it correctly and swiftly, and ask questions if you’re confused. You want to be seen as the reliable intern that gets things done right.

Tip #9: For the ladies… don’t get discouraged

Being a girl on set is going to be tough– most of the crew are guys and they’re going to assume they’re better at things than you are. Sounds like a medieval idea, but it still exists in the film world. You’re going to get 10 men a day grabbing equipment out of your hands because they think its too heavy for you and you’re going to have people not include you in tasks because they think you can’t do it. My advice to you is this– don’t let it get to you. They’re not trying to be jerks, its just what happens. Pull your own weight and do your best to be a valuable member of the crew and you’ll make it.

Tip #10: BE REMEMBERED.

Getting an internship is a great accomplishment, but unfortunately, there are usually a lot of interns. You need to be remembered as the friendly, fun (but not too fun), dependable, smart, innovative and interested intern. Sticking out among your fellow interns is your number one priority during your internship– if you call back to ask if there are any job openings when you graduate, you want the person to remember you right away. Always strive to be your best and go above and beyond, no matter what everyone else is doing. When your internship is over, make sure to keep in touch with the contacts you made; friendly hellos every once in a while are a great way to keep the connection alive for the future. Plus it’ll keep you fresh in their mind for upcoming gigs.

And if you’re not remembered, what’s the point of an internship?

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Lets learn some editing basics!

Posted: February 11, 2012 in Career Resources

Alright everyone, so many of you at our meeting a few weeks ago mentioned that you’re interested in learning some of the basics of filmmaking, which is great! So here we’ll start showing you the foundation of making your own movie… EDITING! There are many different avenues on going about editing, but lets start with one of the most common—using Final Cut Pro.

If you already know how to use FCP, than stay tuned for a blog coming up where we will delve into the wonders of Audodesk Maya Animation software! (a really handy skill to have in order to keep your resume looking unique and fresh).

Now for starters, Final Cut Pro can be rather expensive, but if you buy it as a student you’ll be able to get a discounted version which should do most things you need it too. It can be beneficial to buy Final Cut Pro while you’re still in school, not only to save yourself a little cash, but also for those of you who plan on professionally making films, its good to know and have the software so that if a job comes up you’re ready to go!

However, if you have a few years before you graduate, you may want to hold off. We live in an ever changing world of technology and by the time you graduate, you could have an outdated editing software (though Final Cut Pro 7 will probably still be being used). SO if you’re not really wanting to spend money on the software yet, than no worries! If you’re a Grady student you’ll be able to use the computers on the 5th floor of Grady in the computer lab, and they have Final Cut Pro software and tape decks!

Now, before editing your film, make sure you have your script and all of your shot sheets with you. Its a good idea to plan out your editing BEFORE you start; it’ll make the process much smoother.

Here is a great website where you can get all the paperwork templates you could ever want for all the stages of making your film (including editing) →   http://makingthemovie.info/2005/02/free-paperwork.html

Below is a video about the absolute basics on Final Cut Pro; make sure to jot down the more important things, like settings and numbers, these notes will come in handy when you start working and specifics have slipped your mind.

The guy who did this first video, actually has a FCP beginners series, which looks pretty helpful if you’d like to continue to look through the videos and get better aquainted with the software.

If this tutorial is not to your liking, there are plently more all over the internet, and there is always your friendly Filmmakers’ Union officers! And we’re always glad to help you out with any questions you may have, just shoot us an e-mail!

GoPro

Posted: December 29, 2011 in Career Resources, Film/Media Contests

For $150 to $300, GoPros are fantastic cameras for anyone who just likes making films.  Aside from the classic HD HERO Naked, the line specializes in sports products such as HD Motorsports HERO, HD Surf Hero, and HD Helmet HERO. Regardless to whether you’re an athlete or not, GoPros are just fun cameras to have that make great quality videos for how much they cost.

You’re probably wondering why we love them so much and this is why: they have daily giveaways. That’s right, everyday they give away one of their products. If you’re like me, you can make it your homepage and enter to win here everday – http://gopro.com/daily-giveaway/

Check out this video shot entirely on the GoPro HD Hero2. Cut to 1:20 to start watching some great sky diving, surfing, and extreme sports footage.

Compared to feature Hollywood films, documentaries have a smaller, more specialized audience.  Let’s be honest, a documentary isn’t the typical date-night movie; you have to be in the right mood and setting to watch a documentary.  Unfortunately, once a documentary leaves the movie theaters, it is often forgotten about (unless, of course, it gets an Academy Award nomination).

With all that being said, and an upcoming workshop about documentary filmmaking on October 19th, we thought we’d post some great documentary picks that you might have missed.

Life in a Day (directed by Kevin Macdonald, 2011) – A documentary shot by filmmakers all over the world that serves as a time capsule to show future generations what it was like to be alive on the 24th of July, 2010

Inside Job (directed by Charles Ferguson, 2010) – Takes a closer look at what brought about the financial meltdown. Don’t watch this film if you have anger-management issues; it can make the most apathetic viewer care about the state of the US economy

Super Size Me (directed by Morgan Spurlock, 2004) – While examining the influence of the fast food industry, Morgan Spurlock personally explores the consequences on his health of a diet of solely McDonald’s food for one month

30 Days series, “Living on Minimum Wage” (directed by Morgan Spurlock, 2005) – An unscripted, documentary-style program where an individual is inserted into a lifestyle that is completely different from his or her upbringing, beliefs, religion or profession for 30 days. The first episode, Minimum Wage, is especially eye-opening as Spulock and his wife struggle to survive on minimal income; a reality for an alarming amount of Americans

Waiting for “Superman” (directed by Davis Guggenheim, 2010) – Guggenheim follows a handful of promising kids through a system that inhibits, rather than encourages, academic growth

Trouble the Water (directed by Carl Deal, Tia Lessin) – A redemptive tale of an aspiring rap artist surviving failed levees of Hurricane Katrina and her own troubled past and seizing a chance for a new beginning

An Inconvenient Truth (directed by Davis Guggenheim, 2006) – A documentary on Al Gore’s campaign to make the issue of global warming a recognized problem worldwide. Regardless of what you believe, this film is a must-see

Man on Wire (directed by James Marsh, 2008) – A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit’s daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City’s World Trade Center’s twin towers in 1974, what some consider, “the artistic crime of the century.” This film is a bit slow, but has an incredible story

March of the Penguins (directed by Luc Jacquet, 2005) – A look at the annual journey of Emperor penguins as they march — single file — to their traditional breeding ground.

Planet Earth (series) – narrated by Sigourney Weaver, 2006)(This breathtaking series won 4 Emmy Awards and features rare footage of life and organisms from all over the globe

Documentaries aren’t the most popular movies to see on a Friday night with friends, but they have a powerful effect on audiences and are usually well-crafted and well-researched.  All of the films listed above are great to check out whether you are a film enthusiast or if you are looking for something new and interesting to watch.  What are your favorite documentaries? Tweet your favorite at UGAFilmmaking. 

*Don’t forget to come out for Cinematic Showdown on Wednesday, November 9th at 8pm, Tate Theater. Film submissions excepted until November 2nd!


Red Giant puts out a powerful color correction software called Magic Bullet. There are multiple products coupled together in the Magic Bullet Suite, offering tools for just about any scenario. (For those of you who are cheap like me, they also have a free version of their standard corrector, Colorista II). Basically, there’s so much the program can offer, it’s hard to break it down simply.

And so, Red Giant put together this surprisingly awesome short film simply to serve as an example of their array of products in action.

Probably the next coolest thing to watching that film is watching the making of. It’s there that you can see the real before/after shots that are run through color correction.

From here, you can begin to decide if your project could benefit from Magic Bullet. The pricing is steep at times, but compared to higher-end professional correction, the folks at Red Giant have made a truly great product for the price. Also, there’s free trials for all the products, so don’t think you can’t at least try out everything (if you don’t mind watermarks).

 – David, Production Chair

This Week…

Posted: September 11, 2011 in Career Resources, FU News

FU’s Scriptwriting Workshop!

Learn about writing for the short, targeting a film competition’s audience, and pitching your idea while meeting other student filmmakers! All levels of experience welcome.

Thursday, September 15th at 7pmMLC, Room 275 

In case you haven’t heard of Koo, it’s about time you have. He’s a young up and coming filmmaker who started the site No Film School out of his parent’s house back in 2005. Aside from creating the DSLR Cinematography Guide, keeping his readers updated on the latest gadgets and advice, and creating the award winning online webisode series The West Side, Koo has embarked on the uphill battle of doing his first feature film, Man-Child. The film is a documentary embarks on the world of NCAA basketball recruitment…starting in the 7th grade.

Check out the multimedia lookbook Koo put together for producers!

How’s he going to do it? Good question. Like many young filmmakers Koo is running a Kickstarter Campaign to raise the funding necessary to start production. Kickstarter is a funding platform where you can pitch your idea, in this case film, to an online audience. You set your goal amount of money you need to raise and anyone can contribute to help you reach your goal.

The real kicker – unless you reach your goal, you don’t get any of the funding. That’s right: NONE OF IT. Koo’s goal for Man-Child is to reach $115,000. With two weeks to go, Koo’s got some strides to make now that his campaign has slowed around the $46,000 mark. After targeting his No Film School readers, Koo’s next strategy is to us Twitter to target NBA stars to help him reach his goal. Think it will work?

This is a great panel discussion from the Tribeca Film Institute. Plug in some headphones and enjoy!

 

Moderated by Tribeca Film Festival’s short film programmer Sharon Badal, a panel of filmmakers and industry leaders will discuss this ever-important question and more:

  • Sandi DuBowski, producer of A Jihad for Love
  • Macky Alston, award-winning documentary filmmaker
  • Moon Molson, director (TAA alum)
  • Buboo Kakati, writer/director/producer (TAA alum)
  • Rodney Evans, director

*Excerpt from TBI. Find complete bios at Tribeca Film Institute Blog