Gaining Set Experience

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  • #175763

      Hello Team Deakins and forum members,

      I have recently listened to Monaya Abel’s episode of the podcast and it caught my attention how – apparently – being in film school is a great way to gain expertise, by both building a network and working on your colleagues shorts.

      Not being to film school, I feel a bit “stuck” on this aspect. I would deeply appreciate having more set experience, getting my hands dirty, but I am usually disregard for the position I apply for being inexperienced. Tricky, right? I need experience to have more experience…

      I would appreciate any inputs from the community, mostly thinking about:

      • Is self producing a great way to get this much needed expertise?
      • When hiring a young professional, what do you usually look for?
      • Is it necessary to be in film school to get trainee/apprentice positions in the US and Europe?

      Thanks in advance for all replies, I honestly appreciate it.

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    • #175796

        ● Yes, although it’s a bit different than experiencing an ‘established’ set.

        ● Depends on the role. For any creative position I’d exclusively look at their work. Other than that, enthusiasms and a good personality. A good personality has much more influence on your career than you might think.

        ● I don’t know but the majority of people I work with didn’t attend film school.


          Forgot: I started as an AC, having only done personal short films prior. I transitioned to cameraman, DoP and ended as writer/director, which had been my dream from the beginning. Along the way I was occasionally thrown at different positions, including PA, boom operator, AD ect.

          If you get your foot in the door, the rest will follow automatically.

          Roger Deakins

            I think you will find in the podcast there are many ways to get into the industry. Film School is not a must and certainly not the best course for everyone. For myself, the National Film School helped me gain some level of confidence.

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