Getting started as an AC in the UK. (2 replies and 1 comment)
Just wondering if anyone can lend me some advice or share some ideas I'm missing about how to get started as camera assistant/trainee in the UK. I already know about the Screenskills and GBCT schemes for becoming a camera trainee but those don't open for applications for a couple of months and I'm far from guaranteed to even get a place so I need to be doing more now.
What I've been doing so far:
Working on a local feature film - I got really lucky with this one, I've been getting some good experience, one downside is that it's super low budget so no pay at all. I've been trying to get jobs on other shoots only issue is I live in a very rural area very very far London or even Manchester so I'm not in realistic commuting distance for most shoots I get wind of, plus they are never willing to pay my expenses.
Trying to get work experience in a camera rental house - I know this is supposed to be a great way to help you get started as an AC but so far I've hit a brick wall. These companies must receive contact from hundreds people each week, I managed to get something at a small studio/rental but I don't understand how people get in at Arri, Panavision or any of the larger places.
Shooting stuff myself - probably not directly helpful for starting my AC career but helps keep my passion for film making fired up. Plus I get to practice composition, lighting with a couple of redheads I got from Ebay and learning Davinci Resolve which definitely could come in useful.
Apologies for the rambling post, just trying to get some advice and wrap my head around the whole thing.
Hi,Mr.AG,I do not know what I could help you,after all,there might be a huge difference that I am in China and you are in UK. The film making industry is a quite closed circle,there is less chance to get into a real film crew for the new comer. The most only way into the industry is most probably get graduated from academy. So,if you are a new comer who did not graduated from film school,that will be very difficult for you to join any film crew. An obviously reason: filmmakers not paying someone to learn how to work,they paying for good work. As you said,getting start with a rental company would be a helpful start and the reason how people get into ARRI is as I said"education experience and working ability". Although there are many difference between China and UK in film industry,the same thing I think is how the industry working. So, wish you becoming a great filmmaker.
Hi, thanks for the reply.
I did do a film course and I gained a great deal of knowledge, especially technical knowledge and hands on learning with equipment. What I didn't know at the time was that the course gave very little help in terms of how to further your career or get started. I was disappointed when I learned that other courses helped their students with work placements and industry contacts, perhaps I should have done more research but then again if I had gone to film school somewhere else other good things in my life would not have happened so it's silly to think about I suppose. Such is life.