Here are some handy links for job resources, gear, shameless plugs, and links for some fantastic filmmaker groups I’ve worked with.
Star Wipe Films and DUO Media are actually comprised of the same pool of filmmakers. Star Wipe represents their artistic, “for fun”, not-for-profit work. DUO Media is the actual business. The Pennington family and all their acquired constituents that make up Star Wipe/DUO Media are some of the best filmmakers I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Kind, professional, courteous, knowledgeable, experienced, realistic expectations, and always producers good quality work that I’m proud to be a part of.
On a related note, the efforts of many Star Wipers went into the production of “Rise of the Fellowship”. Its probably one of the best, ‘extremely’ low budget independent films I’ve ever seen. Check it out.
Resources for Jobs
You may scoff at the idea, but I have gotten so many jobs from both Mandy.com & Craigslist. Some of the greatest jobs I’ve ever worked were mere listing on those sites. Depending on your area, they’re free for the freelance job hunter to use. Craigslist will often have unpaid crap, but spend some time digging throwing and you’ll find some legitimate good jobs.
Be sure to sign up with a production services directory. Its essentially the “yellow pages” for productions companies and freelancers. When a production comes to your area, they’ll look the the listing to find local talent. I’ve gotten some great gigs off my free listing. Make sure you’re listed so you can get those calls! OZ media runs the Virginia directory and you can have 2 basic listing for free! I’ve never paid for an upgrade listing; I’ve only ever used the 2 free listings. Its been good.
First off, be sure to check out Craigslist and eBay for good used equipment. I’ve had many a good find from there. But I assume that’s kind of a given. You ought to know to check those already.
However, for good new gear there is only two places I go: B&H Photo video and Professional Sound Services. They both have expansive selections of film related gear, competitively priced. I’ve had great experiences with both. With ‘Professional Sound Services’ they are, obviously geared more towards just the specialty of sound. They definitely know sound and they know it well. If nothing else, I highly advise that you got on their mailing list. They send out a monthly newsletter that is highly informative. Its really lengthy, full of production photos from sound men around the world, sound related articles, and announcements of new gear.
Always have business cards. This industry is so much about networking and who you know. I’ve noticed that Film people will always prefer to call up their friend (or a recommendation from their friend) rather than search for a cold contact. Make sure you’re on set making friends, showing your professionalism & expertise, and that you are handing out business cards that you should always have on you. I’ve been using OvernightPrints.com for years. They’re fast, cheap enough, and good quality. I started ordering from them at the beginning of my film career and have always been happy.