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You may be heading into the workforce. Being fresh out of film school, or college or you’re ready to stop freelancing and get a “real job”, here’s a personal guide and experience. I’m now able to say that I’ve worked in all three of these types of work environments.
And I’ll say my opinion on which is the best at the end of the video.
Here’s what to expect:
($1 million revenue or less per year)
Solo, partnership, or small group
Agile, quick, small budgets
Lots of hands-on experience as a new person starting out
Lacks benefits, proper working hours, proper business standards
($1-10 million revenue)
Team of 3-10 people
Expanded team yet still small
Multiple managers, maybe even dept. heads
Shares some of the same working conditions of the small business
Able to handle larger projects due to expanded bandwidth
You’re still able to be both high concept and ditch digger
Able to access larger equipment too
Pay is decent, some benefits, not a perfect system
($10 million+ revenue)
Team of 10 or more
Robust department heads and division of labor
Greater pay, greater benefits
A little more hands-off
More politics and more red tape
These three types of business appeal to us all in various ways. Some more than others and as you get older, some that don’t seem attractive become the preferred.
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and can tolerate some risk, then I would explore the small business or medium business category. The large business will frustrate you with its slowness to change, it’s politics and living the idea of the “cushy job”
If you’re a little more experienced and you’re looking to establish your career in management then medium or large businesses will give you the chance to work with a variety of people in the workforce.
If you have a low tolerance for risk, you’re in need of more money and benefits, then the large business has you covered with safety, stability, and longevity.
There’s nothing wrong with small, medium or large businesses in video production, what’s most important is understanding yourself, your personality and what drives you when you’re at work. I’ve worked in all three of these environments and it took the life experience to know which one fits my personality best.
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I can remember picking up my family's video camera as a teenager and being enthralled that I could make an impact in someone's life. The filmmaking process is complex but at the heart of it simple: tell a compelling story.
What resonates the hardest is visual storytelling. The ability to create an emotion or convey an idea through an image is what drives my career as a filmmaker. My marathon mentality is focused on becoming the best cinematographer possible.