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Old 11-21-2011, 10:56 AM   #1
AndyMitchell
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Default Film grad/production experienced professional looking to switch industries...

Hey guys,

New member here but long time reader.

A few months ago I decided that I want to switch industries from film to videogames. As these mammoth life decisions go it wasn't any one thing that made me switch but rather something that has been percolating for the last six years or so.

Anyways, I have a BFA in filmmaking from the UNC School of the Arts. For the last year or so I've been working as a production assistant on a variety of Hollywood-level films shooting in NYC. I've also been a director and producer's production assistant on a major Hollywood blockbuster. I have experience producing, editing, and directing independent content as well.

I've been talking to any industry insiders I can get to respond to my emails, and reading every book on game design/production I can find (even got Scrum flashcards...). The general consensus is that working in production, namely on a path to becoming a producer, is the best route since it involves a lot of what I've already learned working in film as far as budgeting, scheduling, and liaising between departments is concerned.

So, friends, my question is, what is the best way to get your foot in door? Clearly being a producer requires prior experience in game production and isn't the kind of job you can just "walk into". So do you know what jobs would provide that necessary experience? Are there entry-level jobs in this field?

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this! In the highly unlikely event any of you want to make the opposite switch and work in film, I'm more than happy to help with advice!
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: Film grad/production experienced professional looking to switch industries...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyMitchell View Post
1. what is the best way to get your foot in door?
2. do you know what jobs would provide that necessary experience?
3. Are there entry-level jobs in this field?
1. Whatever way you can get it in.
2. Yes, I do.
3. Yes, there are.

I recommend you read the articles below, subscribe to industrygamers and gamasutra, start networking in your local area, and just go ahead and apply to local game publishers without waiting for job announcements.

http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson5.htm
http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson41.htm
http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson42.htm
http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson54.htm
http://gamedevmap.com/
http://gameindustrymap.com/
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: Film grad/production experienced professional looking to switch industries...

And there's a similar thread on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?vi...2m_2E6YLeVbl01

Don't know if that link will work for you if you aren't a LinkedIn member or a member of that group (Game Developers).
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:20 PM   #4
AndyMitchell
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Default Re: Film grad/production experienced professional looking to switch industries...

Thanks Mr. Sloper. The links were a tremendous help and I've applied to local game companies nearby using the map.

If I'm applying without a job posting, what would you recommend I should say I'm applying for? Since I'm clearly in no position to apply for a "producer" job, is it common to apply for "production" in a vague sense?

Thanks again for your help!
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Film grad/production experienced professional looking to switch industries...

Saying 'production' should be fine. Or perhaps 'Associate Producer or related role'.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:55 AM   #6
AndyMitchell
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Default Re: Film grad/production experienced professional looking to switch industries...

Thanks for the info guys. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving (if you're in the States).

Do producers/managers usually have assistants? Clearly nobody is born with the knowledge of how to oversee a production so do you know how the apprenticeship path works? In film, the assistants eventually take their boss' job.
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:25 AM   #7
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Default Re: Film grad/production experienced professional looking to switch industries...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyMitchell View Post
1. Do producers/managers usually have assistants?
2. do you know how the apprenticeship path works?
1. I wouldn't say "usually." There are several levels of producer. See http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson42.htm and search for every instance of the word "producer" in http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson28.htm
2. I know that the term "apprenticeship" isn't quite accurate, and I know that it can work differently for every candidate. I know that the way to begin is by getting a job in the industry, possibly after producing some indie projects.
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:44 AM   #8
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Default Re: Film grad/production experienced professional looking to switch industries...

I've been lucky enough to contact some people willing to pass my resume on to a few AAA developers. Should I specify that I want to work in "production" with the goal of becoming a "producer" in mind? Or just say I want to pursue a career as a producer but am looking to gain experience however I can? I'm guessing I shouldn't list entry level departments I'd want to gain that experience in, right? I.e. marketing, qa, etc?

Thanks as always for the help. Feel like I'm close to getting a foothold.
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:29 AM   #9
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Default Re: Film grad/production experienced professional looking to switch industries...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyMitchell View Post
1. I've been lucky enough to contact some people willing to pass my resume on to a few AAA developers.
2. Should I specify that I want to work in "production" with the goal of becoming a "producer" in mind? Or just say I want to pursue a career as a producer but am looking to gain experience however I can?
1. That's a very odd way to get in. It leaves you with the quandary you're in -- not knowing what they're looking for, you don't know how to position yourself.
2. Writing a cover letter is an art. Either you have talent for that art or you don't. How you position yourself is up to you. There is no magic formula -- you have to craft this gem on your own.
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