Many people have been reaching out to me recently to ask the same question:
“What can I do to be ready to work once productions are up and running again in Hollywood?”
I already wrote a blog post about how we can continue to network during this pandemic. But there are other things we can do to prepare for the reopening of Hollywood.
1. Learn Avid Media Composer
If you want to work in Union film or scripted TV projects in Hollywood, you’re gonna need to learn Avid Media Composer. There is just no way around it. The good thing is that Avid now offers a free version of their NLE, Media Composer | First. It has certain limitations compared to the other versions of the software, but it’s great to learn the basics. If you want a more robust version of Media Composer, Avid is currently (June 2020) offering 25% off the annual subscription price.
There are also tons of free tutorials out there to learn the basics of Avid. The same company that makes the software has some videos instructional videos (head towards the bottom of the page) to get you up and running. I also came across this company that is offering free creative software training throughout the pandemic.
2. Research Union eligibility requirements
Just like it’s important to learn Avid, it’s even more important to be able to join the Union if you want to work on big Hollywood productions. One thing I have realized from talking to people is that the Union is often confused for the honorary society of film editors known as ACE (American Cinema Editors). ACE is not the Union. The Motion Picture Editors Guild (700) is the Union. If you visit their website you can find out what the requirements are to join depending on your classification.
3. Keep networking
Take advantage of the free time most people have and reach out to anyone you’d like to network with. I wrote a detailed blog post with tips on how to get started. If you are in the initial stage of your career, it’s good to reach out to people to start building your network. If you are already working in the industry, don’t forget to check in with your colleagues. Even if it’s just to say hello, you want to let know people that you are still thinking about them and want to know how they’re doing. This is important to maintain good relationships.
4. Stay creative
Now’s not the time to get rusty. It’s good to keep the creative juices flowing so you’re warmed up and motivated once things start back up. It think it’s important to keep our mind and body active so we don’t start getting lazy. I know that I’ll eventually go back to editing and I don’t want to have to struggle to get back into it after being unemployed for several months. There is a lot of time right now to learn new things. I recently got back into photography and I’ve been doing DaVinci Resolve tutorials to learn more about color grading. This has nothing to do with editing, but I’m still creating things. Maybe you’ve been curious about painting, writing music, or shooting video. Whatever it is that you enjoy or want to learn more about, there is plenty of time to do it now and keep the creative part of our brain active.
Just some ideas to help you be ready to go back work once the cameras start rolling again. It will happen and there is gonna be a mad rush to get jobs. Stay ahead of everyone else by preparing yourself now for the reopening of Hollywood.