Getting into post fresh from Audio School tips?
Doefat04
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#1
10th January 2013
Old 10th January 2013
  #1
Gear Head
 
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Getting into post fresh from Audio School tips?

Hi guys, Im currently a student in Los Angeles about to graduate (3/13) with an A.S in audio engineering. I am very interested in post but am having such a hard time just getting in contact with these studios. I am looking for anything in sound with games or movies. Any tips from you guys already in these places. Who to contact? How to go about it? Any tips would help. And thanks! Getting to the end and its becoming very very stressful. But I will keep pushing.
#2
10th January 2013
Old 10th January 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
JSt0rm's Avatar
 

You need to just contact studios about interning. Thats the way in.
#3
10th January 2013
Old 10th January 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Henchman's Avatar
First send out about 200 emails to 200 department heads.
Then a few days after follow that up with 200 phone calls to said department heads. Do this every 4- 6 weeks.

It took me 6 months to get my first internship back in the day at The Plant in Sausalito.
Doefat04
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#4
10th January 2013
Old 10th January 2013
  #4
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By 200 emails do you mean just an Inquiry or my whole resume/cv/recommendation/references in an email. Finding those 200 seems like a whole other battle. I am using LA411.com right now but the problem I am finding with that website as a source is that it also lists the B.S places that say they do 5.1 surround for example but then show a desk with a protools rig in the corner as the "studio"
#5
10th January 2013
Old 10th January 2013
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Henchman's Avatar
Email them a cover letter with resume attached.
And email every single place you can find.
#6
10th January 2013
Old 10th January 2013
  #6
G - Ear
 
MixMasterM's Avatar
 

You're already half way there with the very fact you are in LA. Hench is right....contact every facility you can find, get your name out there, and eventually you'll get an in somewhere...it most likely not be a top tier facitly, but it's another stepping stone. It'll take years, if not decades, of honing the craft and networking before you'll work on big budget projects, but the fact that you are already in one of the worlds biggest hubs is already an advantage. Good luck!
Doefat04
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#7
10th January 2013
Old 10th January 2013
  #7
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Thanks for your positivity guys. So My next/ First step is going to compile a list of emails to send out but, this might sound dumb, or maybe I am over thinking it but how does this sound

Hello, My name is_____. I am interested in becoming an intern or being involved in an open position you may have at your studio.The enclosed cover letter resume highlights my overall experience mostly in the audio field as a student. Currently I attend _______ and expect to receive an A.S degree in Recording Arts by March 2013. You can contact me at your earliest convenience at 111-222-3344. Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon.


After that compiled list I will call them. Note I will be also going to some of these places.

What do you think?
#8
10th January 2013
Old 10th January 2013
  #8
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Henchman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doefat04 View Post
Thanks for your positivity guys. So My next/ First step is going to compile a list of emails to send out but, this might sound dumb, or maybe I am over thinking it but how does this sound

Hello, My name is_____. I am interested in becoming an intern or being involved in an open position you may have at your studio.The enclosed cover letter resume highlights my overall experience mostly in the audio field as a student. Currently I attend _______ and expect to receive an A.S degree in Recording Arts by March 2013. You can contact me at your earliest convenience at 111-222-3344. Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon.


After that compiled list I will call them. Note I will be also going to some of these places.

What do you think?
I might change the last line to "I look forward to hearing from you".
#9
10th January 2013
Old 10th January 2013
  #9
mymixisbetterthanyours!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doefat04 View Post
Thanks for your positivity guys. So My next/ First step is going to compile a list of emails to send out but, this might sound dumb, or maybe I am over thinking it but how does this sound

Hello, My name is_____. I am interested in becoming an intern or being involved in an open position you may have at your studio.The enclosed cover letter resume highlights my overall experience mostly in the audio field as a student. Currently I attend _______ and expect to receive an A.S degree in Recording Arts by March 2013. You can contact me at your earliest convenience at 111-222-3344. Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon.


After that compiled list I will call them. Note I will be also going to some of these places.

What do you think?
Write it from their perspective. They don't care what you want. They care what THEY want and/or need. Get rid of most of the 'I' and 'me' s in your letter.

Read this book. Then read it again. Every month for the rest of your life:

How to Win Friends & Influence People: Dale Carnegie: 9780671027032: Amazon.com: Books
#10
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
  #10
Gear addict
 
NReichman's Avatar
 

Quote:
...it also lists the B.S places that say they do 5.1 surround for example but then show a desk with a protools rig in the corner as the "studio"...
You would be stunned if you saw some of the rigs I used years ago to produce high-profile work.

You would also be stunned to see some of the gorgeous and well-equipped rooms I worked in to make ads for local grocery stores.

Good luck. Tell all your friends to move to L.A. too! That way none of you will be stealing gigs from us New Yorkers.
#11
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
  #11
IMO, call first and find out the specific name/email of the person who hires the interns at that location. It's much better to email john@posthouse.com than info@posthouse.com. People prefer seeing:

Hello John,
My name is...

Over:

To whom it may concern,
My name is...

That said, took me two months and countless calls/emails to get an interview. Even after that, it was the knowing someone who knew someone to get me the real break I needed. In the end you have to want it more than anything, because if you don't, there are a hundred other people who do.

Good luck.
#12
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
  #12
Gear Head
 
smithy2617's Avatar
 

Hey.

I would suggest going to studios in person. Personally i went to many post houses in London and managed to get myself a runners position. Half a year later i become an audio assistant. Going in personally i believe that the managing director/bookings team/receptionist get to see what you like in the space of 5mins.

Emails are great but only get you so far... if you've got spare time go in personally and hand over your cover letter and CV addressed to the manager... at the end of the day they hire you.
#13
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
  #13
Gear nut
 
t_young's Avatar
 

Pedantic Sound pretty much hit the nail on the head. Always try to talk to someone specifically.

All the advice I give is coming from someone getting close to being 2 years out of school, and still interning. I've become something like an expert at finding people to talk to haha.

May daily routine was waking up, hitting the web, and researching. And if after some researching, I found someone to talk to, I'd send an email. I've had really great success with utilizing LinkedIn, as hard as that may seem to believe. LinkedIn lets you contact people without actually having their email address, try to get a 30 day free trial. I've talked to people and gotten meetings with folks that are as high up the chain as it goes through LinkedIn messages. I've been very pleasantly surprised at how willing to help, or at least talk, established and busy industry professionals have been. In general, most people know what it's like to be in your position.

Also, joining IMDB pro was a smart move. It's expensive, like $15 a month or something ridiculous like that. BUT! There's a lot of people that have personal contact info on their profiles. I've had a few meetings that were possible because of IMDB Pro as well.

As far as the actual email goes, try to highlight more that you're eager to learn from successful industry pros more than anything else. In my experience, no one really cares too much about your audio degree. Most the guys running post houses don't care, because they never got one, and they got where they are just from working hard and learning on the way. Also, take it from someone who got a four year degree in "sound arts", when you leave school, you don't know anything, and you can't BS someone who does know something about this kind of work. And if they've been around for any time at all, you won't be the first guy out of school coming to them, and unless you're the Ben Burtt of this generation, they know what you're capable of coming straight from school. It'll be a long time before you click a mouse or push a fader. When you start working on actual projects in the industry, the problems don't all have nicely written curriculum solutions. You probably know Pro Tools well... Which is essential, so they expect you to anyway. Anyone can buy Pro Tools and learn it.

But! A bit of encouragement... The system... Well, basically, it works I guess. If you put in your time, and work hard, learn as much as you can, you'll get some work. I'm 2 years out, and still interning, but I'm also getting enough freelance work at this point to keep myself afloat. Even though you're still in school, get to finding projects to work on now. Find other young or student filmmakers, and work on their stuff. You'll learn more on each project, and some of those filmmakers will go on to get payed, or get (modest) budgets for their own work. And when it comes time for audio post, guess who gets the call? Often, the guy who they already know and have worked with.
Keep at it! Like Henchman said, 200 emails. That's not an exaggeration. At all. I've emailed everyone. Most you don't hear back from, or you get a "not right now". But it only takes one "why don't you give me a call or come in to meet?", then you're on your way.
#14
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
  #14
Gear interested
 

Hey guys, I was just wondering how much emailing/calling would be too much to the point that it gets annoying? I mean I know the person may realize your very enthusiastic about the job but you also wouldn't want to get on their bad side or have them just start ignoring you. I'm trying to find work in Auckland, NZ and I'm somewhat lucky in that the industry is quite small here so everyone knows everyone but that also can be a problem since budget's may not be big as in the US so they tend to have very small audio post teams.
#15
12th January 2013
Old 12th January 2013
  #15
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Henchman's Avatar
I was calling every 4-6 weeks.
#16
12th January 2013
Old 12th January 2013
  #16
Lives for gear
 
ggegan's Avatar
 

It's a fine line. You need to demonstrate perseverance, but you don't want to be a pest. That is mostly about tone. You don't need to do a hard sell, you just need to keep your name in their head and make them feel that you are someone who would be reliable, eager to help out and pleasant to be around. If you check in regularly, then your chance of catching them at a time when they need someone is more likely. I think maybe once a month is appropriate.

A personal interview is very important, but after that you just want to do short friendly reminders that are not pressuring. My approach to keeping in touch is usually to send out updates about what projects I have been doing and saying very positive things about my experience. That's a little bit harder to do when you are starting out, but there are generally plenty of freebie jobs you can get involved in that you can use to demonstrate your commitment. Also, never underestimate the power of appropriate humor when communicating with prospective employers.
#17
12th January 2013
Old 12th January 2013
  #17
Gear addict
 
Kubilay's Avatar
 

Agreed about the follow up - keep it sweet and informative. You should have a bit of news to share. Also very much agreed on comments above the cover letter.

One thing that's really important to remember is, nobody cares at all that you are looking for an internship. The email you posted is polite, to the point - and utterly forgettable and irrelevant to studio owners.

Getting an audio degree is good (since this means you probably know how to turn on the equipment), but then you have to demonstrate that you are a do-er - more so than the other two dozen people who inquire about internships every week or so. So point out where you already have worked or what you already have engineered, i.e. "I recently mixed the full soundtrack for two web shorts and for a web-based videogame. Here are the YouTube links."

And if you want to get into post but haven't mixed any web shorts or games, the question becomes, why not? In that case you have to get on that, like, now. Do all your friends' video audio for free - vacations, silliness, no matter. Beg, borrow and steal sound fx libraries. Get cracking! Audio engineer is not a noun, it's a verb.

Good luck and have fun!

#18
12th January 2013
Old 12th January 2013
  #18
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Kubilay's Avatar
 

PS: Get involved in professional orgs. Perhaps there are student memberships for NARAS, or AES, or SMPTE? Not sure, I'm a media composer. But become a member where you can and then VOLUNTEER, i.e. man the signup table at their next event. Chances are 99% of your gigs throughout your life (internship and professional gigs alike) will come from people who know you. So get to know people!
#19
12th January 2013
Old 12th January 2013
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithy2617 View Post
I would suggest going to studios in person. Personally i went to many post houses in London and managed to get myself a runners position. Half a year later i become an audio assistant. Going in personally i believe that the managing director/bookings team/receptionist get to see what you like in the space of 5mins.
Ehh.... Most of the studios I know of aren't too keen on surprise guests and wouldn't buzz you in the front door w/o knowing who you are. Hell, one of the busier studios here in town not only requires you to be buzzed in the door, but then the dude has to escort you up from the entryway, because the elevator only works with a key card.

-Dan.
#20
12th January 2013
Old 12th January 2013
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvatar View Post
Ehh.... Most of the studios I know of aren't too keen on surprise guests and wouldn't buzz you in the front door w/o knowing who you are. Hell, one of the busier studios here in town not only requires you to be buzzed in the door, but then the dude has to escort you up from the entryway, because the elevator only works with a key card.

-Dan.
This.

For smaller post houses I would definitely not suggest just showing up. Maybe it's different in LA, but in NYC almost every post house is in some much larger building and it's going to be a hassle for them if you show up with no appointment. Also, the person you need to see will almost guaranteed to be in the middle of something else, or not in at all.
Doefat04
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#21
15th January 2013
Old 15th January 2013
  #21
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Thread Starter
Hey guys thanks for all the feedback. I guess I have to find the happy medium of emails, Visits and persistence.
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