So, I have the gear and I am a relatively decent editor. By decent I mean I understand it and love doing it, but my "green horns" are definitely still attached. I loathe my full-time job and I have been filming (using a Panasonic GH4) local businesses (promo/docu style) in efforts to edit and create a reel. I've also been filming some green screen stuff and absolutely love storytelling and special fx.
Now, forgive my utter rookie status, my plan is to have this reel done by the end of summer and apply for jobs and whatnot. Does anyone have any general advice for me? Do I need to intern somewhere? Can a rookie make it as a freelancer? I know the questions are quite vague but I would love any stories, experiences and general advice that anyone would be willing to share. I would very much appreciate some real-world advice. Thanks!
Many of us got started as a business doing weddings and events. Great experience, not that easy to do. That's if you want the hassle of being self-employed. Be meticulous about your bookkeeping!
To work for someone else, you're pretty much doing the right thing. Do some freelance stuff, put together a reel. Get all the education you can. That's about it. That demo reel is super important, no one hires without it. Just be honest about your demo reel, don't use stuff that exaggerates your talents, or is a lie about what you can or can't do. And do NOT make it more than 3-4 minutes long. As someone who hires contractors for may years, I only look at the first 30 seconds. If that doesn't wow me, I move on, there's not enough time to watch every minute of everyone's demo. Keep It Short & Sweet!
I would recommend looking in your area for any professional; networking organizations. Most groups usually hold monthly or bi-monthly meetings and they are a great place to network. I live in Philadelphia and i am a member of the GPVA (Greater Philadelphia Videographers Association). I have made great contacts and gotten lots of work from the people I have met there and in fact I owe landing my full-time gig to a contact I made through the group.
Some helpful advice was given in the replies on that thread. It might read as a cautionary tale in some ways too.
Building a reel is the first step. Having some different projects you edited under your belt will help too, as you can send people the links.
You may have to work for free at first on some no/low budget projects to build up a portfolio. This will also help you network with people involved in the business. Hopefully that will lead to your first paid gig, your first big break so to speak. Referrals and your reel will get the ball rolling from that point onwards, with a bit of luck.
But your head is in the right place; you know you have to put in the work first. People benefit from working with enthusiastic individuals who enjoy their work.