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Informations about how jobs work in USA/Canada


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I'm Vincent, a french sound mixer. Working since 5 years on location sound, and I'm always asking my self, how does it work on the other side of atlantic. 
I mean, how do you find your jobs, is that hard ? And whats about salary ?


I'm thinking of moving, to Vancouver, BC, in the future. 
What's your thought about this ? Is my work experience will count ? or should i start as an sound utility (job that like too of course). Or maybe i should start on a rental house to build a network.

Thanks for your answers fellows.

Greetings from Paris.


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95+% of all my gigs are people I've worked with before or are referrals by that same group of people.  Unless you want to go for really low hanging fruit ("We need a sound operator man with a boom and 5 wireless things for $100 tonight in Palm Dale") on Craigslist, you're going to want to know someone in whatever area you move to as they'll likely be the ones getting you gigs / employing you.

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Vancouver is an incredibly expensive town to live in. Aside from that, there is a big film/tv community there. What you should do is find other sound people that live/work there, and talk to them about how they feel the industry is there. Is there room for more people or is everyone starving for work? Is anyone looking for a utility or boom op, and do you need to be in a union? If so, what steps need to be taken to get in?  


If you decide to go as a mixer, are you doing bag gigs or cart gigs? Narrative or other? Talk to other mixers that do what you do, get to know the going rates, and charge the same. Do not charge less, you will hurt the local sound business and make enemies in the sound community. Don’t be afraid to charge more. We all need to try to raise our rates as the price of living goes up. 


Basically use common sense. 


Why do you want to leave France? It seems like Europe would be a great place to work, given that all the countries are close to each other and airfare is cheap. 

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Absolutely agree with JonG in that if you undercut current rates you'll not only make less income, but worse yet, you'll damage one of the best methods of getting established and that is via referrals from other mixers in the area. 


Undercutting rates, or trying to steal clients, is a steep path downhill.  You are much better off making friends with as many of the other mixers as possible.

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