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Hi Soundies:)


I am new to location sound(I have only been doing small commercials and TV shows in Tokyo for a couple of years). Recently moved to Australia and looking to get my foot in the industry. 


How do i go about becoming an assistant sound or PA for a production? I will probably still continue doing small indie projects myself but I really want to learn from seasoned sound mixers. Is sending emails to local sound mixers an legit option? I am bit worried about coming off desperate and potentially burning bridges. 


I know there are so many possible ways to get your start but I would love to hear how you guys got your start in location sound:))

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Got my start making cold calls to sound people in my region.


One fellow (a utility sound) invited me to set. Just kept coming back.


In the interim, was working as a tech for a big sound rental place where I was taught how to troubleshoot and repair stuff.

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Yosuke, welcome! And I am glad that Jan was quick to reply. I would say that cold calling is probably quite normal for many of us and as such quite a welcome route. We all did it (and really still do) so we are accepting of other brave souls!


BTW did some shoots at Shinjuku a few years back when my friend was directing.


You've made the first move (here). Absolutely just make the effort to make friends in the industry where you are. I cannot imagine any other way!


Best,  Jez

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Hi! Got a professional education in a company, and graduated after three years. After that years of eng shoots and simple post jobs (news mixing).

Gained a lot of knowledge, and people noticed it over the time. So the jobs became more and more demanding.

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For what it is worth, probably 0, this is the way I went. First step was to answer an advertisement, for a tea boy in a little film production company, in the Evening Standard, one of the evening papers produced in London. Got the job making tea, sitting in for the switch board operator at lunchtime, running errands and any odd jobs. Any spare time I spent looking over the shoulders of the editors and the sound mixer. The camera boys were usually out on location, so at that point I couldn't see that side of it. After a couple of years of making tea (and coffee; there was no end to my skill) I was allowed out on location to see what was going on there. By this point I had decided that sound was to be the path I followed and so I had my eye open for opportunities elsewhere, as there would be no vacancies in-house where I was for the foreseeable future. I became aware of holiday relief work at the BBC, where in theory you stood in for someone on leave. I attended an interview at Ealing, where the BBC Film Department had its HQ and was successful in getting the job. I was NOT part of BBC staff. To be so was an exalted position and the technical grades went on a long course at Evesham to be made au fait with the highest standards. I was a filler-in of vacancies who could be got rid of very quickly. After a week operating machines at Ealing my place of work was changed to Alexandra Palace, in North East London, where BBC News had its base. I spent about two years there and I have to say that it was the happiest time of my life, making state of the art 1930s machinery work in the transfer suite and the dubbing theatre. But I became greedy, and I thought that after this time I ought to be considered for being made a staff member, not just a holiday relief technician. This was a step too far, I was told; and so I resigned in a fit of petulance. This forced me to seek free-lance work and I was successful in doing so, working for BBC and ITV as well as on documentaries and feature films. The more I worked the more contacts I made so things slowly got better and better. 


Just a footnote added later. I found cold calling to be unspeakably difficult - but it was and is an essential part of finding work before you have established yourself. Striking the right balance between being useful and pushy is essential too - try if you can to imagine what sort of assistant YOU would like to have. Cold calling I think was the most difficult part of finding work, but the amount of horror you experience in doing it will vary according to your personality. It has to be done, worse luck.


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