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Hey guys and gals, I was just curious to know where everyone looks for sound work online. Craigslist,Monster jobs, Linkdin, Mandy?

I just signed up with this site, www.elance.com Seems very legit, people post work they need done for various projects and people bid on the job. They have an elaborate mediation program too, in case any disputes arise during the payment process. Additionally they have a system in place, where by you can get paid after each milestone is reached and all the money is held in escrow, so you know the money is there before you begin work.

Perhaps those of you who are already more established and have years upon years of experience on us youngster, get all your work by word of mouth. But i was just curious to know how people in our field finds work to pay the bills.

Also how much would you credit your website/portfolio site, in landing you work? What role does it play? I'm redesigning mine at the moment and want to make it as nice as possible.

Again, I can't say how much of an amazing resource this site is. Thanks for your time! -Kevin

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9 Answers

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For sound to play an active role in film making you need to be involved before the shoot, so I tend to track films from their first funding - in my experience by the time a film is announced as to be green lit/shooting it has already been crewed & you are too late. It will depend where you live but here the main funding body publish a monthly newsletter which lists who has received script development funding, who has conditional production funding etc... This also applies to short films... Before films get funded they will need post production costing & budgets, which is often the stage I become involved.... Another source of potential projects is via mix facilities and film labs, as they are often contacted very early on for budget info and reccomendations of potential post crew.

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Thanks Tim, those are really good points. I live in San Francisco/Bay Area, and I know there's a decent amount of production and post production work up here. I'll look into finding publications that list projects. Yesterday i spent a whole night looking at your Sound FX packages. I really dig your work, and when I get some extra money I'll be buying some of your sounds. I really loved the vegtable violence video preview. Genius and funny! Thanks for the advice! –  zenandtheart Oct 12 '10 at 18:47
    
@tim prebble, When you say "become involved" do you mean that you scan through the list for projects you like the look of and then get in touch with the producers/directors directly? 'Cause if you do, that's a really fantastic idea. –  g.a.harry Apr 7 '11 at 14:53
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In my (not extremely extensive) experience, a huge amount of finding work is knowing people. I did sound post for a short doco for a friend 7 years ago; last year she recommended me to a producer friend of hers, and i landed a $20k TV series. It can come from anywhere, you never know when a friend of a friend will meet someone at a party who needs a sound editor.

Having said that, i got my current studio job (initially) through someone responding to one of the 60 emails i sent out to various studios. That got me in the door, and being prepared to handle whatever they threw at me (in terms of work and various personalities) kept me there.

I guess my advice would be: keep throwing yourself at freelance gigs on mandy, craigslist, wherever you can find them (although beware of being exploited), and when you find good clients/producers/directors, stay in touch with them. It can take a while (i'm not even quite there yet!), but luckily this is a fun job. (Although NEVER let people use that as a reason to underpay you!)

In terms of websites, i'd say keep it simple. I actually don't even have one, but i'd say it's a good resource to have. I've seen a few out there that are a bit convoluted and seem to misrepresent the person's roles on various projects. If i was a potential client, i'd want to briefly read what your background is and hear a couple of samples of whatever work you have that's appropriate to my project. Personally, i wouldn't spend too much time prettying it up.

Ok, sorry if this was a bit rambly, my morning coffee seems to have been insufficient. Hope it helps!

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Thanks Roger! I've been fortunate to hook up with a few aspiring film directors and producers since graduating from SF State a year ago. I basically had an internship with one of them for about 8 months, working on a short film and a documentary for him. I did most of the work for free, and now he's guaranteed me 25 an hour for all future work. So i completely hear you on knowing people. Websites are tricky, and as you mention keeping it simple is key. I suppose its purpose is closer to a business card rather then showing all the work you done eh? Thank you Roger. –  zenandtheart Oct 12 '10 at 18:53
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We have a number of boards targeted towards film sound here in france that have job offers. Although most of the time it'll be people asking you to work for near to free...

I found my current job on my new employer's website, so I'll strongly advise you to start looking for the people you'd like to work for ans check them out, are if they are not offering something that you want.

I also found a gig earlier this year on gumtree, a great free ads site if you're in the UK. I got in touch with a guy who sent me the details of a gig happening right next too me that he knew of.

I'm booked for another gig this month, but I'll be working for free and it comes from one of the boards. But now that I have a foot in the industry and a salary, I think I will enjoy this gig even more!

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Thanks Justin, I'll see if i can't find any sites like gumtree for California. –  zenandtheart Oct 12 '10 at 22:17
    
Hi Justin. I am french, can you give me these boards url's ? –  Simon Lebel Oct 13 '10 at 8:30
    
Hey Simon, you can check out jobcinema.free.fr, perchman.com or sounddesigners.org to name but a few! –  Justin Huss Oct 13 '10 at 16:54
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Although I'm definitely amateur in this game, I did receive my first paid job this year. For what it's worth, it came about from someone hearing about me on Twitter from a friend, checking out my site and getting in touch via the site's contact page.

What the guys have said above is solid, solid advice too!

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The 48Hr film fest and other similar competitions have done a lot for me. It's a great way to meet new directors and showcase your talent and personality in a high pressure situation. As had been said already, you never know when one of those relationships will pan out. Also, where I live, there are industry networking events which I attend regularly. Also also, no one has mentioned internships yet. For someone just starting out there are a lot of benefits to a studio internship even if you are mostly fetching coffee.

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Yeah! in my internship i've been meeting tons of people! Then again my internship is not a good example (in a good way)! –  Filipe Chagas Oct 14 '10 at 3:12
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I've been lurking around Kickstarter.com and "scored" a doc and a feature so far. well they haven't been shot yet, but it's cool because i'm involved since script writing stage.

Also "met" people who are interested in working with me by "trolling" so to speak on vimeo.

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yes, yes, Kickstarter and vimeo are awesome. My friends band is dollars away from securing 10 grand to record an album with 2 time Grammy winning producer Stephen Short. (kickstarter.com/projects/1259642288/… - i recorded the VO and Music) Thanks for the suggestions and help Filipe! –  zenandtheart Oct 13 '10 at 1:37
    
Glad that was helpful :) –  Filipe Chagas Oct 13 '10 at 1:49
    
me too for kickstarter - doing sound design for a great stop motion short film –  user49 Oct 13 '10 at 18:22
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This is an anecdote from an ex college of mine about sound designers web sites. If the website is too good then they have too much time on their hands which in turn means they are not working - Then the question is "why are they not working?" - Websites should be simple and functional, with links to your work and IMDB or what ever is most impressive about you :) I have spent a lot of time looking for composers websites online and there are a 2 things that really bug me about some websites. - 1. Flash 2. auto play - Flash takes time to load which means potential employers might just skip your site cause they can't be bothered waiting if they have a slow connection. Auto play is annoying if you are trying to sell a composer/designer to the producers and every time you navigate back to their home page it starts singing at you. (I really don't like the hollywood edge SFX page because of this!) As for getting work I think word of mouth and professional reputation are the key. Keep enthusiastic and motivated and it will all come together in the end :) edit - forgot to mention Linkedin is really important - it's often the first port of call to find out who someone is.

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I agree with this thoroughly, your site is only really there just to show off your stuff. Unless you're a designer (in which case your website says something about your skill), easy navigation is the top priority! –  Joe Thomas Cavers Oct 13 '10 at 9:45
    
Sorry, I don't agree with that at all. Like many people, I deal with sound and have no interest in learning web design. Therefore we pay somebody to build a website as that is their trade. If your paying somebody to make a website it hopefully will look good but has no relevance to whether the company or individual has time on its hands or not. –  Lenny Oct 13 '10 at 18:17
    
your ex college is misguided –  user49 Oct 13 '10 at 18:23
    
I think it's more professional to have an awesome website... –  Utopia Oct 13 '10 at 19:14
    
@Lenny @tim prebble @Ryan - Just to remind you they are not my words -I think my point was that if a site should be quick to load and easy to navigate which gets to the important info quickly and that is what makes an awesome website - but again this is just my opinion ;) –  RedSonic01 Oct 14 '10 at 11:55
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I am curious to know whether anybody here has used the web site Shooting People for getting sound jobs.

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Google Alerts are super useful. I don't know if that's helpful to you or not, but I just set alerts on my favorite forums for "sound designer wanted" and things like that. Every day I follow up on one or two of them.

Of course, cold calls don't work nearly as well as if you come by recommendation, or if you're already a known entity. No matter how you find them.

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Thanks Robin, I'll check that out. Do you attach the alerts to specific website forums, or just any web entry's that mention sound work? –  zenandtheart Oct 18 '10 at 23:04
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