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I just moved to LA about 7 months ago. I've have worked on a fair amount of projects just freelancing, which has been fun, but I'm not sure if this is really where I want to live for the next 5-10+ yrs of my life. In addition, I don't really know many people out here since my family and friends are on the east coast.

So, I'm wondering are there a good amount of sound design jobs in NYC like in LA? Would it be a wise decision to move out of LA to NYC if I want to work on films?

Thanks!

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3 Answers

The simple answer to this is no.

Last May (2010) I moved to NY from Orlando, FL. to try to find work because I had a friend I could stay with. With 17 years of experience in the industry and awards for my work I wasn't able to find anything more than internships that were paying in Turkey sandwiches. Oh, and there isn't much feature film work in NY besides Indy films. Granted there is some, but it's likely that the long term players there are going to be the one's getting what little work there is.

After that I moved to Denver, CO. and I found more paying work here in 3 weeks than in NY in 3 months. Oh, and NY is ridiculously expensive right now. Granted, it's rough here as well, but it's much more affordable. No one is ready to hire someone full time into a Post Studio (which is what I'm used to) and I've had to slowly build a freelance business, which is coming along ok, but is going to take a bit more time until I can rely on my audio career again to get by completely and likely much longer before it's profitable.

In general, its; a really rough time to be looking for work. Even for people with as much experience as I have it's hard. If you've already made contacts in the area you're in then it might be best to stay there. It might be worth a shot if you have friends and family you can live with for free on the east coast, but it won't be easy and I'd expect it to be at least a year before finding something permanent.

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Thanks for sharing your honest feedback. –  Jay Jennings Jun 7 '11 at 8:43
    
@Syndicate Synthetique Thanks for the advice man. I appreciate it. –  Mitchell Scott Jun 7 '11 at 20:26
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Hey Mitchell,

If you want to work in film, NYC is not really the place to be. There are a few places (C5, Sound One, Sound Lounge does some) but most work here is in television (spots and shows). If you're looking for a full-time gig, be prepared for the first question in your interview to be "So how much did you bill last year?" A lot of places will only want to talk seriously if you've got some major dollars headed their way.

That said, it can be done. There is a lot of audio work going on here. When I moved, I had zero experience. I got a few no-pay internships and ended up turning one of them into a full-time job, which is where I'm still at today.

If you move, be prepared to start at the bottom (or near bottom) or work on developing your own client base. I'm moving to San Fran in a month and am mentally preparing for a similar process there... Hoping my idealism will treat me well.

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@Joel Raabe I actually wouldn't mind doing T.V. spots or shows. I'll pretty much take what I can get, and don't mind interning while working another PT job. By the way I checked out your reel and you've got some awesome work going on. I especially love the Durex commercial, haha. If you don't mind me asking, why are you moving to San Fran if you have a stable job in NYC? I like it up there a lot more than LA, and would move there in a heartbeat if I could afford it. –  Mitchell Scott Jun 7 '11 at 20:23
    
I'm looking to shift into game audio or feature films, plus my future wife will be attending SFSU to get her MFA for the next several years. SF seems like a good fit for the both of us, so I'm hoping it works out! –  Joel Raabe Jun 7 '11 at 20:41
    
SF is a great place for game audio –  Chris Jun 8 '11 at 3:23
    
Hey, best of luck out there Joel! (can i have your old job?) Haha, kidding. –  Roger Middenway Jun 8 '11 at 14:24
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I haven't come across a legit paying sound design gig advertised in the wild here in years. Everything these days seems to come from the inside and stays there. If you're into unpaid internships, this is the place to be though! :P

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