Thursday, August 7, 2008

above this imperfect world that god has abandoned

I've spent the morning trying to figure some things out. Namely, Pixar.

I don't view it as a "dream job," it's just the place I want to work. I see it, who is there, what they do, and I say to myself "hey, I should work there." It fits. The main practical skill I see myself working on, editing, also fits in. The first time I really became aware of editing was actually during The Incredibles, the scene where Mr. Incredible is getting shot with the expanding-ball-things. I think about it, and really, editing at Pixar would be a great job, I think I'd love it and I think I would be good at it. Maybe I could try to squeeze in a story idea or two while I'm there.

However, it's obviously not the kind of place that you can simply get into with some hard work. It's the kind of work that requires backbreaking nonstop work, knowing somebody inside, and a miracle wouldn't hurt, either.

There is another internship open, this one for making in-house training videos / documentaries / what have you. They're looking for a film student with editing experience. That's it. The qualifications could be filled by pretty much any film student, and my focus happens to be editing, so it works out perfectly. Then we get to the bottom of the listing and they ask for a demo reel displaying your editing experience. I like to think I'm fairly adept at editing, but I haven't really done that much of it outside of the few editing classes I had with Lou, and I have no physical proof of real-world editing skill. The best I could do is send the one really good project I had for Lou's class, which I did last time, but I doubt it'll work any better than it did then.

They're looking for the best of the best. Yes, they're going for students with these internships, and it is probably understood that students won't have the most experience in the world, but they'll still choose the students who have the most of it. It's also not a stretch to think that they'll also choose the demo reels with student-produced material over the demo reels with class projects.

Now, as with most things, it really does boil down to one fact - it's my fault that I don't have any proof of my editing skills. I didn't work on anything, I didn't go out and search down independent productions that needed an editor. I realize this. However, I don't think my school exactly helped, either. Most film schools will have you in a fairly set track of classes in your field, and will pretty much force you into doing short films and major student-run projects. I did not go to a film school, I was in the video production program of a computer school, where the classes were scattered, and the only student projects going on were those made by cliques of people who had known each other since freshman year. I didn't become friends with any of my classmates freshman year, really, and whenever I've approached people about editing for them the answer has always been "we've already got a guy we know doing that," so school hasn't helped me get much experience, either.

Again, I realize it's still mostly my fault, but when I have quite sizable student loans to pay off in the coming years for a program that I feel has been 95% an utterly useless waste of my time when I could have gone to a real film school and likely wound up with plenty of demo reel material, it's hard to not be a little bit irked. The most frequent thing people throw at me is "you should have looked for outside-out-school jobs," and I know I probably should have... but really, how many productions do you think would have hired a film student who has no real experience to speak of, and how many other undergrads in DC or any other program have you seen going and doing outside jobs instead of focusing on the school ones?

I have pretty much one year left until the realistic Pixar window closes (and even the realistic Pixar window is rather unrealistic). This coming summer will be the last shot I'll get at an internship. As of right now, I have a roughly 0% chance of getting in, but I'm real fucking stubborn and I really, really, want to wind up there, so what I need to do now is figure out what I do with this last year. Or, rather, how I get a demo reel together.

I need to find out whether or not they prefer fully student-run productions or not. I'm fairly sure I could call up Lou and maybe get some stuff from him to edit in my free time, more Helter Skelter stuff or an episode of Ghost Whisperer or something. Something like that is what I'd like to do the most, but even if it is approved by the respective studios as something I can show off, I don't know if it's something Pixar would even really look at and think much of.

I could try to cram in an Animation minor if I stick around for this whole year, and while I actually wouldn't mind doing that, I don't know if it would really help me at all on a practical level. Another option that keeps lingering in my head is something with sound work. I kind of liked doing Alex's thing and I think it is something I could be surprisingly okay at if I work at it some more. To me, that actually seems like the most realistic option and the one that would look the best - either sharpen my skills and re-tackle Track and Failed, sexing it up with a more polished soundtrack and sending the short into Pixar for a sound internship, or doing the same for another project (if I can find one). However I don't know if they even had a sound internship last summer or any other time.

I need to talk to Dave, Lou and Vanessa about all this, see what they have to say. I think that last option would be my best shot at it, but even if they have a sound internship pop up and the second run at the soundtrack is great, I don't know if sound is really what I want to do, you know? I would mop floors at Pixar if given the oppurtunity, but I think for their internships they want people who actually want to do that specific thing, which would bring me back to editing, and how much of a bitch it'd be to get a demo reel for that. Or, if I'm being honest with myself, that would bring me to being a story guy, but last summer's story internship was heavily involved with storyboarding, and I have 0 experience with that, either. Maybe I should take whatever storyboarding stuff DePaul offers?

I don't know what to do. I really have to call DVL.


Alex said...

I'm not going to throw you a mandatory "you can do it! Don't give up!" because it wouldn't change anything but I have been thinking a lot about this lately. One of the biggest things that really helps drive all of you, me, and Tim (as well as a few others we know) is the idea of one day landing this dream job at Pixar. It occurred to me, why the hell are we all treating ourselves like we're on our own getting there? If we all worked together I think we'd have a much better shot at getting in.

Which is why I have formed a plan. It requires patience, drive, creativity, and the JET program. Even if we don't get Pixar we're gonna get a lot done in the process and have a freaking blast. Let me know mwuahahaha

Alex said...

ps from now on my code name is McGuyver.

petethepanda said...

I need a good callsign.

JET? Seriously?