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naia

Jumping from the free gigs to the paying gigs

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I'm a composer/sound designer/dialogue editor living in Los Angeles, CA. Over the last four years I've done a bunch of freelance working on student/indie film and game projects. I have some credits and even an imdb page now. I feel like I'm moving in the right direction.

The problem is that all the gigs I've done so far have been for no pay. I get to keep the rights to my music, which is good. I also understand when starting out you have to take some free gigs just to get some credits and get started. However I feel like I'm at the point where I feel I need to jump into getting the paid gigs. I don't want to develop the reputation that I will do everything for free, as it is not feasible to live.

Now that I sort of have my foot in the door, how do I get to the next step? I would appreciate any advice/insight. I've been continuing to make more and more contacts. Having lived in the same place for a few years has helped because I have genuine friendships now and it's more than superficial schmoozing at parties. Aside from continuing to do that, any other suggestions?

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What level of games do you want to work in? Most AAA studios have on-site, full-time audio people. If that's where you want to be, then an approach would be applying to studios. There are a crap ton of studios in LA.

-me

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I'm happy with working on either AAA titles or smaller stuff. I don't want to be too picky. Ideally though I think I would enjoy working within a studio (large or small) working on smaller titles such as the ones that are on XBox Live Arcade or PSN. A lot of my favorite games this generation have been ones I've played on those platforms.

I've checked out a lot of studios in the LA area and it's a mixed bag of places that have an in house audio department, like Blizzard or places that just do contracts and never actually post when they need audio people. There's probably a lot of other smaller studios that do work for some of the bigger companies that I don't know exist yet.

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Quote:
Original post by naia
I feel like I'm at the point where I feel I need to jump into getting the paid gigs... how do I get to the next step?

Now you start networking, and put together your portfolio. Scroll up and click the tiny little link to "View Forum FAQ" to learn more.

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