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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Who would you hire?

Author Topic: Who would you hire?
Brett Rankin
Film Handler

Posts: 78
From: Sierra Madre, CA
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 01-09-2001 09:20 PM      Profile for Brett Rankin   Email Brett Rankin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I may have an interview soon in the new 12-plex down the street. Being the filmic enthusiast I am, I would like to be a projectionist (a friend of mine was hired for that position, so I believe it is taken) but a concessionaire post would suffice for now.

My question is for the managers out there: In an interview, what would "wow" a prospective employer? What would make you say "Yes! He IS the one! We must have him at any cost!" ?

I am a mere 17 years, but do have knowledge and extensive interest. I collect 35mm and show film on a Simplex in my back yard. I have little theatre experience, but I read everything on this site and I have memorized the "threading tips" (as this theater utilizes the Christie Package). I would project their film for free. But of course that is not reasonable, so what could get me in for the requisite minimum wage?

Many thanks for any input or advice-


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Darryl Spicer
Film God

Posts: 3250
From: Lexington, KY, USA
Registered: Dec 2000

 - posted 01-09-2001 10:43 PM      Profile for Darryl Spicer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I am not a manager but I have been in this business for sixteen years. The best thing you can do is be honest with every answer to every question that the manager asks you. When he asks you what your interests are tell him about your interests in film and the personal hobbies that you are doing at home. Tell him that you are willing to work any position in that theater in order to obtain your personal goal of working in that booth. Make sure you go into that interview in the best clothes you own. First impresions are important. Just so long as you feel comfortable in what you are wearing. It does not have to be a suit and tie. But you don't want your yard working clothes on either.

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Rachel Carter
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 248
From: Gloucester, Massachusetts, USA
Registered: Dec 2000

 - posted 01-09-2001 11:45 PM      Profile for Rachel Carter   Email Rachel Carter   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
At my theater I sometimes have problems with the employees showing up for work. One quick statement that always hooks me is when the potential employee says the exact schedule they can work (Obviously weekends are the best) and that they are RELIABLE! Obviously don't lie. If your not reliable don't say you are! These days getting those "great" employees is not a common practice. Say that you are open to all jobs the theater has to offer and that you want to learn everything over time. If that is the true case if usually makes managers think that you are planning on keeping the job for a while. One think I hate is going through the training of a employee just for them to quit the same month!

Good Luck...

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Brad Miller

Posts: 17687
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99

 - posted 01-10-2001 12:02 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
"I'll work for free" generally works.

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John Scott
Master Film Handler

Posts: 252
From: Oakdale, MN, USA
Registered: Jul 2000

 - posted 01-10-2001 12:09 AM      Profile for John Scott   Email John Scott   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have to completely agree with Darryl here.

Honesty is most important. If you are enthused about film and exhibition, that will easily show through.

My other suggestion is not to feel that any position is beneath you. I'm a great example of that. When I applied at the theatre I currently work for I was 23, working full time rather comfortably in a job that was paying my schooling and I wanted to work part time at a theatre for fun, a little extra spending money, and to get free movies of course. I started at minimum wage in the vending stand. At nine months I recieved a meager raise and was moved into Box Office, but I was still smiling and happy to just be there. At my one year anniversary I was promoted to Assistant Manager, and once I finished up my degree 4 months after that I left my full time job because I was miserable there. Due to some great timing I was able to pick up full time hours at the theatre to tide me over until I could find a new job that I loved with my newly earned degree. The funny thing I found was that for every job I interviewed for, I couldn't find anything that I could see myself doing and still loving for many years to come. That was a year ago this week. I'm 26 now and house manager for the theatre I work for (although our circut doesn't have that title), and in the position where sometime in the next 6 months to a year I could potentially be offered my own theatre, and a salary position. I consider myself extremely lucky to have found a job that I love and at the same time is my passion. Had I not taken a humble approach, and sucked it up, accepting a minimum wage position where at 24 I was 6-8 years older than everyone else on the staff, I wouldn't be where I am at the moment.

There is no magic answer that will most likely get you where you want. Basicly do what it takes to get your foot in the door, be that making popcorn, cleaning up other people's trash, or whatever it may be. If you do a good job the management will see your passion, and doors will open for you.

(Heck, if you are only 17, OSHA won't let you legally run a projector anyway.)

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Manuel Francisco Valencia
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 151
From: Oklahoma City, OK, USA
Registered: Dec 2000

 - posted 01-10-2001 11:49 AM      Profile for Manuel Francisco Valencia   Email Manuel Francisco Valencia   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Brett, above all else a manager wants to know what kind of work ethic you have. That is hard to tell by just asking questions but you can convince them with your answers. Tell them what days you prefer to work and then the days you are available to work. I know you probably don't want to work Friday and Saturday night but if you come out and say that you are available to work those days but prefer not to then they know you are being honest. Also, mention the truth, don't wait to be asked a specific question for what they need to know. Like most people here have said, it is about your personality and pride in your work, not your knowledge or skill. Hell, given enough time I bet I could teach a monkey how to thread a projector! Probably not but the little fella would get close.

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Richard C. Wolfe
Master Film Handler

Posts: 250
From: Northampton, PA, USA
Registered: Apr 2000

 - posted 01-10-2001 08:34 PM      Profile for Richard C. Wolfe   Author's Homepage   Email Richard C. Wolfe   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 

Why must you live in California? If you lived in eastern Pa.I would hire you in a minute, based upon your attitude as displayed in your post here. I am an independent theatre owner that has been looking for a protege to learn the business and eventually assume management and ownership of my historic single screen theatre. I have been operating my theatre for over thirty years now, and retirement is not that far away. However,I have not had the good fortune to have found anyone yet interested in making a career with a theatre such as mine.

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Brett Rankin
Film Handler

Posts: 78
From: Sierra Madre, CA
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 01-10-2001 11:49 PM      Profile for Brett Rankin   Email Brett Rankin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks everyone for the advice. Still haven't heard anything, but I'm keeping fingers crossed. Just so long as I don't have to work at McDonald's.

Richard- Why must you live in PA? I would have JUMPED at the chance to work in such a place! Apprenticeship in a single-screen... what more could I possibly ask for? The commute would be a bit taxing, though. I also have an open job offer in Albany...

Thanks you, one and all, and do continue-


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Sean McKinnon
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1573
From: Peabody Massachusetts
Registered: Sep 2000

 - posted 01-12-2001 10:42 PM      Profile for Sean McKinnon   Email Sean McKinnon   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The reason that you have trouble finding good employees and keeping them is the fact that Patriot Cinemas are to cheap to pay thier employees (and managers as im sure you know) competetively, and the fact that they do not know how to treat thier employees. My friends tell me of this new GM rob who screams at everyone. Yeah, thats the way to get results Rob, make your employees fear you, make your employees think there worthless, embarass your employees in front of all the other staff, and pay shit. This is the way to keep employees, oh wait a minute I mean to make employees quit. You guys need a reality check. I hope some kid sues you for the way you harrass and yell at them not only is it unproffesional but it is demeaning, serves no purpose and doesnt solve the problem TEACH PEOPLE how to do thier job DONT SCREAM IT INTO THEM. Its too bad you got stuck with these people rachel, you deserve better. And to "rob" you should grow up and stop screaming at little 16 year old girls.

I love to smoke I smoke seventhousand packs a day and I'm never F*&ing quittin!-- Denis Leary

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