Apr 25, 2007, 8:27 AM
Post #1 of 19
!!!* need advice *!!!
hey im 16 and recently completed a tandem skydive and i have to say it truly was the best thing i have ever one! I really want to progress and undertake an AFF course and get qualified. i was wondering if anyone could give me some advice as to weather to just keep this as a hobby or as a real job as i particularly want to learn to b a free fall cameraman. Is it feasible to actually make a career out of this or just leave it as something to do on the weekend. Also when they are filming scenes for a new tv commercial or for parts of a film containing skydiving how do they film it? like do they have a set freefall cameraman of there own or do they use camera men from a nearby drop zone?
Becoming a skydiver takes an enormous amount of money, not just in the training jumps, but also the gear. You'd have to build up experience and skills in freefall and canopy control, as well as packing your gear, before buying camera gear, and then spend even more money getting experience jumping with camera and getting the good videos and still shots.
Very very few videographers can make a living solely on the sport, and usually only the very best can, those with thousands of jumps and top-notch photography skills worthy of publication in media forms.
Sorry, don't mean to be a spoilsport. Some have done it with less time and experience because of natural talent. But if I were you, keep the skydiving as a hobby or as a secondary source of income when you have reached that point. Of course, it depends on where you are. If you're going to live on a DZ in a trailer or camper and that DZ is jumping 7 days a week and needs a full-time videographer, it's possible to make it your full-time job, as expenses outside of skydiving are probably low. You'd want to have health insurance though, and you won't get it through the DZs, you'd have to get it yourself and that itself can be pricey.
My advice would be: Go to college and get a good degree. Then use that to get a well paid job. Once you've got that, spend your earnings on skydiving and have fun - maybe even pick up a slot as part of the weekend camera rotation.
There is a very similar thread just a few lines down "Reality of a skydiving career" under "General Skydiving Discussions" (Dont knw how to make clicky) that might have the answers you're looking for, but rather finish school before you start thinking about a career in skydiving. What happens if you find out later that its not what you expected? Go back to school at 20...25...30...?
Get involved in skydiving over the weekends. Do your AFF/SL coarse, start jumping, learn to pack, etc. and when you're done with school, atleast you'll have some idea of what your getting yourself into!
(This post was edited by skydave238 on Apr 25, 2007, 10:50 AM)
I have been able to have a blast jumping for the past year, and I also am going to earn a degree that will finance my jumping. Even if I wanted to be a pro skydiver right now I don't think I would have the skills needed for another couple hundred jumps.
My college even had a really cool skydiving club.
(This post was edited by DougH on Apr 25, 2007, 12:37 PM)
I just hit 200 jumps (in exactly 365 days), while in college (and at a military academy to boot). I would love to get my instructor rating, and shoot camera, but i cant see it as anything more than a simple weekend fun job.
Get into the sport as a hobby and observe those who do it as a career. Then decide if it's for you.
These people live their dreams. Keep in mind, there are just a few of them and it takes a lot of time and effort to get there. You are still 16. Finish school, make a few hundred jumps, learn about the different routs in the sport and decide for yourself
If you want to learn about a few professional skydivers, read this:
And just how many of those people will you find in the class teaching FJC's and flying skills every weekend? Just because someone can do 4-way kickass or be on a sponsored team, don't make them PRO's, if someone want's to learn about making a living in skydiving try talking to the guys and gals who have been teaching and jumping with students for the last 25 years, not walking around with their "billboard" jumpsuits on and their nose up in the air and acting like their shit don't stink!
Your best bet is to get your license and jump in college. Several schools have clubs and teams and you could learn and jump and get you degree. With the experience you get while in college you can decided what you want to do for the rest of your life. Also filming the competitions and club vids can be the beginning of a resume should you choose to do it.
I'd follow the advice that says finish school, get a degree, get a good job, Skydiving has given me a wonderful part-time job, but if I had to depend on it to eat ... well, let's say I wouldn't be a member of the anvil club.
At your age, I'd learn to pack and get my license that way; packing and skydiving. Ask for skydiving gear for gradauation gifts or cash since whuffos don't know what to buy. Go to college- join a college skydiving club, the jumps are usually cheaper than a regular DZ as it works like a Co-op.
By that time you'll have 300-500 jumps, lots of skills and be ready to join a video rotation. Fair warning: most of the money you will make will be reinvested in camera and skydiving equipment.
Do a search for the thread: "so you want to fly camer by Karen Lewis (Lewmonst) A great thread on being a vidiot.
To repeat what others have said: Step 1 - finish college Step 2 - pursue a career that will pay for expensive weekends skydiving Step 3 - learn how to pack mains Step 5 - learn how to skydive Step 6 - study photography in your spare time Step 7 - learn how to coach skydivers Step 8 - start videoing friends in freefall Step 9 - start videoing tandems Step 10 - learn how to do tandems Step 11 - learn how to pack reserves Step 12 - suck up to big-name videographers like Mike McGowan, Norm Kent, Tom Sanders, etc.