December 10, 2014


Meet Jimmy Dempsey, a graduate of the F.I.R.S.T. Institute Film and Video program. He’s currently working on the third season of the reality TV show Treehouse Masters. He manages the camera gear, some shooting, and digital imaging technician tasks, also called DIT work. Because it’s a traveling show, meaning it’s at a different location each production, he’s in charge of shipping of the gear from one location to the next, as well as downloading content to prepare it for posting.


According to Dempsey, a normal day on the set includes documenting everything the stars of the show do… everything. The cameras are constantly rolling as the stars build huge treehouses live on set. It all begins with a deep look at the trees, which are the starting points of the projects. And, the filming climax is a visual profile of the beautiful treehouse creations.

Jimmy Dempsey has also worked on the reality TV show Ghost Hunters. A paranormal crew investigates various places rumored to be haunted. They attempt to reenact stories they’ve heard about hauntings, as Dempsey catches it all live on film. The hope is that something “creepy” will happen during filming. Yet, if it does, and you’re all alone, say in a basement of tunnel, your screams may go unheard. Jimmy noted: “It was a cool experience.


While a film school student, Dempsey was chosen as an intern. After just three months into the internship, he was hired on full-time. He quit his current job of six years. Then, just one day before graduating from film school, he learned that he’d be getting laid off from this new job because the company was closing down for good.

This left Jimmy questioning his decision to quit his long-term, stable job. No, he admits, he was not happy there. But, at least he was getting a regular paycheck. Yet, going back to that job was simply not an option. So, he chose to just bite the bullet and go after his passion in life… his dreams.

It didn’t take him long to utilize the network he’d already built during his months at the full-time industry job. Through this network, he was offered his first freelance gig, on a low-budget feature film. From there, the work just started reeling in… work in Miami, music videos, reality TV shows… Eventually, Dempsey realized he’d found his industry niche: freelancing.


Jimmy offers advice to film and video students trying to break out in the industry. He says that the first step should be to get yourself an internship. As a student in film and video school, this will probably be your only chance, as most internships require that you be in school at the time. An internship allows you to make mistakes out in the field, while still getting the hands-on experience you need. This will help you learn more and grow as an industry professional.

Dempsey credits F.I.R.S.T. Institute with giving him the skills he needed to land his internship. When out in the field, he appreciated being able to get assistance and advice from instructors. This allowed him to learn both in the classroom, as well as on-the-job. F.I.R.S.T. Institute also helped him find jobs in the industry, even after he graduated from the film and video program.

If you’re interested in making your mark in this industry, Jimmy says you must be “100% in.” If not, it will show, and you simply won’t get the industry jobs you desire. Give it your full dedication, hard work and 100% effort, and your film career will go anywhere you choose.


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