EOC 007: Lindsay Adams and “How to become a Production Assistant in Hollywood?”

Production-Assistant-CareerHello CinemaNation!

In this episode of the Elements of Cinema Podcast, I interview Lindsay Adams, a production assistant originally from Stillwater, Oklahoma.

I have to say I love this pattern I’ve noticed from most of my guests who were not born in Los Angeles and had to move here to follow a dream. Those kind of journeys are always more exciting, and we salute Lindsay for her zeal and passion that brought her to Hollywood.

Here’s the interview:


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EOC 006: Casting Director Bonnie Gillespie Discusses the Casting Process and Offers Tips for Actors

tips-for-actorsHello peeps, and a Happy 2015 to you and yours.

For those who noticed my absence, I apologize for this unplanned hiatus; I was moving to a new home, but now I’m back with the latest episode of the Elements of Cinema Podcast, where I interviewed Bonnie Gillespie, a casting director and independent producer living and operating in Los Angeles.

As it happens to so many of us, Bonnie has a colorful (if not complicated) journey where she jumped a few times between art and academia before she found her “calling.” I relate with this because I too have suffered the same dilemma, so I understand where Bonnie’s coming from, and I’m sure you do too. But more on that later.

Bonnie is the author of four books that, together, give a deep and comprehensive insight into the business of acting and casting. Her most famous book, Self-Management for Actors, is a business-oriented guide for actors that has been listed again and again as one of the top must-have acting books.

Here’s the episode:

 

Show Notes

On this show, we talk about:

  • Money and fulfillment
  •  The casting process
  • Why Bonnie prefers working independent projects over studio films
  • The “bait” that brought Bonnie to LA. Twice.
  • Bonnie’s journey from student to actress to journalist to casting director.
  • Bonnie’s epiphany that made her drop out of her PhD program and pursue show business one more time.
  • Bonnie’s publishing company, CricketFeet.
  • Bonnie’s books, including Self-Management for Actors
  • “Book the room!”
  • “Stay Ninja!”
  • Why you should never work without a signed contract.
  • Quote: “If I had known how popular going into casting would make me, I would have done it in high school.”
  • The right attitude towards being success adjacent: “Anytime I see someone else succeed, I’m happy, for it reminds me I live in a world where success is possible.”

Highlights

When I asked Bonnie for some advice she could share with us, she said: “Stay open,” which I think echoes one of my favorite aspects about Bonnie’s life – her professional trajectory.

Regardless of how you define or measure success, looking at Bonnie’s career, books, website, column, and podcast, I have to think that she’s found fulfillment in this unlikely niche. I say “unlikely” because after you listen to the interview it’s clear that Bonnie, from the outset, never really imagined herself as a casting director. Or at least it was never really her main goal. However, by staying open, she’s embraced many of the curveballs life has thrown at her and spun them into positive learning instances. It’s the proverbial lemons into lemonades.

If you’ve not listened to the podcast or if you just want to recap, here’s what happened: Bonnie started off as an actress, doing her first professional performance at the age of seven in Atlanta. But for college she pursued a more academic degree: journalism (something that was “required in her family”), but as an artist, she minored in photography and acting. In 1993, Bonnie moved to Los Angeles after graduating to pursue an acting career. During the Northridge Earthquake, Bonnie went through “a little crisis” as she calls it. Not being where she wanted in her acting career, she decided it was time to return home and go to grad school for a degree in Instructional Technology.

But during the Age Twenty Eight Epiphany, the acting bug tickled Bonnie again, so she sold everything she owned on eBay and returned to La La Land to give acting one more shot. It didn’t pan out as she planned, but in her survival job as a journalist she discovered her calling: to demystify the casting process and the business of acting. Bonnie was so good at it that eventually she became a casting director, where she’s found success and fulfillment.

And I can’t express enough how inspiring and encouraging her journey is to me. Especially when you imagine yourself in Bonnie’s shoes during those crises. We’ve all being in similar situations, and we know the temptation to give up can be overpowering. But persevere you should and persevere she did. Bonnie’s story has a happy ending. So if you have to remember one thing from this interview, remember this: “Stay open!”

If you haven’t yet, don’t forget to listen to the full interview in the player found on this page above “Show Notes”.

Bonnie Recommends

Books for ActorsThe book Bonnie suggested for us was The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield, which I have not read yet, but here’s how the publisher describes it: “A succinct, engaging, and practical guide for succeeding in any creative sphere, The War of Art is nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul.” In other words, it has the self-help, motivational kick that so many of us need often. Check it out.

As for advice, I’ve already mentioned the “stay open” mantra above, so I’d like to shine light on another concept that Bonnie brought to our attention: Abundance. I’m talking about how we sometimes feel when we hear that a friend booked a gig or is otherwise successful. Hollywood and competition are synonyms. The demand is only a tiny fraction of the supply, so everyone is fighting tooth and nail to book gigs. I think it’s natural that we feel jealous or, dare I say, even resentful when someone books the gig we had our eyes on. But that’s the wrong attitude, and Bonnie nails it on the head. Instead of a negative reaction, we should feel happy that we live in a world and a business where success is possible. If you know someone who hit the jackpot (sold a screenplay, was cast on primetime show, won the Palme d’Or), you are “success adjacent,” and that should feel good. Bonnie’s suggestion in this case as that you ask your friend out so you can pick their brains and research how they became successful.

If you want an app to stay motivated and feel rewarded, Bonnie recommended the iPhone app Balanced. It also helps you stay productive and organized in a healthy way. The sales pitch is to find inspiration by making sure you practice some basic activities that boost your wellness. You can read more about it on the developer’s website.

The Bonnie Connection

If you wanna hang out more with Bonnie, you can follow her on Twitter @bonniegillespie and friend her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CricketFeet. If you wanna join Bonnie’s newsletter, head over to her website where you can find all of her links, resources, bio, and services. Also, don’t forget to check out her podcast The Work, which I totally recommend, as it’s both informative and just pure fun!

 

Other Ways You Can Listen To The Show

For those who don’t know, the Elements of Cinema Podcast is available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio. You can install those apps in your smartphone and listen to us wherever you are! You can download those apps respectively from the Apple Store if you have an iPhone or the Play Store if you have an Android smartphone.

EOC 005: 20th Century Fox Administrative Assistant Angel Hunter and Why You Should Consider a Corporate Job

On the show this week, I interview Angel Hunter, an administrative assistant at 20th Century Fox, or how she describes it, “a very big well-funded post house.” I am super stoked to feature Angel on The Elements of Cinema Podcast because she offers a glimpse into the corporate side of the business, which is quite often overlooked by the creative types.

One of the things that Angel and I discuss is how the term “corporate” is often a bad word when filmmakers toss it around. Well, as the Devil’s Advocate I gotta say, if it’s not obvious to you, big studios and media giants still run the business. I understand if you are jaded of super hero movies or the formula-perfect romcoms that studios are accidentally guilty of intentionally mass producing. But, let’s give credit where credit is due and remind ourselves that we are privileged to work in a town where the entertainment business is so prosperous that it pays the salary of tens of thousands of people.

Sure, we all want to make movies and write screenplays, but rent and groceries are part of living, and stability goes a long way. If the corporations were not so good at self-preservation (and making the mainstream flicks the audience-at-large craves), droves of people would have to find employment in a different trade. And that would be the real shame!

Click here to listen:

Things we discuss in this episode:

  • Advantages of a corporate job
  • Why a business sense and understanding finances are beneficial to filmmakers
  • “A good reputation is better than silver and gold.”
  • Contrary to popular belief, there are real nice people in the business
  • “There are no C’s.”
  • Reasons to go to film school (speaking of which, I first mentioned Angel in this article on the pros and cons of film school).
  • How Tom Blomquist (our professor at CSULB) helped Angel land her job
  • Thoughts on film school and a film degree
  • The symbiotic relationship between art and business.
  • “I don’t want it good, I want it on Tuesday.”
  • How you can join the corporate track
  • Why you should treat Talent Acquisition like gold

And because I told Angel I’d have this in big bold letters, here it is:

“Without Money Nothing Gets Done; Study the Money in Film!”

In addition to our discussion about the relationship between art and money, one of the show’s highlights was about integrity, and why you should work hard to leave an impression.

When I discussed film school in the article Is Film School a Good Idea?, I mentioned that one of the advantages of film school is that you can meet people who have enough influence and connections to get you hired. Angel’s journey is evidence that it happens. Of course, you have to be at the right place at the right time (or maybe just enroll in the right class and meet the right professor). But the lesson here is to always give your very best, which Angel successfully did.

Angel Recommends

Read: The book Angel recommended was the The Hollywood Assistants Handbook: 86 Rules for Aspiring Power Players by Peter Nowalk & Hillary Stamm. Though I’m yet to get a copy, I believe it may just be the golden how-to manuscript for those interested in entry-level assistant positions.

Wisdom: Angel’s advice was to “always leave an impression and make it a good one,” which in itself works as a maxim. But for the sake of impact, I much prefer when Angel phrased it as a subtle warning: “You are always making an impression,” which is so true. Whether you are always present or you blend in the background, people are noting your behavior and efficiency. Act accordingly.

Habits: Smile and keep calm!

Coming Soon

Next week I release the interview I did with casting director Bonnie Gillespie, a four-time author with some amazing insights about the industry as a whole and many specifics for performers. Her book, Self-Management for Actors, has appeared in several lists as one of the best acting books ever. Stay tuned and don’t forget to subscribe!

EOC 004: Filmmaker David Rountree and His Decade-Long Overnight Success

David's headshot

David’s headshot

Oh, my. Episode four already. We’re making steady progress with this podcast thing. Thank you so much for everyone who’s tuning in and thank you for all the love shared. I appreciate you!

I’m really excited about this episode, as I talk with filmmaker David Rountree (his IMDb), who was referred to the program by Jake Katofsky, who I interviewed on Take 2. David is a multi-talented guy who writes, produces, and directs his own movies. So far, David has directed four and produced five features under the banner of his company, Psycho Rock Productions.

Initially a sports guy, David has a curious journey, as he kind of fell into acting (he joined the drama club because he had a crush on an actress). His first real gig was on a local TV show in North Carolina, where David’s from. Attributing a lot of his early success to the marketability of the athlete in him (David practiced three sports!), he eventually signed on with a manager and moved to Hollywood, where he worked as an actor, eventually transitioning to behind the camera.

Listen to the interview here:

On this take, we discuss:

  • Reasons David had to fire people in his crew
  • Mistakes he made as a director and the lessons he learned from the experience
  • Advantages of having your own production company
  • How some athletic background may help you as an actor
  • Tips for actors doing auditions
  • How lucky he was as an actor for booking a major commercial right out of the gate and immediately getting his SAG card!
  • How he had a 2-year lull in his acting career that made him appreciate how tough the business is.
  • Why you should double your rate of failure

 

Show Notes

Highlights

108 Stitches movie David Rountree Josh Blue

David and  comedian Josh Blue on the set of “108 Stitches.”

One of the main things I wanna hammer home as a post-analysis is how long it takes to be successful in this game. As David and I discussed on the show, “overnight” success in Hollywood usually takes a decade or so, which is not as a random number as you might think. In his book Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcom Gladwell argues that proficiency in any trade takes about 10,000 hours of practice, trial-and-errors, skill honing, etc. That’s 10,000 hours of hard work towards whatever you want to be, not counting hours of sleep, eating, etc. According to Gladwell, most people need 10 years to run the clock on those 10,000 hours.

Now here’s the kicker: In Hollywood, more often than not “successful” just means doing what you love full time even if you’re not getting paid ridiculous amounts of money to do it! It’s the difference between, for example, a working actor and a struggling actor. A struggling actor is someone who needs a 9-to-5 to pay rent. On the other hand, a working actor is someone who already has representation and collaborators in this business so that he is constantly employed. He can’t retire just yet, but at least he can earn a full time living doing what he’s passionate about. For me, that’s the definition of success in Hollywood: doing what you love and getting paid in the process. The next level after this is stardom. That’s reserved for the Steve Spielbergs, the Meryl Streeps, the Jerry Bruckheimers, the Shane Blacks. These are professionals so talented and so sought-after that they don’t have to hunt for jobs because there are people hunting for them. It’s a glorious position to be in, but one that usually requires much more than 10,000 hours of experience in addition to the right connections, constant improving one’s skills, and luck.

The bottom line here is: avoid giving yourself a deadline, especially a short one. Odds are: you’re not going to have your big break within a year or two after moving to Hollywood. And that’s true for everyone in the business. Know that it takes time. Learn to love the process. Thicken your skin. Court failure and keep at it.

 

David Recommends

Read Scripts

When I asked David what books he would like to recommend for the listeners, he said that actors should read more screenplays. David explains that reading scripts helps you understand why things are written a certain way and helps you to be in that mindset, which is a great point because everyone in this business should be comfortable reading screenplays, and definitely actors.

One of my readers once told me that reading scripts is boring. Well, it shouldn’t be. Or even if it is, you should do it enough till it becomes second nature because – trust me – that’s a skill that will benefit you in this industry. David recommended Drew’s script-o-rama as his script database.

Save the Cat!

As far as books go, Save the Cat! was David’s recommendation for us. This screenwriting book, which was recommended to David by producer/manager Dan Halstead, is a little gem of a read for filmmakers and screenwriters as it discusses salability of a script, including the marketability of a logline and the target audience.

Stage 32

David also recommended Stage 32 as an online resource. David calls it “Facebook for filmmakers.” By the way, thanks to David’s referral, I’m now in the process of the scheduling an interview with Richard “RB” Botto, the CEO and founder of Stage 32. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter, and I’ll let you know once that happens! You can connect with David on his Stage 32 profile or on Twitter @psychorock2.

 

And here’s the trailer to David’s upcoming film, CUT!

  

Coming Soon

Next week, I talk with Angel Hunter, an administrative assistant at 20th Century Fox, giving us insight on the corporate track and why you should consider it. Stay tuned.

EOC 003: Interview with Shenita Moore, actress

actress headshot

Shenita’s headshot

In this episode of the podcast, I speak with actress Shenita Moore, who I met back in 2010 on the set of a short film that Shenita produced titled Queen Victoria’s Wedding. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Shenita is a working actress with tons of invaluable insight. In this the take, we discuss:

  • How moving from city to city helped Shenita developed interpersonal skills that make her a better performer.
  • The difference between an agent and a manager.
  • Why moving to Los Angeles with like-minded people with similar goals is a great idea.
  • How little money you can make as an extra.
  • How a gig can pay your bills for five years!
  • Marilyn Monroe’s quote: “Hollywood is a place where they will pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul.
  • Dorothy Parker’s quote: “Hollywood is the only place where you can die from encouragement.”

Check out the episode here:

 

Here’s Shenita’s acting reel:

 

Show Notes

Highlights

One of the most insightful things I heard from Shenita was about the circumstances under which she moved from Albuquerque to Los Angeles. I liked the story she shared because many of us are riddled with that dilemma: when should I move to Hollywood? For those who live outside of California or outside of the United States, moving to Hollywood is a big step, and one that deserves preparation. Quite often, that step comes with doubt and second guessing. Well, what Shenita did seems like sound strategy: she moved to Los Angeles with other actors and her manager.

Now, this may not always be possible for everyone, but it’s a worth a shot. Whether you want to be an actor, director, writer, producer, etc. who’s planning to move here, why not group up with others who have a similar goal. Your “team” can move together and try to break in the business together. You guys can watch each other’s back and help one another. I wish I had done that! I moved to Hollywood in 2008 all by myself and the process was painstaking. I definitely could have used some help. And now, more than the ever, the internet can really help you find people in your own state and country. Communities like Stage 32 and Facebook can connect you to other entertainment people. If you are moving here soon, give it a try!

Shenita Recommends

The must-read book Shenita recommended for us today was Self-Management for Actors: Getting Down to (Show) Business by casting director Bonnie Gillespie. Filled with tips and strategies to help actors succeed, this book has appeared in many lists as of one of the best books on acting ever. By the way, Bonnie is a guest of this show in the upcoming Take 6. Stay tuned to hear from Bonnie herself!

Let’s Talk About Marilyn

I looked up the quote by Marilyn Monroe: “Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.” It first appeared in Marilyn’s autobiography My Story. However, the book was published in 1974, 12 years after Marilyn’s tragic death. The website QuoteInvestigator deems the quote controversial due that fact that the book is a posthumous work. Here’s the longer context in which the quote appeared in the book:

In Hollywood a girl’s virtue is much less important than her hair-do. You’re judged by how you look, not by what you are. Hollywood’s a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty cents.

 QuoteInvestigator concludes saying that the quote is probably not a complete fabrication, but a ghostwriter may have helped shape it.

In any event, the quote is still relevant and powerful. I stand by my interpretation: Hollywood is a place where your persona and the products you can offer are more valuable than you as a human. Read the fine print!

Agree, disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

EOC 002: Interview with Jake Katofsky, producer/ screenwriter

Here's Jake at (what I believe is) the premiere

Jake living the dream

In this take of our podcast, I speak with Jake Katofsky, a producer and writer whose first feature, 108 Stitches, is now available on Amazon and other VOD platforms.

Jake is (only) a student but through unlimited passion, smart networking, and perseverance, he found his way into an independent production that features such talents as the Oscar-nominated Bruce Davison, the Emmy-nominated Larry Thomas, and many comedic super stars.

In this show we discuss:

  • Financing and funding
  • Distribution
  • How connections will help your production in several stages
  • Jake’s plans for the future
  • How networking  happens in Hollywood
  • Some pop culture Easter eggs
  • How hard it is to market a movie without the “ideal” cast
  • And more!

 

There are so many things in life you cannot control, but one thing you can control is how hard you work and your attitude when you are working. And I believe that a good work ethic and positive attitude can take you a long way.” – Jake Katofsky

 

108StitchesSet

On the set of 108 Stitches

Show Notes

Highlights

Among many interesting topics discussed, I think one of the biggest takeaways from this episode is how networking was essential for 108 Stitches. We always hear about how crucial networking is, but sometimes there are no examples to illustrate how that occurs. In this episode, I definitely noted many:

  • Jake himself befriended director David Rountree in a film class David taught. In the interview, Jake said he was  the only student who respected David’s time and gear (this story is later corroborated in Take 5 where I interview David).
  • Financing was possible due to the connection the crew had in the baseball world.
  • The production was connected to Bruce Davison (perhaps the biggest name in this film) through a referral by Kate Vernon
  • The production was connected to Larry Thomas through Jake’s grandma who plays mahjong with Larry’s mother (now this is just luck!)
  • Distribution was facilitated because David plays in a weekend baseball league with Mike Simon, who works for the distribution company Freestyle Releasing.

 

Jake Recommends

The book Jake referred to us was Save The Cat by Blake Snyder. This is a book that I also have and enjoy. Though there is a vast ocean of screenwriting books out there, what sets Save The Cat apart is the emphasis in marketing your story, which is a skill not many writers enjoy, but one that is necessary for longevity in Hollywood.

Stage 32 is the online resource Jake recommended to us. Stage 32 is actually how I found Jake, so you know I use it as well. This website is a good place to network with other filmmakers and entertainment professional. Think Facebook for filmmakers.

 

 Elements mentioned in this take

People

  • David Rountree: the director and co-writer of 108 Stitches
  • Bruce Davison: Academy Award nominated actor, plays Coach DeShields in 108 Stitches.
  • Larry Thomas: Emmy nominated actor for playing the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld.
  • Kate Vernon: she plays President Jennine Wormer Pratt (a reference to Animal House)
  • J.P. Pierce: the colorist and co-producer
  • Dat Phan: co-star in the movie and Last Comic Standing winner
  • Josh Blue: co-star in the movie and Last Comic Standing winner
  • Allen Maldonado: co-star in the movie (his latest film The Equalizer just opened two months ago).
  • Denzel Washington: one of Jake’s idols and star of The Equalizer.
  • Mike Simon: General Sales Manager at Freestyle Releasing

Companies and institutions

Titles

  • Animal House (1978): a comedy film referenced through the Jennine Wormer Pratt character
  • Seinfeld: a 1990s sitcom referenced in the movie through Larry Thomas, who played the iconic Soup Nazi on that show
  • The Equalizer (2014): thriller headlining Denzel Washington, with 108 Stitches‘ alum, Allen Maldonado
  • Cut! (2014): another movie which David Rountree and Jake also worked on

 

EOC 001: Interview with Jai Corria, Assistant Camera/DIT

This is Jai on the set of Parks and Recreation.

This is Jai on the set of Parks and Recreation.

In this take of the EOC Podcast, I speak with Jai Corria, an assistant camera and digital imaging technician with over a decade of industry experience.  Jai has worked in such big titles as Pirates of Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and  Parks and Recreation. More recently, Jai has also worked on Horrible Bosses 2 and Mall Cop 2. As of this recording, Jai is currently in Pittsburgh, working on another feature film. Go Jai!

In this show we talk about:

  • How and when Jai first started using a camera.
  • A Union Apprenticeship Program that trains you for industry jobs.
  • The best course of action to get your career off the ground.
  • What she would differently if she had to start over.
  • How relationships and involvement can lead to a promotion.
  • A few differences between working in film and TV.
  • The challenges of being an assistant camera.
  • How overwhelmingly onerous (and sometimes unfair) the set life can be.
  • Her advice for future filmmakers.

 

Elements mentioned:

 

assistant camera responsibilities on set

We are not in Kansas anymore. (It’s Pawnee!)

 

Assistant Camera job fun - filmmaking

The extras used to want to play with Jai’s camera. They don’t any more.

Introducing The Elements of Cinema Podcast, featuring Interviews with Filmmakers

Greetings CinemaNation!

Filmmaking Podcast

Our Artwork

I’m so excited to announce the launch of the Elements of Cinema Podcast, a phenomenal resource for both current and future filmmakers as we will explore different professions and careers in the entertainment industry. This will help us break the business apart and then piece it together.

Here’s our introduction episode in which I explain what the show is about:

Note: This episode is only 6 minutes long because it’s just me talking about the show and the goals I have for it. All other episodes will range between 30 minutes to 1 hour in length as our guests have A LOT to share.

 

What is this Podcast About?

Well, our tagline goes: “Learn Filmmaking from the Pros Living it.” As such, our show will feature interviews with filmmakers and other professionals working in the TV and film industry, which means you will get insights and advice straight from the pros. What else could you ask for?

The emphasis of each interview will on the guests themselves; their journeys, their backgrounds, their successes, their failures, and more. The discussion will be your frame of reference about how the business works, which in turn should guide your filmmaking career and illuminate the obstacles ahead.

So far I have recorded seven interviews that I will be making available to you gradually in the next coming weeks. In the order of release, these are the pros I’ve spoken to so far: Jai Corria (assistant camera/DIT), Jake Katofsky (producer/screenwriter), Shenita Moore (actress/producer), David Rountree (director/producer/screenwriter), Angel Hunter (administrative assistant), Bonnie Gillespie (casting director/producer/author), and Lindsay Adams (production assistant/production coordinator).

Do you see the variety? These amazingly talented experts all come different backgrounds, and they all work in different departments of the business. By talking to them, I learned a lot about their respective careers, successes, struggles, etc. Take a listen to the upcoming interviews, and I promise you, there’s a lot to learn.

If you haven’t subscribed to our newsletter yet, I strongly recommend you do so, so that I can keep you in the loop and let you know when a new episode has been released. You may also get the chance to submit your questions to our guests, so please join our mailing list now for that amazing opportunity.

 

Our Goals and Purposes

As I mentioned in the episode itself, here are my four goals for this endeavor:

1) To teach. I love teaching, which is why I created this blog. The Podcast will allow me learn and then teach things about the business that I really didn’t know much about. Plus, even for the things I know, it’s always better to present topics and concepts as a discussion.

2) To connect. One of the best things about having a blog is the opportunity to connect with and guide  people all over the world. With a podcast, I want to increase this even further by reaching out a different audience. But more importantly, I am hoping that in some cases I will be able to connect guests and listeners to each other. Say, you live in Hollywood, and you are looking for gigs or an internship. Well, I expect that in some cases my guests may take you on board their projects. I can’t promise anything, but I can give it a shot, which is another reason to subscribe to our newsletter, as some of those opportunities will not be broadcast in the blog.

3) To explore the industry. This is a new goal the presented itself as I interviewed my first few guests. What happened was: I learned things about the industry that I didn’t know. Some of it was really nice exciting stuff. For example, when I spoke to Production Coordinator Lindsay Adams (episode 7), I was happy to learn about a 2-Day Production Assistant Bootcamp Crash Course that teaches you the skills you need to know to get a job in the industry as a PA. Priced at $250, I think a course focused like this could actually replace higher education if your goal is to get your foot in the door and climb the rungs of the business. (I have a friend who would argue that nothing replaces the university experience, and he would be right. But maybe you don’t need or want the university experience. Different means for different ends. Know thyself.)

But, on the other hand, I also learned about some frustrating situations such as when I interviewed director-producer David Rountree (episode 5), and he told me about a case in which he had to fire a sound person who, after an altercation with someone on the set, was threatening to delete the sound file he had recorded on set (that’s the audio media for the movie David was making! In other words: irreplaceable assets.)

The more I chat with people, the more I hear things that keep me on the edge of my seat. I often ask my guests about a moment of failure and what they learn from that experience. Those accounts are quite insightful, so stay tuned!

4) To get better at speaking! (That’s no joke.) Of course I can utter sounds, but truth be told, I’ve never considered myself eloquent or articulate. If you listen to the interviews, you will see that I have a long way to go. Luckily, my guests are the stars of the show, not me. In any event, the prophecy is true: the more you practice, the better you become! I think I sound better in my later episodes than I do in the early ones.

 

Listen to Our First Episode Here

This is Jai on the set of Parks and Recreation.

This is Jai on the set of Parks and Recreation.

Our first guest is Jai Corria. Jai is an Assistant Camera and Digital Imagining Technician with over a decade in the film industry. Jai has worked in big shows like Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and NBC’s Parks and Recreation. If you are ready to listen to it, click on the link below to be taken to the episode’s page:

Interview with Jai Corria, Assistant Camera/Digital Imaging Technician

 

Acknowledgements / Credits

I must thank my dear friend Guillermo Azurdia for composing the music you hear on the show. Thank you, Guillermo, for providing us with some groovy melodies for the intro, outro, and everything in between! If you want to check some of Guillermo’s other works, click here to listen to Jane Astronaut, Guillermo’s band. You can follow Guillermo on Twitter here @adude.

 

About Podcasts

Because our community spans several locations and age groups, I wanted to take a second to explain what a podcast is in case you don’t know. In a nutshell, a podcast resembles a radio show with audio episodes (MP3 files) being released online  every so often. And because this is the 21st century, this “radio show” is always live in this website and podcast directories (like iTunes or Stitcher) so you can listen to it at any time, day or night, including weekends.

Podcasting is a relatively new medium that is gaining popularity as smartphones become cheaper and the G3 or G4 internet networks become more accessible. You see, most people listen to podcasts on-the-go, usually on the way to work or school, or when doing actives that require little focus, such as folding clothes or cooking rice. You can listen to it from the computer or from your smartphones downloading an app that helps you manage all the different shows you listen to.