Path to Producing!

Jen was invited to join the Producer’s Guild of America after working as an associate producer on Top Chef. PGA credits are a big deal; you can only get them by either earning enough credits/hours or being invited. When she found out that Top Chef was going to be filming in her area, she decided she was going to figure out how to get on that set. It’s amazing how simple the industry is when you break it down like Jen did. She saw something she wanted to vector towards, and even though on her own she couldn’t get on that set, one of her contacts with the right connections knew she was good and reached out for her. She made sure she was an asset to production, bringing the…

Path to Directing

I’ve been getting some questions recently about becoming a director, what niches to get into if someone wants to eventually vector into directing, and how to get noticed. Directing is obviously one of the most challenging (and creatively rewarding) paths in the film industry. Here’s a couple videos to get you started, but keep scrolling down to get some of the fine details ;) A network and a body of work are important to every position on set from a PA all the way up to a producer, HOWEVER, some kinds of work are more challenging to get. You’ll need a larger body of work and closer relationships with specific people. If you want to do hair & makeup, camera work, design, etc, your skill and past work can get…

Path to big budget actor?

Relationships relationships relationships. If you’ve been with us a while, you know why we’re repeating that word. The film industry runs on relationships. It is very much a who you know industry, and while that might appear on the surface to be a negative, it’s not. We want to use it to our advantage. When thinking about how actors are chosen for big budget films, the question you should ask is “who were they connected to that got them into the audition room?” Auditions for these kinds of projects are rarely posted; open auditions aren’t the way people get their break like they were in the past. Big-name actors (who weren’t initially vocalists, models, or related to other actors) have their own personal relationships in the industry and/or their agents…

Do you need any special equipment to break into the Film Industry?

The film industry is a creative industry, although many of the departments have a lot of tech and tech oriented people. Having your own equipment will eventually become a great way to increase the amount you can make from each shoot. When you’re first getting started as a production assistant, a smartphone with unlimited data will be essential and the extent of what tech you’ll need. GPS is going to be your best friend and often you’ll want to be able to look things up for the rest of the crew. Eventually you’ll start to move into one of the departments, and, broadly, most people will want to get a laptop. For camera, editors, and sound, this is a place to store and access files from and during the shoot….

Things to Consider When Starting a Podcast

Podcasts are really easy to create and can potentially be a way to earn some extra money while you’re getting established in the film industry. So, how do you start? What are the things you need to be thinking about? (Most of this applies to Youtube/Twitch as well!) In this video we’ll go over three of the most important things to keep in mind. It’s critical to be strategic when getting into something new if you plan to have it grow into something great. To get going, you need a topic that isn’t too specific or too general. If it’s too narrow, the podcast won’t be able to sustain itself because you’ll run out of episode possibilities too quickly. If it’s too broad, it’s hard to keep people engaged because…

Film Industry Jobs in Atlanta and Alabama | A-list Mentor Patrick

Currently, Atlanta is the largest film market in the world, focusing on scripted TV as well as feature films. A-list Mentor Patrick is an IATSE 479 union member there and has worked on a number of big shows in the sound department including The Walking Dead (he got to be a zombie 😃) and Stranger Things. With all the shoots happening, there are always open production jobs in Atlanta. Patrick has taken advantage of this, day playing to get on a lot of shoots and expand his network. This has helped land him work on more shows as well as feature films. Atlanta is the biggest market in the area, far busier and more developed than anything else in the region. This means that production workers from Atlanta are often…

Become In Demand and Let Work Find You

When you become in demand on set, you won’t have to expend a ton of energy looking for jobs. Instead, they’ll come looking for you. When you first start out, you’ll be getting on as many shoots as possible by any means necessary. Student films and short films will be the bulk of the early shoots you get on. During that time, learn as much as you can about every aspect of the film set from the procedures to the lingo/jargon. This will also be the time for you to start thinking about what department you want to vector toward. Even in our program, people switch between departments at some point in their career and sometimes work at high levels in more than one. For now though, pick one to…

Supply & Demand in the Film Industry | COVID Shutdown

Demand: Enough people to work three times the number of shoots that would normally be happening. Current Supply: The same number of people that were around before the COVID shutdown. What’s going to happen? First, there isn’t going to be enough people to fill top roles like department heads. This will cause a lot of people to be shifted up, vacating mid and low level positions like ACs, Wardrobe Assistants, and PAs. Coordinators and department heads are going to have to dive deep into their contacts to find people to fill all the spaces, and there are going to be more scheduling conflicts than we’ve ever seen as production companies compete for the same equipment, locations, and manpower. This is fantastic news both for complete newcomers as well as people…

Make every acting agent want to represent you | How to get an acting agent

If you’re an actor or aspiring actor and planning to make a career for yourself in a big market, you’ll eventually need to get an agent. In this video, Tamara talks about her experience with gaining representation as an actress, including some important potential pitfalls! In the acting world, networking and relationships are just as important as your acting skills. In the beginning, you’ll be getting acting experience on free shoots to get the necessary materials to make a reel and the credits to build a resume. You can then shop those to agents, agencies, and agent scouts to get represented. One way to get in front of agents and scouts is to be part of an acting showcase, where a group of actors perform scenes and monologues. If you…

What makes a good acting reel? Examples, monologue and demos

What clips belong in your demo reel? Here are some tips for aspiring actors! Of course, quality over quantity is the theme of today. You may be inclined to fill your reel with as many clips as possible to show that you have experience, but this will work against you. You don’t want your reel to be too long. Don’t dilute the best image of yourself with average clips. Use your best performances to show the strongest image of yourself as possible. On top of that, casting directors, like everyone in the film industry, are juggling a lot. They don’t have time to watch a five minute video looking for the clips they really want to see. Around one minute is best with three or four clips. They want to…