Get on Shoots & Build Your Confidence

If you’ve done our free training, you know that the fastest pathway into the industry is to volunteer on smaller shoots like student films, music videos, and indie projects. These are non-union projects which means you can get your hands on equipment and get a feel for set, build up your confidence, BEFORE you end up on paid shoots where your and everyone’s reputation is at stake. Two of our A-listers having been using what we call The 20 Shoots Method to build up their network and experience and recently ended up on the same shoot! Here’s what one of them had to say: Just wrapped a day on set as a Production Assistant! I was pretty nervous as I was waiting in my car to get started but the…

An Honest Look at an A-list Before & After

  Melissa is a mentor in our A-list Work Study Program. I wanted to get the full story of why she joined the program, what her first shoots were like, and where she is now!    Do you remember what happened for you? When you started A-list, what was your first paid shoot?   I got my first paid shoot in April 2019. I had been scrolling through Craigslist looking for any indication of shoots happening and I found one that was looking for a camera person. It was happening in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is about a 3 hour drive from where I live. I was hesitant to send a want to work email because I couldn’t really afford to put myself up in a hotel at the time, so…

How to Attract Mentors and Work

  When you’re new to the industry, you want to be, at all times, attracting opportunities. You need to attract work, relationships, and mentors that altogether will propel you from the free shoots into the paid professional world. It is on those first shoots where you’ll build the confidence and industry street-smarts that will net you those opportunities. Professionals want to help people who help themselves. Given how hectic their jobs are, they want to know they’re helping out someone who deserves and will appreciate being mentored. The question becomes how you transform into someone professionals want to take under their wing and eventually pass work to when they themselves move up into the next tier of work. Confidence will be key. Get yourself into a confident state by recalling…

How do you get people to like you?

How do you make people like you, so they want to work with you again? In our industry, it’s especially tricky. Film professionals are used to people in their lives trying to get something out of them, and this sometimes makes them wary of people they don’t know very well. Let’s establish something right away: If people like you, you are going to work a whole lot more. But in the film industry, it seems like everyone is so focused on what they have going on… it’s hard to find or create that moment to connect with them in a real way. So, in this post, I want to give you some ideas that you can try on, and see if your interactions change. Consider this… Everyone is trying to…

Ever see yourself working at Disney Animation Studios?

If your passion is drawing, you may have wondered what it would be like doing animation for a living. Last week I worked on a project where we interviewed animators creating the characters for the upcoming Tinkerbell movies.   We were lucky to get in there. Previously, no cameras were allowed inside. The Disney Toons building is a nondescript brick building, no whimsical landscaping or statues, just a plain brick ivy-covered building in Burbank, CA. Security is tight. You must have a pass to enter the building. Once you enter, you see telltale signs of Disney: the colorful walls, bright colors on the floors, everything feels cheery and energetic. When you get off the elevator, the first thing you see is a huge painting of ‘Fairy Gary’. The sign on the…

Booking the Room | How FIF methods work for new actors

At the time of this call, Allyson had only been in the program for a few months. Through getting inside and standing out as a dedicated, burgeoning professional, she made some incredible connections immediately, getting pulled onto shoots – and acting roles – by the DP of Fox’s Empire. It’s better to take the road less travelled. There are tens of thousands of actors trying to get roles right now. If you want to succeed as a new actor you could do what other actors are doing and compete for the same auditions as everyone else through the same path as everyone else. The vast majority of actors doing this get one or two roles a year at most on low, sometimes medium sized shoots. It’s extremely difficult for them…

One of the first A-listers ever!

8 years ago today, I was working on an MTV commercial as a script supervisor in Los Angeles. 9 years ago, I was living… Posted by Andrew Carlson on Wednesday, April 1, 2020   This is a post from one of the first A-listers ever!

The Correct Approach for Breaking Into Film

Isabel works as a digital producer and is a mentor in our A-list program. Digital producers are the people who decide what shows get made and coordinate both the production of media and how/when/where it’s presented. She’s worked for big companies like CNN, the BBC, and AMC. The film industry is in many ways a “who-you-know” industry. If you approach it the right way, this can be a huge benefit. It’s not about being the best right away or coming in already knowing everything about the work or the business. What you must do is get on set, get to know some key people, and learn everything you can about what they do. Show these people you have the drive to make it, because they can be mentors to you….

It’s all worth it

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” – Mario Andretti GUYS, it hit me big time on set last night. Standing there on set, filming a guy slapping his friends hands away from his french fries. (That’s filmmaking!) That’s comedy! :-) Every insecurity I had on the way up. Every job where I was shitting bricks. Every conversation where I was second guessing myself. Every moment that I had to learn something new and was DREADING it! Every time I got a call where they complained about the sound and my stomach turned. (very few of those but enough) IT’S ALL WORTH IT….

Networking Your Way Into A Career

Lately we’ve been bringing up your energy and confidence and how these things will lead to you making that critical jump from outside the industry to being on set. Once you’re on set, how will those things help you build a career? If you can get really good at networking and making relationships, you will move fast in the film industry. This is both a simple and complicated thing to do. Knowing when to ask questions, what kinds of questions to ask, when the right time is to message people for more work, all of these things will have a drastic effect on your success as you’re trying to gain mentors and higher level work. You can make this MUCH easier for yourself just by having a positive, inquisitive attitude…