Posts from Into the Industry mentorship program
Normally, as a PA I do single day commercial shoots at a rate of $150 to $200/day.
Today, I called a producer to confirm some booking dates (since she needed to nailed down which days that week we would be shooting – expecting it to be two days). She booked me for four days at $250/day! Good thing I kept that week open just in case! I’ve never worked for that much or done that long a shoot so I am really excited to show myself off and hopefully work with her more in the future! I plan on going back into the training videos just to make double and triple sure I am armed with all the best tricks and bringing my A-game attitude! WooHoo!
Before Friends in Film, I was working an 8a-7p job in Psychology. Long hours. Rewarding work, but I always knew that I was not being fulfilled and that Psychology wasn’t the route for me.
Film/TV is always where I wanted to be.
I had volunteered on a few student films, but never was able to get beyond that. I let my dream go, believing it was impossible to get into the industry. It seemed like I would never meet the right people. I believed that I wouldn’t be liked in the industry, and that I wouldn’t have a hard enough heart for it.
A month before the program, I was trying to convince myself to let that dream go.
Stumbling upon FIF, I remember the Career on Fire training being life-changing. Unlike anything I had experienced on a personal level. The lessons I was learning from that initial training alone were spot on; they spoke to where I was at in my life with so much clarity.
Throughout the mentorship program, I learned how to trust and believe in myself (as cliche as that may sound, it couldn’t be more true). I learned how to develop a stronger higher-self presence and keep my negative self-thoughts at bay.
From the mentorship program, I also learned all the techniques and different strategies that helped me go from working on student films, to working on low-budget films, to networking at events, and to where I’m at currently, which is working on commercials and now a 2-month TV show gig.
I learned how to develop a go-getter attitude and mindset which has made me standout on so many occasions and, consequently, helped lead me to more work. My mindset has completely been shifted by the program.
I’ve been on this new TV show for about a month now as an Office PA, with one more to go. And though some of the tasks can be tedious, and the days really long, I finally feel like this is where I’m supposed to be.
I’m having so much fun on set. I’m having conversations with so many fantastic people (all the way up to the Showrunner/Writer, Directors, EPs, etc.), and I even had one EP tell me I was “a blessing to this production.”
They really like me and are impressed with me on set!
Holy cow! I know that may not seem like a big thing, but to me it’s almost unreal.
To think about where I started 8 months ago, to where I’m at now, I almost don’t recognize myself!
And whenever I share a part of my story to people on set, telling them I started to really pursue film in January of this year, their response 90% of the time is “And look at you, you’re already here on a TV show… that’s a very fast turn-around!”
None of this would’ve been possible without the knowledge I learned from the program, and the right attitude I developed in order to implement those strategies.
I’m proud to say I worked really hard going through the program, truly just gave it my all, and I finished it to the end. I took very copious notes throughout (filled up my notebook!), practiced my talk-to-camera videos, watched the call videos, worked my regular job M-F, and made sure I was either on set or a networking event every single weekend. It was a long 8 months, but totally paid off in the end. And I can now officially say that the program has paid itself off with this TV show I’m on!
This dream I’ve had since I was a kid is quickly becoming a reality, and though I leave set at the end of the day exhausted, there seems to be a permanent smile on my face that I don’t think will ever go away.
So grateful to be working in the industry. :)
Before FIF, I had basically nothing. I had gotten some on set experience in college, associate produced an indie film, PA’d on everything from Webseries to commercials, and I had even interned at a production company in New York City while I studied at Tisch!
But once I graduated and applied for hundreds of internships with all the major Networks (CBS, NBC, FOX etc) nothing.
Then I tried for just ANY paid internship in my field. And eventually just anything including unpaid stuff. It was frustrating because I had all this training and no way to use it!
After FIF: I got on my first set about a month after joining. Within that month alone I worked on three different films. 3 months in and I was ONLY doing paid work.
6 months in and I was having to turn down jobs cause I was so booked up!
AND I was taking acting classes, going to Agent showcases, and so much more.
Heck, last month I recorded my VO demo in Commercials and I joined SAG in Jan with the money I made from PAing.
I didn’t have to put my acting “on hold”. I simply added on PAing and used it as a spring board to get my acting career really moving!
I work with CNN, Netflix and so many other companies!
And the people I’ve gotten to meet!!!!
So freaking cool.
And not just glancing at the celebrity, but actually introducing myself and helping them out for the day!
It’s not Ms. Crowe, would you like anything else?
It’s “Hey Sheryl! I’m doing a crafty run to bring some water and snacks over while they’re setting up this new shot can I grab you something!”
( Sheryl Crowe is super nice btw)
Thanks everybody! This is exciting. Just like Janet said, it’s like I joined FIF and now I’m on fire. This is exciting (scary) but exciting. Thanks for all the support. I love my FIF family!
I booked it! I booked the TLC gig! Omg the best moment thus far! $200 for the day! God is good!!!!! :D
Glad to got in this conversation!
I’m going to split my happenings in 2 ways like an acting and a PA/G&E/AC
1. I found mentor, who is teaching me light and camera work in a huge production studio in Manhattan, he has 25 years of experience in Industry and willing to share with me all knowledges that he has.
2. Got 5 days paid G&E gig for August.
3. Worked on short film and met producer, who was so amused by my work and ask me to meet with him to discuss my work on his 2 upcoming TV series.
4. On the same set I met DP who also said that he is pretty interested to work with me and teach me.
5. Got gig for documentary for December.
1. Wrapped on the feature with supporting role. ( Got it doing PA gig)
2. Going to start my stunt training next week.
3. Rehearse 2 plays.
P.S. Work today with this beautiful thing, calls Ronin, love it!!! Also work with Keanu Reeves double for John Wick, he is wonderful person, explained me a lot about stunt work and is just really nice to speak with!
Thank you Janet Urban for this absolutely Great, Empowering, Supportive program!!!
Just quit my day job this last week! On a new tv show called “Cassandra French’s Finishing School For Boys” as an office PA. It’s a dramedy show about dating. And I’m getting requests to help out on other shoots and referring other great PAs because I’m already booked! It’s a great feeling to be able to pay it forward :)
I’m learning a lot on this show already as we’re in pre-production currently. I get to help schedule all of the meetings, which is stressful at times, but it also means I get to mingle with a lot of above the line people on the show, which means I am learning from the pros and building rapport :) . I also get to learn about how tv shows are made, and all the work that goes into production at the office level and at the planning level for when we begin filming in 2 weeks. It’s insane! But I’m so happy to be working on this season and to have this opportunity to be in the middle of it all!
Omg Janet Urban you are absolutely right! Of course you are lol! Production industry it’s all about word of mouth!!!!
I’ve been getting so many jobs offer by referrals its crazy!
I just received these messages lol this is going to be my first time that I meet/ drive a celebrity : )
I am pretty exited and now I am doing my homework by researching a person : )
I wanted to share one of my biggest successes with you all – I got inspired watching “Finding Dory” (SPOILER ALERT – at the end I talk about the film and tie it in to what I’m saying here. It’s a Disney film, so I can’t REALLY spoil it, but yeah, here’s the warning) tonight with my coworkers when Dory, a fish with short term memory loss, finds her way back to her parents (with the help of some friends of course).
It made me realize how this Friends in Film program has given me the ability to live on my own, independent of anyone else. It’s given me the freedom to pursue my passion, and yes rely on friends and coworkers, but make my own decisions about where I live, how I live, and what I do with my life.
I’m coming up on 1 year out here in Los Angeles, and seeing how things have happened over the past year has really cemented for me that these methods and strategies Janet has been teaching work. Like, there’s no way people are not going to want you to work for them when you’re the best PA on set! And seriously, FIF members are the best PAs on the set. I’ve brought several of you peeps on to work with me on different shoots, and I know I can always count on you FIF MENTOR Alex, Kim, FIF MENTOR – Jesse :)
Even seeing where I’m at with this program is amazing. I’m sure I’m not the only mentor here who has had moments of doubt (“She really wants me to share right now? I’m soooo not the person who should be talking right now!!”), but being able to help you all break into the crazy film world is so exciting and uplifting for me, and it cancels out the doubt. Especially when I step back and realize we’re all in this together and film sets are being made better every day by Friends in Film and all of you sharing love and good vibes and being the best you can be, even if you’re not on set that day.
In the film, Dory basically “gains her independence” by pushing past her fears, using strategies she learns from others along the way, and holding on to her memories that she does have to drive her forward. It’s pretty much what we’re doing here, while also learning all the details of the film world that set us way ahead!
So thanks everybody for being amazing, wonderful people, helping me learn and grow along with you, and for doing your best every day :)
I’ll see you on set!
Just got hired for my first paid professional shoot this weekend :) I’m not even a full month into the program and have just started module 4. It’s an awesome start. This is totally possible friends!
Worked on something at Ben Kitay in Hollywood. Wish I could say what it was! But yeah the dinosaur was pretty crazy! He ate a lot of people.
I tell you Janet, you have given me that umph I’ve been looking for inside me all of these years. I’ve invested a ton of money in self help programs and entrepreneur programs over the years, but what makes this program unique is how much you care for us. How down to earth you are, our ability to talk to you as a friend and mentor. Its truly amazing. Prior to this training, I knew what I wanted to do but had no clue as to how to really get to where I want to go. Its remarkable the amount of growth I’ve had in less than 30 days. Thank you again and again.
Another day on the set :) so excited, we are shooting at a roof top with a drone :) here is Kate 2nd AC and of course me lol today I am: 3rd AC / Key-G&E / Camera truck.
This was my office today! I can’t show you the actual set because that’s all secret but you can see the street that we are shooting on and all the palm trees!
This program is the bomb .com! Today I sent out a want-to-work email and she asked for a resume. All I had to do was update it- but when I did so I had an ephiphany/perspective smackdown.
Here’s the deal: I’m currently rehearsing for my 2nd play ever which is after 8 months of auditioning the old fashioned way.
I updated my PA resume today and not only have I done a film festival in LA! But also in Denver, but now I already have 3 PA credits and a film cameo! This comes after 1 1/2 months of doing Janet’s way! Holy ballz! :)
Thanks Janet Urban !
Yep your whole life will look different in another two months!!!!!
I got to participate in a great shoot today. I worked as 1AD and slated! It was so awesome!! Yay!! This was my tenth project and my 13th shoot!! I loved every minute of it. It was soooooooo hot and that bandana trick was FANTASTIC!! I wrapped ice in it and tied it around my neck! Thanks Janet Urban !! xoxo
I’m on the 3rd month of program and I did already like a 15 sets and have a feature paid set ahead!
Have a wonderful inspired day,
I just wanted to express how magnificent I think all of you are. Today’s call was awesome. I really feel like I belong here and everyone is so cool and ambitious. I like the variety of backgrounds and geographic areas we are all from.
Janet Urban you are a great leader for us. I’m so honored to take part in this program.
Its not only a program to help us succeed in film, its a program that will help anybody succeed in life.
I love the connection we already share.
We’re all going to do great. I just know it.
Awesome call today. Met lot of new people today, Sandy Rengifo from Florida. The stunt man. I feel like I have the whole unit with me. Hope we all together can form a group and take a movie together and dedicate it to Janet Urban. Guys we have every potential to get there with help of each other and important with the guidance of Janet Urban. You all people will be my friends and mate throughout my road on this journey.
Felt like I got a new family. Janet Urban guidance was awesome. Especially positive vibe showered on FIF MENTOR Alex. And she guided the girl how to talk about the pay which is not comfortable to her. The last line. “Do what you like and what you want” This what I wanted freedom. Which is why I am switching to my passion from my profession.
Thanks a lot Janet Urban!
I’ve been so busy working that I haven’t been able to check in. I’ve been traveling all over Texas (and even to Atlanta) to shoot!
I just got booked for a 3 day shoot here in Dallas as a PA for HGTV’s Tiny House Hunters! I’m super excited because I love tiny houses, so much so that I’ve been researching and planning to build my own.
I’ve made over $15,000 since last October in the industry. It’s my full time job now and I LOVE IT!
I just got word that the Producer loved my proposal and will be paying me the monthly salary I requested! After we firm up our agreement today I will be officially employed as a Production Coordinator for the months of June, July and August and she is committed to transitioning me to onset work in August or September.
I am thrilled over the moon and back. Thanks to Janet Urban for putting this program together and filling it with her love and generosity! Thanks to all my Friends in Film. Together we are stronger! Together we can change the world.
Great call today! The concept of being strategic really made a big impression on me. Janet Urban is methodical. Her approach is very intelligent and that is why it is effective (that plus personal charm and charisma). Honestly, I think I could break into any business following this model, but the film industry is not just any business. We’re basically working to break into one of the most exclusive cliques on the planet with this thing. I will succeed not only because I am determined, but also because I have a savvy mentor and I’m willing to follow her advice. This program is worth every penny and in the not so distant future I know I’ll look back on it as THE turning point in my career and in my life!
I hope you’re all enjoying the training!! It was life-changing for me – last year at this time I was taking calls for credit card customers… And now I’m in charge of dressing picture cars, an apartment, and two movie ranches for a film, and have a staff position on a very popular TV Show that they are now talking about picking up for ANOTHER season, this one possibly in Chicago!
The best thing happened today. I got an email from a production company and they want to fly me and their crew out to Canada for a 4-5 day shoot in July!!! I’m so excited!
And I got another gig from someone I also worked with previously and also worked one more day on another miniseries!
I’ve been M.I.A. as hellllllll. Because I’ve been so busy on this new show I’m working on. I turned a 3 day job into a full time job working to the end of July by applying our FIF Methods.
It’s a scripted drama for FOX called Shots Fired and I actually auditioned for it as an actor last month, but now I’m working with their Wardrobe department, there is only 3 of us and there is so so much work to be done.
The people who were originally hired in wardrobe were all let go, I’m not sure what went down but when we came in it was all super unorganized and crazy, and it still is and will be until we clean up what they left behind. They didn’t really have a system going and we’re trying to create one that works.
This is such a great opportunity for me as an actor, the show is in a weird unorganized place right now and the producers office is very close to wardrobe and in his office there is a wall of actors head shots where I guess he decides which actor to send up to network. So my key objective is to help them get the show/my department above water again and make it onto that wall!
That being said, does anyone have any advice for working in Wardrobe/Costume? I would love to hear it!
Thanks you guys :)
I realized that this July will be my first year with FIF!
It’s amazing to think this time last summer I had just graduated and was applying to internships hoping to get anything even remotely related to film or theatre.
But I lucked out cause thats when I found FIF!
The best part is getting to say with pride that I don’t fall into the typical actor stereotypes. I’m not starving, I have flexibility to audition when I want, and if things get slow in the acting world, I’m still on set every say!
It’s less than a year and I’m working for HCO and Netflix, and Indie film in the Hamptons, and some commercials.
HCO told me to get ready for more work stuff with CNN cause it looks like their series will be green lit for another season. Which is nice cause that will be a steady 3-5 months of work that I know will be there!
I’ve got a TON of acting workshops and seminars lined up. I can now easily pay for it!
I put aside profits each week from PA ing to use for workshops, then I started getting personally invited to participate in some other ones! I even got to do a film and TV workshop with one of the CDs from ABC!
I found out last week that the other people attending had to pay just to sit on the audience and watch!
Basically I’ll be spending most of the summer either acting or PA/AC ing!
In less than a year, I went from being frustrated and worried that I made a huge mistake with acting. I started to think of back up plans, going to grad school, and honestly, I began to think the whole acting thing might not happen!
With FIF, Janet introduced me to a whole new way to approach my goals!
Suddenly it wasn’t I have to work for a few years as an unpaid intern, and then maybe someone will take an interest in me and thing will start picking up.
I skipped the “paying my dues” thing and went straight to the fun (and profitable) part!
So, just like Janet says, I’m now connected to high level professionals, making more money than I thought was ever possible, and working on the big professional shows! It all happened so fast! I love my life!
I wanted to update everyone on my film journey.
I had lots of fun filming a commercial which was an all night shoot. Later in the day, I got on FB and saw a post from a coworker about needing PA’s.
Within the hour was all set to work a paid gig the next day. It was the largest shoot I’ve ever been on as it was for an ABC miniseries with A list talent!
I was then asked to work the next day as a PA on a photoshoot for the same show ($350 for just this day alone).
Then I was asked to work the next 2 days as an office PA!
I’m finally all rested up and got asked to work a separate shoot for a different thing on Tuesday (also paid).
I’m feeling blessed beyond words and overjoyed at all the work coming my way just from responding to a FB post. Hope you’re all feeling inspired to get out there and get on shoots! :)
I did my first paid gig today! It was an outdoor shoot. I’m so grateful to be on this path in life! I’m grateful for Friends in Film and how Janet and everyone has helped me.
Also one of the guys on set asked me if I was avalaible for another gig! So I got my first referred gig today too! Wooo!
Just wrapped my first weekend as a PA on set for Boyfriend Killer! Had a blast. Hard work, times where we were crazy busy and some down time too. I felt very useful and needed while on set. I served everyone who needed anything and I was assigned to assist mainly wardrobe makeup & hair. I was responsible for extras wardrobe continuity. Parts of the shoot I was dedicated servant to the lead actor, on standby to make her feel like a queen. I think it worked! Teehee, she loved the attention! I loved everyone’s attitude 99% of the time, being on set was fun for us. Obviously when things get behind schedule or we have technical issues, tension comes in, but those were the times I tried to help make people smile. Working with Brittany M. L. from FIF for the first time was awesome! We get along great and she is good at her job as well! I will let her tell you about that and how she felt on set! ;) Here is a sneak peek picture of us on set!
I was truly inspired by Ashley Jackson on today’s call! It’s so great to see good, hard work rewarded with recognition and being in demand!
I’ve been on 6-7 sets in the 7 weeks since I began FIF, and it’s fantastic to hear stories like that since I recently dropped the day job life as well!
Girl team at Paramount!
Just wanted to check back in & share some of my recent experiences. A few weeks ago, I sent out ONLY 5 “Want to Work” emails and not even 2 days later I was on a 3 day short film shoot (which was last weekend) and I got to work with a DP who worked on “SpiderMan”, the TV show “Elementary” (CSB), & many others. I also landed a 1 day shoot w/ IMDB credit which was this past week!
In the past month, between my own production business gigs & working on the larger scale production sets, I’ve been on set multiple times a week this month! This program to me is all about EXECUTION! I’ve been taking in all of Janet’s techniques the past few months and its helped me tremendously! I’m already seeing great results and alls I’ve been doing for the most part is sending out “Want to Work” emails! So I can only image the possibilities when I start using some of Janet’s other methods, which I plan to execute throughout the summer!
I see that they are filming a feature in Wildwood, NJ called “WetLands”. Does anyone know anything about this production? I’m thinking about heading down there with my resume and business cards! Seems like good chance for me to try the “Walk On Set” Method!
YOU GUYS!!!!! I just signed a long-term contract with HGTV for the next three months! AND I get to work as a PA in the camera department! They are even giving me my OWN production vehicle to get to and from shoots!! This is so freaking cool!!!!! If you were questioning whether FIF is gonna work for you, or if Janet’s methods yield results, this is the PROOF!! I just interviewed over the phone with them and she loved that I had a all sorts of skills from so many different sets! They even offered me work on a second show for the days I was free! That’s TWO SHOWS and guaranteed work for THREE MONTHS getting PAID as a PA!! It’s all about attitude! If you come off as a fun and excited person to work with, they WILL hire you! Production Coordinators want to find those great PAs, they want to find YOU!
Just got home from the Travel Channel gig! And boy was it fun!
Very interesting seeing parts of my home state I never would’ve thought to go, and I made some long lasting friendships/connections. :-)
The producer was very impressed, said he would put me on his list, offered to write a referral letter, and pulled me to the side today to tell me “You are such a fantastic PA, one of the best we’ve had” (Hells yeeeea!) I followed everything I’ve learned from FIF so far and it worked like magic. And just like Janet said, the other PAs started following me around haha. I became the crews go to! Everyone was so taken back by my SUPERSTAR PA BACKPACK! Lololol.
One of the backpacks best clients was the still photographer (Who is super lovely and talented check out her work –> CambriaPhoto.Com) she was having the most random issues and of course my backpack had all the solutions. I even taped her pants together after they ripped! Haha!
Another thing was when the producer took me and some others out for dinner he talked about the importance of mentorship in the industry, and of course quietly in my mind I screamed THANK GOD I GOT JANET!
These guys travel all over the world for this show ugh, it’s rare but I wish they would scoop me up and take me with them to Sweden next month! How cool would that be.
I’ve been preparing all day for a super fun shoot with Travel Channel this weekend! (getting my bags packed and my supastar backpack in line)
Tomorrow we’re shooting in a swamp here on the NC Coast and I had to get some waders so my clothes stay dry in the water! Then we’re shooting wild hogs at night.
And then a shorter day Saturday getting some smaller shots and some b-roll.
Early day (5am call) Sunday at the beach where we will be getting some awesome shots of the coastline with a drone! Then heading out on the ocean on a fishing boat!
I want to let you know I will not be able to make the call on Sunday! I have been booked back to back and also have had to give away 3 jobs to other PA’s because I’m so busy!;) I’m loving myself, and my relationship of 6 years is back on track! I have FULLY opened my heart to everything and learned to truly love myself, and feel amazing and blessed! Lots of opportunities and the higher self has taken over with confidence and being humble all at the same time! You have been absolutely wonderful and such a great mentor!;)
Shooting in a parking lot on the beach in Malibu!
Yesterday I’m at Paramount studios shooting with Blake Shelton (and Gwen Stefani was there too!) and I’m wandering through our huge crew looking for the Production Manager James, and all of I sudden I hear, “JANET?! Friends in Film?!!!”
And it’s one of our principal talent, Emily, shooting with another team, we were shooting with Blake and they were shooting with Adam Levine. So, 9 cameras and we all met up at Paramount, Stage 5.
So, we jumped up and down and then the 2nd AD took our picture! ;-)
Hey, we may run into each other on set sometime soon too! Especially since you are doing the mentorship program!