Written Case Studies

Maria M
Maria M.

Before joining Friends in Film, the journey of working in the film and entertainment industry was daunting to the point where it made me immobile. I was good at doing the homework but when it would come time to leave the house and take ACTION, I would stop short.

Friends in Film has helped me understand the power of connecting with like-minded people and DOING. I am now the social bee at all the events I can find and people see me as a DOER! I am getting work on sets as a PA and learning something new every time. And now I can’t stop taking action!

I made myself a team leader for the 48 hour film project. This action alone has opened the door for me to working on other projects by the sheer fact that I have completed something! I have befriended festival coordinators, producers, artistic directors. I’m learning proper script format and how to recognize a good script. I am also working at a talent agency which has helped me learn how to recognize when an actor is bringing it or not for an audition and what sets one talent apart from another.I have become a member of two organizations here in Chicago – IFP & Women in Film.

I started the Friends in Film program during a very chaotic time in my life. I was actively looking for something to help me grow as a person and set goals to try something new. It’s strange to say, but I feel like FIF was very therapeutic for me. It gave me the right mindset and I firmly believe that is everything. I have my bad days but taking that mindset and placing yourself in a like-minded community helps you realize that you are part of something bigger than yourself. It’s the mindset and relationships and the skills I learned to do that which have been most helpful!

Thanks, Janet!! Love from Chicago,

Maria

Anton C
Anton C.

Hey everyone,

Just got asked by Janet to share my experience in this program with you all. I have just finished the program and this is where I stand. Hope this give inspiration to new folk joining the program, old fogies like me, or people unsure if this is right for them.

Before I entered the program I was lost, full of enthusiasm, but could not find a way to break into the big budget arena that I desperately wanted to be in. It was nice seeing friends work on big productions, but I was discouraging not even getting looked at. This program completely changed the way I go about my business and the way I represent myself. I am more confident and courageous about going after jobs because of what Janet has been able to share with us over these past few months. She has a world of experience and knowledge and she is completely willing to give us all that information. Her wisdom is 100% applicable from the first day to your very last day on set!

I started the program after moving to Denver, CO. It is not the biggest film market by any means, yet I found that joining FIF after making my move actually made the transition easier. I did not know anyone in town, so many of the networking and vectoring tips that the program is based on gave me tremendous help in meeting other professionals and in finding work. Since I have been a part of this program, I have worked shows like The Bachelor, Shark Tank, NFL Network, various Reality Shows, Big budget commercials for companies like Ford and Nissan, as well as, narrative shorts and features. Even though I have had previous experience, I needed to start again as a production assistant level and move my way up. After about 6 months, I am now taking calls as an Assistant Director on features and shorts shooting in my area. Just thinking of how fast things have moved in the past few months, I truly have no idea where I would have been if it had not been this program. Ironically as I type this, I am also speaking with another FIF member about her being on board as a PA for my current production. That is what I call full-circle! This is what FIF offers!

Janet has done such an amazing job outlining steps to take in order to make it into this business. The information in the current program is well thought out, inspirational, and provides the complete “how-to” for getting noticed and for moving vertically within your field.

Thank you Janet for allowing me to find joy again in my work. Whether it is the positivity you continually spread or the constant energy you bring to each weekly session, you have touch my life in a way that is invaluable, which will forever remain with me.

Be bold. Commit to yourself. Don’t be okay with being ok!

Ashley
Ashley J.

I discovered the Friends in Film program years ago! I think it was like 2011 or 2012 when I first found out about Friends in Film.

Not going to lie, I thought it was too good to be true! On top of that, I was in college and I was not in the best place in my life. I was very frustrated and felt defeated because I thought college would just open all of these doors and college was the end goal. I don’t regret getting my degree but I bet I could have saved ALOT more money if I did this program years ago. Each year, the opportunity to join FIF will come up and I allowed self doubt to determine my decision to not join the program.

HOWEVER, when the opportunity to join this time came around, I made a decision to take a leap of faith and join the program. Let me tell you, this was one of the most empowering decisions I have ever made. I have never felt so in control of my life and destiny.

I have only been part of this program for about two months or so, but I have gained so much confidence. Most importantly, when I feel down or struggling, I can count on you (Janet!) and the bat cave to lift my spirits.

Specific examples of how the program changed my life: Oh goodness, I have sooo many! One powerful example actually JUST happened to me last week (11/ 03/15). So, I work as a receptionist/customer service associate for a PBS affiliate in Tacoma WA. Ever since I have been working there (over a year, now), I have talking to my boss about my professional development and my dreams to be an actor/producer/director. She was not taking me seriously at all until I started the FIF program! I have worked on 5 or 6 shoots now and, oddly enough, every time I would go on set as a PA, I am immediately bumped up to an extra or featured extra or an assistant. :)

Of course, every time I got PA work, I told my boss about it. Well, she met with me and explained that she saw how dedicated to my craft and she is so impressed that I am now shadowing a Producer at the station.

On top of that, I am a Producer Assistant for an upcoming project at the end of this week!

I could not believe it! This is only the beginning! I am also getting to the point where I am getting referred to projects.

I never thought I would be in the position where this program and my job would go hand in hand. I don’t plan on staying in public television forever and I know I won’t be a PA forever, but can’t lie, this is freaking sweet!

This program has changed my perspective on life. I know that is deep but its true. Before this program, I never 100% felt qualified to even call myself part of the entertainment industry.

Even after obtaining my theatre degree, I would always say “Oh I’m going to be an actor/producer/director etc”. It was self-depreciating because I didn’t have much experience.

For me, experience equals confidence. Since I didn’t have that experience, I felt like I wasn’t good enough.

But Janet, you are definitely like a big sister! You had said in one of the first videos “You are awesome!” and I was crazy enough to believe it, lol.

You made me feel like all the experience I have gained was worth its weight in gold.

Because of that, I thank you soooooo much. I feel like I can conquer ANYTHING I set my mind to because “I am awesome!”

Thanks so much, Janet! You are the absolute best.

I don’t know how I could ever repay you. You have been such a blessing in my life.

Jen J
Jen J.

Before finding FIF, I was frustrated, angry, discouraged and felt hopeless in the film community. I was frustrated my agent was not sending me out more, and felt that I was stuck in my day job. I stumbled upon the program randomly (I think by facebook) and decided to go for it.

Since joining the program, I have been able to get into the industry. I have gained confidence, relationships, networks and WORK.

I have learned so much about the industry, and learned how to involve myself without much prior experience.

I used to walk on set meek and timid, and now can walk on with confidence.

I have been able to book more work as an actress, as I have found ways to keep level headed and not intimidated. I have gained a sense of worth, confidence and found my firm stance in my calling.

I have learned how to connect and talk to Casting Directors, Producers, execs, and higher ups without being awkward or too pushy.

I have met the man of my dreams on one of my shoots, and couldn’t be happier. One specific experience that I had was when I met my boyfriend. I ended up coordinating the extras and worked alongside the DP, so I was promoted to 2nd AD!

The Producer later then also made sure that I was featured because I worked to help out the crew.

THEN later that day, the Producer came up to me and said that the Director specifically asked for me to come back the next day.

Throughout all of this, I was working alongside and coordinating with my now boyfriend, so it was a win-win for all! It was one of the most amazing experiences that I have had while on set. :)

WE are the future of the film world. I am excited to be collaborating with creatives NOW! SO exciting!!!

Amy G
Amy G.

I feel like I have a secret weapon. When people tell me how hard it is and how little work there is out there I smile because I have the ninja training to find work and get even more.

I have also gained an immense amount of confidence. Before I thought I had to be tough and mean to get anywhere–and I am not that person. So I struggled for a long time trying to figure out why I wasn’t getting anywhere.

But through the training I realize it’s the opposite. I have to be a loving, caring, helpful, thoughtful person to get ahead. And I LOVE that. That means just be who I am and work hard and I can accomplish what I want. It’s a game changer.

Isabel
Isabel C.

Before Friends in Film, I was frustrated. I knew a few friends who had actually begun to find some sort of success in the industry. I wasn’t one of them, but I knew I did just want to be “in the industry” I wanted to work on sets.

I want to be an actor, but I don’t want to wait tables, or work in retail.

I had always heard that you have to “pay your dues” and “work your way up”, but honestly I knew there had to be a better way. There are countless movies being made all around the world and people are getting paid to be there.

Since FIF, I have actually begun to see the behind the scenes. I am meeting people like me who are just starting out and also meeting people who have been working professionally for years. We are talking, building connections, and learning from each other.

With FIF, I have a place to ask questions and get advice. No one in my family does anything remotely related to the entertainment industry, and all my professors hadn’t worked for years (sometimes decades).

FIF is getting me connected to the people who are working NOW, and helping me move forward to start my career on set.

I’m starting to see how awesome my life can actually be, being able to love going to work every day.

Honestly, FIF is kind of weird. I saw this random ad on Facebook, clicked through, and registered for the Career on Fire training.

FIF isn’t all in your face advertising how it’s the best training you can get or how it was change your life. Janet isn’t about sales pitches, she’s about actually helping you get to where you’ve been dreaming you’d go.

FIF is cool because it’s very step by step in some ways.

I’m not saying it’s a perfect calendar of what to do each day, but with FIF I have a goal. I’m not jumping headfirst saying I’m going to be the next big actor! I starting out and work a little each day.

The progress is real and you can see it, but it’s not a miracle drug. If I go a few days without working on FIF stuff, I’ll start to really miss it. The way I see it, FIF is the workout that will get me into the industry and Janet is my personal trainer!

Jake T
Jake T.

My life now is headed in the right direction, with strategies that are bringing work in and making a career in the film industry happen.

Before I started FIF, I was working a full time corporate job, and had worked in the film industry a tiny bit before, but didn’t have the “Get it factor” necessary to make a career in it.

A lot of it was just not knowing who to talk to, what to talk about, or HOW to talk to people!

And now I know what kind of conversations to be having, what people care about, and how I can provide that for them and work for them.

I also now have experience that has allowed me to create a kick-ass resume (which I get complimented on a lot), and it gives me the confidence to walk into production offices and meet people that way too!

I’ve been told by so many people that they like working with me, that I’m really good, and that they want to bring me work in the future (and some of them have)!

This program has given me the tools to make a career in the film industry, but it has also given me the self-confidence to take major risks and succeed, like moving out to Los Angeles, to have conversations with people and communicate effectively and in a likable manner, and to trust that even when it gets challenging, I have ways of powering through and pulling myself back to a positive state of mind where I can accomplish everything I need to.

So yeah, this program has been totally awesome and life-changing! Thank you for creating it, and making it available for me to use to turn my life around and direct it where I want to go!

Brandon N
Brandon N.

Before discovering this program, I was wandering aimlessly trying to desperately get into what I felt was a “private club” that had no way in without knowing someone.

Since learning the lessons in the program, things have changed, I have a new reaffirmed sense of hope. I feel that things are in my control and that I can attain my dreams.

I have been invited to work on several independent films, some allowing me to gain IMDb credits as well as score some acting auditions.

I’ve learned from working “hands on” with professionals that have been doing this for years. I like that because it gives you opportunities to expand from PA work into any of the high paying jobs.

I have learned that I enjoy sound design and editing.

I have made three good friends in this group that even after a year, we still chat and encourage each other.

Brittany M R
Brittany M. R.

My life before FIF was asking people for jobs, or asking for help getting jobs. My mentality before FIF was thinking I already put enough of my time into school so I did my part; I did enough work already.

It was a terrible way of thinking and I found myself very depressed and always feeling negative about every situation in my life. I was questioning my love for the industry because things weren’t falling into place easily.

Since getting involved with FIF I’ve changed my viewpoint, I see how important it is to make connections, to help others, WANTING to help others, taking an interest in the people around you, being positive – I could go on.

I’ve purged all negativity out of life, including some friends and family members unfortunately, and in just one month’s time I’ve seen a huge improvement in myself, my self worth, and work ethic.

Professionally, I’ve received great feedback from the shoots I’ve done thus far and have been offered one contract job due to making a great impression.

I’ve been following the modules and exercises exactly and everything has been working. I can only imagine the possibilities that wait for me beyond the first month!

I think that mainly this program has taught me to take chances in order to get what I want and where I want. I’m a very shy person; I hate calling people, meeting new people, being around new people, etc. Well, I should say I HATED it.

Listening and being present on the weekly calls has helped so much. The inspiration that pours out of Janet’s mouth makes me even more hungry to be apart of this industry.

Something happened over just one month’s time, a trigger went off inside of me, and now I have no problems calling people, meeting them, acting confident about my work. I’m still nervous as hell inside, but I pull it together and make it work.

I’m still so new but looking to see how this attitude change will push me forward and get me to where I’m trying to go!

Ciara K
Ciara K.

Before discovering Friends in Film I was a little lost you could say. I knew what I wanted to do and how I wanted my life to be but had no idea how I was going to get that point. Having this unknown feeling gave me a little sense of doubt or feeling of discouragement because I had this huge goal but no set plan.

Now that I have this program, my confidence has skyrocketed. My goals feel reachable and I am so excited about the future and my career instead of nervous.

This program is a blessing to me because it is the missing piece to my plan. Before I would be so uncomfortable telling people what I wanted to do with my life because I knew they would ask how I would get there as far as becoming an actress.

Now I feel confident telling people about my plans and I actually want people to ask.

What’s exciting to me is that this program is showing me how to thrive in the film industry and be one of the best. I feel like such a professional and that’s because I AM thanks to Janet for all the knowledge and advice. I feel like I belong and I’m finally where I belong and getting connected to the right kind of people. My kind of people.

The more involved I am in the program and mingling with everyone on Yammer or even at networking events I feel such a sense of belonging. I’ve never had that feeling before as much as I do know. That is because I know this is something am in for the long haul so it feels good to finally be where I belong and can grow in the career field I desire.

I am constantly receiving new knowledge and taking that in. This program has changed my life. I could cry.

I am beyond grateful for finding this program and I do not even know where I would be or how far away from my dreams I would be without it. It is worth every penny.

I love Janet. She is such an inspiration and I will always thank her for helping me start my career.

Chad C
Chad C.

I believe that “Friends in Film” is greater than we imagine and that its effect on the industry will take on a life of its own and become generational, and I hope to be a part of it.

Furthermore, I feel as though “Friends in Film” is the answer to my prayers. See, though I have an education in film — before FIF, I had never worked professionally in the industry. And I had kind of gotten preoccupied with “real life” i.e. …available Work, Budget, Family and “friends.”

Now after finding FIF: I have realized that there is industry work available in my immediate area, that the income from working in the industry can be awesome. I can both have an “Amazing Career” in film and make friends in film that have a great deal in common with me, and develop lifelong friendships.

Briana
Briana C.

I have been in the mentorship program for 3 months and I’m so much different (in a positive way) from the way I was 3 months ago. I have so much more self-confidence, I face my fears of calling people daily, and can actually see me growing and thriving in the film industry.

Since I joined Friends in Film I look at things from a new perspective and have a more positive outlook in situations and on life. I’m a happier person. I’m working everyday to become a more social able person and my dreams are starting to become a reality.

This program has breathed life and fire back into me again. I always heard people say go after your dreams, but I didn’t know how and wasn’t getting anywhere until this program.

I am also feel like a better mom and role model too I always tell my son that he can achieve his dreams, but he always saw me struggling to achieve mine.

Now he sees me going after my dreams and becoming successful in the film industry.

Ana M S
Ana M. S.

My life before discovering Friends in Film was aimless. I knew I want to be someone and what I want to do, I just didn’t know how to get there, I didn’t see anyone close to me that actually went after their dreams and make it a reality. So I was just floating, daydreaming about what could be and not actually doing anything about it.

After finding out about Friends in Film and watching the videos, it makes sense!! I wish I would have known this years ago.

The one thing that I am so excited about is the fact that I am connected to people who are just as passionate about film as I am. I am excited about the network, this is what I needed.

I love that I can connect with someone if I don’t get something. I love that they can connect me to sites and pages where I can go and do PA jobs.

I love to see that we are all connected, learning how to make our dreams come true together. To the point where we will one day work together.

The exciting thing about this whole program is that I am learning how to listen again. My ears open up when I hear something that is helpful that will help me in every aspect of my life. Something that I am coming to understand that you have mentioned many times is to be open and curious and to ask questions, ask the why, what, how, where, when. Which is alot like being a child, except this knowledge is being directed to be experience. I have been around both types of learners, those who don’t care to learn and those who think they know everything, but neither have the courage to experience.

This program is bringing me to life. It’s making me get up in the morning and work towards my goal. Whenever a thought comes into mind that is not helpful, I always think JANET! and I am right back on track. Because when I keep you in mind, I am reminding myself that there is a goal that I need to achieve, so it helps me stay focus. I was hard in the beginning but the more I do this, the easier its becoming to create my day and not use my son as an excuse as to why I haven’t gotten anything done.

Janet thank you very much for everything that You are doing! You have no idea how grateful I am!!

Kira Z
Kira Z.

I’m finally living my dream. I’m not all the way there but it feels good to be making progress. I’ve done a little bit of indie work but the paid gigs I have gotten were for the Food Network, Hoarders and Tanked.

I started Friends in Film in February but prior to that I kind of felt lost. I was thinking about going back to school but trying to find a technical school because what I heard before was that you have to go to school to be in the industry. Which I now know is such BS!!!

I was having trouble because a lot of the schools wanted so much money down and I didn’t have it.

One day while I was on Facebook, Friends in Film came across my timeline and I was like let me check it out! From that 10 day free training I learned so much about myself and I actually had hoped that I could live my dream of working in the film industry! Because my leave wasn’t paid I had to figure out a way to come up with the money to pay for the program. When you want something bad enough you will make a way.

Prior to the program I didn’t know anything about set lingo or set etiquette. I thought that I had to pretend to be someone I wasn’t. Some of things I’ve learned was how to network. In this business you have to be able to talk to people and by me reaching out to a PA on FB I got my first paid gig Hoarders!

I also learned about volunteering for films and festivals through the program. Doing volunteer work for the Atlanta Film Festival I met some great people and learned about other workshops that would allow you to meet people in the industry and get hands on training!

All the tips and tricks about the magic list and the boomerang method a lot of people are not doing this stuff. Its great!! Also the gold nuggets about how to write an email and how to do your resume is so amazing! I didn’t know how to do any of that until FIF.

Nolan M
Nolan M.

Before Friends in Film, I felt very alone, as a filmmaker. I’ve been working on short films for the last couple of years, zero budget productions, basically. Funding everything myself, producing everything myself and it had gotten very exhausting.

When I heard of Friends in Film, I was in the middle of a crowdfunding campaign to gather the funds necessary to finish my most recent short. But it wasn’t going anywhere. I over-estimated the generosity of friends and family and I thought I could do all of the campaign marketing myself.

After watching a couple of your videos, I realized there was another way. I mean, I always knew about people working in production, starting out as a PA and then making connections and expanding their network. But after watching your videos, it seemed like a possibility.

Living in Atlanta, GA, you hear about a lot of productions in town but I had no idea about how to get my foot in the door. Now I feel like I can do it!

After watching a couple of your videos, I basically cancelled my crowdfunding campaign and decided to just get a job and fund it out of my own pocket, like I initially did to shoot the short. I feel like a weight has been lifted! I’ve also started looking for film work online and I feel more confident about getting those jobs.

I just started the program so I’m not sure all the material that you will go over but so far, I have experienced a change in my mentality. I’m more sure of myself and my talent and the potential to make great relations in the business. It’s not a matter of “if”, now it’s a matter of “when.”. Thanks!

Emily H
Emily H.

Before Friends in Film, I was at the lowest point of my life thus far. I was depressed, felt that I was no good, that there was no hope for me. I was living with my mother, and I had absolutely no money, and a job that made me feel like I was dirt. Before then, I had been attempting to start a life in Vegas, with no help, no connections, and no idea how to even begin! Once again, I felt like a total failure, because I hadn’t been trained properly. Even before then, just fresh out of college, I was still depressed, living with mom, with no idea what direction to go in, or even what motive. So, in all, I was severely depressed for over 2 years!

Then my girlfriend found Friends in Film. We had just moved out of my mom’s house and into a new one. I thought, ‘Oh, this is probably not going to help me, but eh, I’ll give it a shot’, and did the free trial. I was instantly hooked, because you, Janet, were giving little tips an hints of how to get in the business, and I hadn’t even paid yet! I had to get into the program.

Now, I’m doing what I have wanted to do since graduating college! I’m a professional SFX makeup artist; I’m confident in saying that I’m one of the more talented ones out in Atlanta, because I’m told that constantly by my colleagues!

I’m making my own schedule, I’m booked nearly every weekend, I’ve made THOUSANDS of dollars since starting, and I’m only going to make THOUSANDS more! And I’m just at the surface with indie films! I’m still doing the program, and I’m learning how to get into even BIGGER businesses, and to be honest, I already feel like I’m on the right path.

Yes! This program doesn’t only help you with jobs, but it really helps you find your best self, and more confidence. It gives you positivity and whenever you feel doubtful, you know Janet and the gang are going to be there to tell you that you’re amazing.

Matthew W
Matthew W.

Before Friends in Film I was busy building my video business but to be honest it felt like I wasn’t doing everything to succeed. I remember signing up for the Career on Fire training with some skepticism but by the end of the training my wife and I knew this was an investment. It’s been great to have a community of people who are striving for similar goals. Not only that, the training is the real deal.

Sara G
Sara G.

Before discovering Friends in Film I had been in the film industry for a few months. This was a new career path for me and I jumped in. I loved everything about the industry and knew that his was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. The only problem was that I didn’t know how to do it. This is where this program came in and really helped me to learn the industry and how to be successful in it. It taught me the steps to take and how to really get out there and make it happen.

I have so many examples of what happened to me because of what I learned. The first thing that I learned was that Chicago is a different market than other cities. We have been getting more and more things that are filming here which is making this a great city to start off in.

After 3 months in the business I received an opportunity to work in production. I was able to work in the extras casting office for a major NBC show. I started to get to know a lot of people in production on this show as well as all of the extras in the business. The importance of knowing the extras here is that most of them are looking to move up in their careers as well. By May, I had made connections with so many people and had helped them, that they were willing to help me as well.

I never would have gotten this job if not for you, Janet, and Friends in Film.

This program has impacted my life for the better. I now know what steps to take and no longer feel stuck as a bottom feeder in the industry.

It has helped me to learn exactly what to do and how to make it in the industry without taking years. I have only been in the industry for 1 year and 2 months, and feel that I have learned what should take years to accomplish. Not only that, I now have a plan. I know exactly what I need to do to make it to LA!

David L
David L.

Before FIF, I was in school trying to get a degree to get a job. I thought that was the only way.

After Friends In Film, I feel like I wasted time in school when I could be getting my experience doing it the FIF way. It’s the best way to get into the business and the quickest.

After joining the program, I’ve been getting on shoots and I’m doing what I want to do. I’m proceeding in my dreams.

I first learned that you can start out being a PA and move up to any position you want as long as you work at it.

I’ve learned most of the positions in a shoot, what their roles are and how they get to do what they do. I learned that there are union shoots and shoots that are not in unions and to be with the union is well rewarding.

This program has impacted me because I didn’t know there was a way to get into the business the FIF way. Seeing how this program works makes me feel like it’s not so scary and hard to get into the business. It’s easy as long as you apply yourself.

Also FIF has such a good connection with the people that have the same interest and passion as yourself, its such a good feeling to have a group of like-minded people and a mentor that has so much success in the business and to teach the same thing to us is such a blessing.

David B
David B.

Before Friends in Film jobs and gaining experience in the film industry didn’t come by that often because there was never any guidance or insight on how to break into the industry other than reading books on the subject or just sending resumes and business cards to jobs that you already knew a million other people were applying to.

Janet gives a lot of inside access to what people are looking for from resumes, to interviews, experience, and just how to have a great experience on set.

One big thing that also happened for me after joining Friends in Film was that it was a big confidence booster. The weekly calls gave me an inside look into the workings of a film set but they also help to put my mind at ease about not walking on to a set and not knowing what to do or where to go.

The first time I was on a big set after after starting the program I was still somewhat nervous but at least I knew what to do, where things were, and who to go to if I had questions which is something I can definitely say I didn’t get any help with from film school.

I think one of the biggest things I have to say about this program is that it gives people a way to break into the film industry without going to film school.

And from experience, it gives a more in depth look into the workings of a film set than most film schools could.

From my experience at film school, you get to learn how to light a scene, write scripts, realize who does what on a film set but they never once taught about how to start looking for a job, make connections, or gave us an inside look on how the industry works outside of a school.

So I think that has been one of the biggest impacts on me from this program is that you get the chance and experience to make it on a professional film set which is something that my school never spent any time talking about.

Danielle A
Danielle A.

Before FIF I was working a job I really hated while trying to figure out what I wanted to do in life. The problem was I already knew what I wanted to do. I’ve known I wanted to act since 3rd grade. It was a passion that I pursued through school, however somewhere along the way I let all the negative things people said get to me.

The moment I told someone I wanted to act they would say things like, “You and everyone else,” or, “Good luck, you’ll need it. It probably won’t happen.”

I had convinced myself acting wasn’t the way to go. I was trying to choose another path I wasn’t passionate about and that wasn’t fulfilling.

Now that I have been through the FIF program I have not only learned a lot about the film industry, I have learned so much about myself. I feel immensely positive that I have the skills and knowledge to be successful anywhere I choose to go. I see myself as a go getter and it’s not as scary anymore.

I know I have my FIF family on my side encouraging me to keep going if ever my mind starts letting those negative thoughts in again.

The most exciting thing that has happened thus far is being a part of the Mythbusters crew. I couldn’t imagine in my wildest dreams that I would be a part of putting together a show that I had watched back in the day.

FIF has made a huge impact on my life! I now know that I have found my calling in life. The feeling I have after leaving the set is almost indescribable. I know that this is where I am supposed to be.

I love how I am able to help out and be creative and work together with such creative people. I am glad that almost a year later I have so much experience and that my career has really taken off.

Tatiana M
Tatiana M.

Before Friends in Film I was working a job that I had been in for almost 6 years. It was eating away at my soul, because eventually, it became a job that had a poisonous environment. I knew I had to do something different. I made a CHOICE to take a risk and to really pursue my dream. So I did, well kind of.

I had graduated from film school and had the knowledge but not a lot of experience. I felt out of date and out of the loop.

How do you get into the industry when you need experience to get your foot in the door?

How do I connect with professionals?

I had all these questions circulating my brain over and over again. It was a nagging; almost a button being pushed saying, “YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING”. It was on repeat and all it did was create anxiety, fear, and I felt lost. I kept strong by writing a script, and kept sane-but knew I wanted MORE, and that something needed to change.

A year after I made my big leap, I found Friends and Film on Facebook. I was soo curious about it; interested. Could this be helpful?

Is this for real?

Is it for me?

I mean I graduated from FILM SCHOOL. I knew what I wanted to be, a Director. I knew I didn’t want to PA because I had “passed that stage already”.

Last thing I need is to get scammed! I listened to Janet for the first time and felt a sense of calmness, I Liked her! She made me laugh, was knowledgeable, and seemed legit.

The deal breaker for me was when Janet asked the question of looking into the future of 5, 10, 20 years ahead and to imagine all of the MISSED opportunities because of fear. I was literally in tears. I knew she was right. I thought I knew everything, but I didn’t. I had experienced life like how you had to in order to tell stories. I followed society’s “rules” and thought I did everything the right way by going to College (film school) after High School. I played the role of a Director, have won awards in film festivals, but that wasn’t enough.

That was not going to give me continuous work, that is not GET IT FACTOR.

I knew it was FEAR of the unknown, fear of failure, and fear of facing myself because I wasn’t perfect and I didn’t know it all. I needed “significance” and before Friends in Film; certainty. I felt it in my soul that I was missing something; I wanted to grow. I knew I had to join.

I had absolutely no idea what I was about to learn, and HOW MUCH I’ve grown in 5 months than I have in 5 years at the same job! Yikes!

I love that this program is not JUST about the film industry. Its about learning how to take control of your life, happiness with your higher self, control of your thoughts, feelings (yes, even the negative energy we all can have) and emotions.

Staying positive, and focusing on your strengths along with focusing on love and support for others.

It’s about learning to free yourself and be yourself. Knowing that it’s OK to make mistakes because we are all learning, but to learn from your mistakes and know what to do for the next time!

I see the world through different eyes. I do feel as if I am going thru a transformation of some sort; evolution or metamorphosis if you will.

Specific examples are simple. I’m a much happier person, self confidence is rising, I’m learning about myself and how to take charge of my life and career; and just growing up as a whole.

I’ve met wonderful people in the industry so far, including idols (the Backstreet Boys) that I have wanted to work with.

Another wonderful thing is being told I “am the ray of light on set”. I have also been told that “I am their favorite person on set”. That makes me feel wonderful and just overall accomplished. I know that I am being myself and doing things from the heart-and people can see and/or feel that.

Friends in Film has really been an eye opener in all of the departments of life that makes us well…us: personal life, psychology as well as the logistics of film making (the step-by-step training of what to actually do for each situation you come across in the industry, how to be prepared, PA backpack, how to deal and accept your anxiety/yourself, how to ask empowering questions, etc ).

These are secret weapons for LIFE, not just the film set! Learning how to conquer fear, always having a level 10 experience, using my anxiety by deciding to accept myself and move along anyway, being vulnerable and not being afraid to act like a fool, and understanding that on the path to mastery, everything will go wrong.

Understanding that “Luck favors the prepared and persistent, and very few are successful right away”. Internalizing these ideologies is how one becomes successful!