“Made in NY” PA of the Month: Jermaine Cameron
Each month we showcase an individual who participated in the "Made in NY" PA Training Program. Click
here for information on the free, month-long program developed in conjunction with Brooklyn Workforce Innovations and designed to create job opportunities for New Yorkers, connect New Yorkers with employers in the industry, and educate production assistants on how to work collaboratively with the communities in which they shoot.
June 16, 2014 - Originally from Jamaica, Jermaine Cameron moved to the Bronx when he was 15 years old. Growing up, he wondered how people got their names listed in the credits of the TV shows he watched. Ever since he graduated from Cycle 26 of the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program, it’s his name that now appears on those credits.
Jermaine Cameron, left. Photo courtesy of BWI.
Cameron was originally working in retail when he wanted to make a change in his life. He was first interested in Brooklyn Workforce Innovation’s Brooklyn Woods program, which trains unemployed and low-income New Yorkers in woodworking skills. After realizing that it wasn’t for him and remembering his earlier interest in TV shows, he thought the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program might be a better fit and applied.
Training to become a PA included visits to equipment houses, learning how to use a walkie talkie and participating in mock film shoots on location. The most important thing Cameron learned during training was to be on time. “It’s very important,” he said, noting that each day he had to contend with getting up early and commuting from the Bronx to Brooklyn where classes were held.
Since graduating, Cameron has worked on a variety of shows and events, including “Saturday Night Live,” the NFL Kickoff, the VMAs pre-show, NFL Draft and the Tony Awards. His most memorable experience happened during his work with the VMAs at the Barclays Center. While he was working as part of the locations team, escorting cars that were dropping off guests, one of the cars pulled up and Will Smith rolled down the window.
His favorite part of the job is meeting new people from all aspects of life and hearing their stories about how they got started. His friends and family are also “pretty excited” for him in his new career and want him to stay with it.
In the short term, Cameron hopes to travel more and learn about different aspects of productions. Eventually, he has plans to become a location manager or join the DGA. He’s also now in the process of obtaining his masters in human resources.
His advice for anyone interested in applying to the “Made in NY” PA Training Program is that “if you have a passion for it, go for it.” He remembered how he was scared at first because it was a month-long program and he was also working part-time, but he stuck with it, and it worked out fine for him.
“Before this, I never had a steady job,” he said. “I love it. I can go on vacation now. I just got a car.”
Interested in learning more about the “Made in NY” PA Training Program? Click
Read more about previous "Made in NY" PAs of the Month here.