"Made in NY" PA of the Month

Shannon Olivaria

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.

Shannon Olivaria November 2, 2009 - Stumbling upon a “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program flyer in the Bronx, Shannon Olivaria knew he had come across the opportunity he was seeking. “I always wanted to work in production,” he said.

To be able to train to be a production assistant and learn about his passion seemed like an offer that was too good to be true. Olivaria knew he couldn’t pass up the opportunity and applied to the program.

“I love to be a part of the creative process,” the Brooklyn native admitted. To work on a project from its beginning stages, where it is raw and unrefined and to see it grow into a polished and completed piece of working was particularly attractive to him. A father of four, participating in the “Made in NY” PA Training program has only increased his desire to produce in the future.

The experience and knowledge he obtained through the four-week intensive program and the job placement that followed has taken him further than he could have ever expected. In the short time since graduating from Cycle 10 in 2008, Olivaria has worked on countless projects that have afforded him the opportunity to maneuver through various types of media and the versatility to “do it all” in the production field.

The progression and success that Olivaria has achieved in the past year and a half is astonishing to him. “I started off doing lock-ups and now I got a producer’s credit on a commercial,” he said.

Other productions that he has been a part of include the first season of TLC’s “Moving Up,” commercials for Nintendo and feature films like The Taking of Pelham 123, Coach and The Secret Lives of Pippa Lee. Currently Olivaria is working in the locations department for the HBO series “How to Make It in America.”

As Olivaria puts it, the “Made in NY” PA Training Program is a “blessing that is keeping me working.” The nature of production work has also presented various challenges to him such as balancing long work days and non-traditional hours with fatherhood and maintaining friendships, but it doesn’t compare to all the opportunities he has been afforded.

“One blessing that has come through the ‘Made in NY’ PA Training Program is the various contacts and networking opportunities I have been introduced to,” he said. It’s just one of the many perks from being a part of the “Made in NY” program.

Interested in learning more about the “Made in NY” PA Training Program? Click here.

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