"Made in NY" PA of the Month

Jennifer Santos

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.

Jennifer Santos Jennifer Santos June 2, 2010 - Jennifer Santos, who graduated from the “Made in NY” PA Training Program in July 2009, recently took some time during a break from working on the new feature film The Smurfs to tell us about what she’s learned from the program.

Q: How did you first find out about the “Made in NY” PA training program?
A: I found out about the program through a Craigslist search.

Q: What were you doing before the program?
A: I had just graduated from college and finished an unpaid internship at TLC’s “A Baby Story”. I decided to work part time doing retail while looking for work in the film industry and stumbled upon [the “Made in NY” PA Training Program].

Q: What was your experience like during the training?
A: The experience I gained helped me much more than I expected. We had to be in class every morning at 7:30am and if were even a minute late we had extra take home assignments. Late more than once and you risked getting dismissed from the program. Considering I was a person who was usually late to everything, this rule was something that really helped me prepare for work in the film industry. I really enjoyed learning the basic skills it takes to be a production assistant, like walkie jargon. But I think the best part of the program is being part of a network of people who are dedicated to helping you succeed. My cycle of classmates is like family, everyone pushing and encouraging each other to work harder and not give up.

Q: What projects have you been working on since graduating?
A: In film I’ve worked on Eat Pray Love, The Other Guys, Just Wright, Dark Fields and most recently The Smurfs movie. I have also had the opportunity to work on several commercials and day play on many TV shows.

Q: What’s your favorite part of working in films?
A: My favorite part is being able to go new places and meet new people. I love that each day is different and unpredictable.

Q: What’s it like working on The Smurfs so far?
A: It’s been great. I love the crew. It’s my first time really working in the locations department, and I’m learning new things every day.

Q: What are your career goals?
A: Ultimately I want to be a producer, but I’m open to seeing where my career takes me.

Q: What advice would you give to future “Made in NY” PAs?
A: Be prepared to work extremely long hours. If you really want to move up in this industry, then be dedicated and focused on working to the best of your ability. And most importantly, always keep a positive attitude!

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

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