"Made in NY" PA of the Month

Key Soto

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.

Key Soto September 1, 2010 - Ever since high school, Key Soto knew he wanted to work in video production. For a few years, the Bronx resident worked for a catering company but knew that his passion laid elsewhere. When he found out about the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program, he applied to the program the next day. “I had to take a risk,” he said.

The risk paid off, and four years later, Soto has found success using the skills and techniques he learned through the “Made in NY” PA Training Program. “What I lacked [before the program] was interpersonal skills,” he said. “The program gave me the tools to sell myself.”

During the first two years after he graduated from Cycle 3 in spring of 2006, he worked as a PA on various commercials and feature films like I Am Legend and The Bourne Ultimatum. He was always attracted to videography so he made sure to make friends with the people in the camera departments. After those first two years, he transitioned from PA work to freelance videography and has been working in that field exclusively ever since.

Working with various companies, Soto shoots everything from high school musicals, weddings and bar mitzvahs and has also worked on documentaries and sketch comedies.

On top of that, he’s developing his own projects. Last year, he won third place at Brooklyn Workforce Innovations’ second annual “Made in NY” PA Film Festival for a music video which he wrote, directed, and performed in. Recently he shot a short film called “The Ballad,” which he made with the help of many other “Made in NY” grads and financed entirely with his own money.

“It was a great experience,” he said of the five day shoot. He’s currently in the process of finishing up post-production and getting it ready for the festival circuit, as well as looking into grants that would offset the costs of the production.

Soto’s success and his advice to future “Made in NY” PAs can be summed up in one word: perseverance. “As long as you have the will, your possibilities will increase,” he said.

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

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