"Made in NY" PA of the Month

Stan Leung

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.

Stan Leung
Stan Leung has worked on various projects since becoming a "Made in NY" PA in 2012. Photo courtesy of Stan Leung.

July 1, 2013 - Stan Leung, from Gravesend, Brooklyn, wanted to work in entertainment, but it wasn’t until he learned about the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program was he able to turn that ambition into reality. He shares what it’s like to a “Made in NY” PA a year after graduating.

What were you doing before you began the program? What was your life like?
Prior to the "Made in NY" I worked at a computer store Monday through Friday, for 40 hours a week. My life was average. I had weekends off, plenty of sleep, but I wasn't happy with my job.

What was your experience like during the training?
It was fun, educational, inspiring and fast. I met a bunch of great people, learned a lot about myself and the entertainment industry. The program is over before you know it.

What projects have you worked on since graduation? What are you currently working on?
I worked on Food Network's “Sweet Genius,” ABC’s “666 Park Ave,” TLC’s “BBQ Pitmasters.” I just finished a movie called Birdman, and I'm currently working on a HBO film called The Normal Heart.

How has your life changed since the program?
Since the program my schedule has been extremely busy. I work about 70 hours a week, and I absolutely love it. Like any human, I do get tired, but I'm having fun also which makes work feel a little less like work.

What do your family and friends think about your new career?
My family and friends think I'm crazy because of the hours I do, but they know I'm happy so they’re happy for me.

Describe your experience of the industry thus far. What is your favorite part of working in production, and what challenges have you faced since entering the field?
My favorite part about working in production is the fact that every day is different from the last. I get paid to travel, meet a lot of different people and make movies. As for challenges? Waking up every day to work 15+ hours with 5 hours of sleep is one of them. The biggest challenge is trying to keep everybody happy, which is close to impossible. There's always someone who is miserable. I learned to stay true to myself, have fun and not let that negative energy get to me.

What are your career goals, both short- and long-term?
My short term career goals are to keep getting work and move up the ranks in the location department. My long term goals are to become a location manager and/or producer, buy my mother a house and provide for my family.

Do you have any advice for other “Made in NY” PAs or people who might be interested in the program?
If you're going to work in production, understand that it will take up most of your time. Be mentally prepared to work over 12 hours a day. Purchase really comfortable pair of shoes and waterproof gear. Stay positive and try to not stress yourself out. At the end of the day, everything usually works out.

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

Read more about previous "Made in NY" PAs of the Month here.

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