Join the Production Crew!
In the “Join the Production Crew” campaign, New Yorkers are encouraged to learn more about the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program, a free, full-time, five week-long training program for New Yorkers lacking opportunities in the industry. The program was developed in partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and Brooklyn Workforce Innovations, and since 2006, more than 400 “Made in NY” PAs have been certified with the skills needed for entry level jobs on sets and in production offices. “Made in NY” PAs have worked on over 2,000 productions, collectively earning more than $8 million in wages, and are advancing in their careers; some are even gaining union membership.
The campaign can be seen in subway cars and on platforms, inside buses and on bus shelters. The “Join the Production Crew” campaign features several graduates of the “Made in NY” PA Training Program, who are now thriving in their careers in the local production industry.
Alesa, "Made in NY" PA
Alesa graduated from Cycle 11 of the "Made in NY" PA Training program in summer 2008. After graduating, she worked as a locations assistant where she was the liaison between the public and the crew. One of her favorite moments as a locations assistant was when she got the opportunity to work on one of her favorite shows, NBC’s 30 Rock
. Alesa then went on to work in production management, where she fell in love with the planning and budgeting aspects of this department. Alesa was the production coordinator for several projects, and on her more recent jobs has donned the title of production manager. Some of the projects she’s worked on include: Evolve
(History), Diva Awards
(VH1), Ugly Americans
(Comedy Central), Roble & Co.
(Bravo), the 2012 Essence Music Festival
(Essence Magazine) and NY Ink
(TLC). Alesa's take on her job is: "This is one industry where your day is never boring because every show offers new challenges and experiences, and I wouldn’t change it for the world."
Drew, "Made in NY" PA
Drew was born and raised in Staten Island, where he could always be found in front of the television set. As Drew grew up, his interests became increasingly more creative – specifically in the fields of acting and directing. It wasn’t until some friends from the neighborhood started working for noted film director Spike Lee as production assistants in Brooklyn did Drew really begin to consider a career in production.
It was a few years later in 2007, that Drew discovered the "Made in NY" PA Training Program and applied, thinking it was too good to be true. Commuting two hours a day from Staten Island to get to the training in Brooklyn, Drew learned all of the essential skills needed to succeed on a film set and has been working steadily for six years since completing the program, including on a variety of shows for MTV Networks. "I still wake up, knowing that I have a 12-hour day ahead of me and am still able to smile," he said. "I truly love what I do for a living and continue to work hard on every gig. Ultimately, I would love to produce, direct, and write my own works of art. But timing is everything, and I feel there are still areas of the film business that I need to perfect before hitting the big screen. I can truly say that ‘Made in NY’ has changed my life and helped provide me with the motivation and tools to conquer my dream!"
Jen, "Made in NY" PA
Jennifer was born and raised in Brooklyn. After interning for a season with the TLC Network she made the decision to try the "Made in NY" PA training program (Cycle 15). The program ultimately opened her career into working in the film and TV industry.
Most recently, Jennifer was the locations coordinator on the new Netflix series Orange is the New Black. She has also worked as a production assistant on movies such as The Other Guys, Premium Rush, Limitless and The Smurfs Movie, among many others. Her favorite production experience was an independent film called What Maisie Knew, which released in May 2013, and stars Julianne Moore and Alexander Skarsgård. For Jen, "The crew, the directors and the cast were absolutely amazing to work with."
Ultimately, Jennifer would love to create and produce her own TV series, but in the meantime she’s enjoying the journey and experiences she’s gained along the way. Jen’s advice to those interested in starting a career in the production industry: "Working in the industry is definitely not easy. It requires a strong work ethic, willingness to work very long hours and a positive attitude. For those of you who think you have what it takes, I strongly urge you to consider the ‘Made in NY’ PA training program."
Joe, "Made in NY" PA
Joseph was born in in 1980, in Harlem, New York. As a kid his family moved around to a variety of different neighborhoods all over the City, but every Sunday, no matter where they lived, they would have family day at the movies. For Joe, "It was like a home away from home. As soon as they dimmed the lights in the theatre, I was in that world on the screen. I was living in it, vicariously through the main character. My world didn’t exist for two hours. It was then that I realized that I had a passion for storytelling."
Today, Joe helps to create those stories on the big screen and television as a key production assistant, working on noted projects, including Last Call Food Brawl on Destination America, Ink Masters on Spike TV and Worst Cooks in America on the Food Network. Being a part of the "Made in NY" PA Training Program was a huge part of making Joe’s career a reality.
Klarissa, "Made in NY" PA
Klarissa has worked on TV shows such as Gossip Girl, The Carrie Diaries, 30 Rock, A Gifted Man
, and features such as The We and the I, Now You See Me, Blood Ties, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
and Gods Behaving Badly
. Originally from Washington Heights, her best experience while working in production was on the set of a recent pilot called The Blacklist
. Dealing with a lot of moving parts and complicated production requests, Klarissa was able to assist the entire production crew and be in the middle of it all, making some seemingly impossible scenarios happen. Her ultimate goal in the film and television industry is to join the Directors Guild of America and become a successful assistant director.