Where are you from, where are you located now, and what are your ties to WV?
I was born in Charleston, WV and just recently moved to Marmet. Most of my family members are from WV.
What was your first job in film production and what was the experience like?
My first job was as one of the production assistants for Sam Holdren’s recent short film “Exceptance.” Like every first-timer, it felt challenging to be doing actual crew work for a movie, let alone a movie made in WV. I quickly adjusted when I discovered how surprisingly easy the tasks I had to do were. This included delivering the clothing, make-up kits, provisions, etc. to the designated film location. The film location, which was the Alumni Hall at WV State University, was nearby, which gave me a sigh of relief because, back then, I didn’t have a driver’s license. I had a friend, and fellow production assistant Stephen Hoffman, drive me to and from the location. Now, I do have a driver’s license and am a fully qualified driver. Future crew work won’t be a problem for me driving-wise.
What was your last job and what were you responsible for?
My last film job, which was my second, was as a production assistant for Sheridan Cleland’s upcoming sci-fi short “Transience.” Like my first job, I had to assist the cast and crew to meet their needs. This time, I was part of a fully organized team of filmmakers that had a secret rendezvous point and specific film locations that we traveled to via vans on Charleston’s East End. For most of the shoot, I had to fire watch the film equipment, hand water bottles to the cast and crew, and waft the artificial smoke.
What advice would you give someone wanting to work in the film industry?
If I were to recommend anything, I would say get as many credentials on your resume as possible. Many filmmakers like to look at people’s resumes and discover how much work they have done in the past. Some filmmakers may even hire you depending on what kind of experience you have had in a particular field. Whatever you are good at, you might want to stick to it, because chances are it may benefit you in the long run.