Tuesday Crew Day: Preston DeFrancis

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Tuesday Crew Day: Preston DeFrancis

Where are you from, where are you located now, and what are your ties to WV?

I’m originally from Wheeling and a graduate of Wheeling Park High School, where I was a member of the State Championship-winning Speech Team and active in the school’s theater department. My parents still live in Wheeling, and I visit as often as I can! My permanent home is in Los Angeles, though I’ve spent a good bit of the last several years working outside California on various shows. I’ve worked in New Orleans, Memphis, Michigan, and I’m currently writing this from Atlanta.

What was your first job in film production and what was the experience like?

My first job out of graduate film school was working in Post-Production at HBO. I knew that getting my first entertainment industry job would be tough enough, so I tried not to be too picky in terms of working in the exact fields that I wanted to pursue, which are writing and directing. Working in Post ended up being quite educational and was a good stepping stone to other areas of HBO, which were more closely tied to my areas of interest.

What was your last job and what were you responsible for?

I’m currently the Script Coordinator on a new drama series called “Manhunt: The Unabomber” from Lionsgate Television for the Discovery Channel. I work with the head writer – he and I are the only two on-set members of the writing team. I bridge the gap between writing and production, helping to balance the artistic ambitions of the scripts with the practical realities of budget, schedule, locations, etc. I am also the director and co-writer of a horror feature called “Ruin Me” (@RuinMeMovie) that I finished earlier this year. Look for it to premiere sometime in 2017, and I hope to bring a screening to West Virginia in the near future!

What advice would you give someone wanting to work in the film industry?

No matter where you’re from, what your background is, or what your skills are, it is possible to make a living in the film industry. I was initially very hesitant to pursue filmmaking as a career because I had no personal connections to anyone even remotely connected to the film industry. And while having an “in” certainly helps, having passion and being willing to hustle are just as important. There are so many different talents that are needed to make a film, I believe anyone can find their niche.

 

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