Tuesday Crew Day: RJ Haddy

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Tuesday Crew Day: RJ Haddy

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

I am from Charleston – born and raised! My entire family lives here. I’m extremely proud to be a WV native. More than anything else on my “bucket list” right now, I want to help advance film production in the state. I hope to accomplish that by filming my own feature here within the next few years. 

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

Aside from a few student films I worked on in Los Angeles, my first job was working as a “runner” at Alterian Studios for Tony Gardner. The first film I walked in the door on was “Batman and Robin.” The experience was nothing short of magical.  It was quite intense for someone to have been in Los Angeles for four months and land a dream job like that. I remember thinking, “I thought this was going to be harder.” How naïve was I?

When I graduated high school, we all got one of those little memory books that had questions about your future. One question asked, “In five years I will be . . .” - and you were expected to fill in the blank. I filled it out, tossed it the closet, and almost forgot about it. A few years after moving back to WV, I was rummaging through some junk at my parents’ home and found that book. What I had written in it made me do a double take. I had completed the sentence with, “living in Hollywood working on the next Batman movie as a special effects make-up artist.” That really says something about writing your goals down.

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

My last job was for the indie comedy/horror film, “The Night Watchmen.”  I was department head for makeup and effects and was responsible for the design, creation, and application of all the monsters in the film. While running the make-up and effects department, I was also dealing with budgeting and scheduling. The film will be out later this year.

When I shoot my own feature, I hope to use local talent both in front of and behind the camera to help showcase what West Virginia has to offer. It’s a supernatural, black comedy I’ve written called “The Family Business.” Check it out at www.facebook.com/thefamilybusinessfilm. Also, check out www.gofundme.com/RjsFamilyBusiness if you would like to help us out.

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

Always strive to do better than your last work. Always be hungry! Be willing to do whatever you’re asked to do. Don’t complain about having to stay late, and don’t act like you have better places to be. Be committed to the project, even if it’s falling apart around you! People always watch and take note if you aren’t 110% grateful to be on set doing what you are doing – if you aren’t, they will find someone else who is. Oh yeah, and learn to save your money!