Episode Seventy: The Hierarchy on Set
When you’re on a film set, like in any business, there is a certain structure that should be followed in order to finish your day and ultimately to finish your film. Of course on a film set, just like in any business, things don’t always go according to plan, and this is when the members of the crew need to get creative. The 1st A.D. is the eyes and ears of what goes on during principle photography and most of the decisions that are made on set go through him or her. Frank Caridi joins us to talk about the hierarchy on set, set etiquette, and who can fire who.
Frank Caridi- Film Worker
Frank started his film career in Chicago in the mid 90′s, first in industrial videos, then in the fast paced, insanely challenging indie film scene. In Chicago in the 1990′s, being an indie film worker means you are comfortable wearing several hats on set, and possibly a bartender’s apron off set. He became an integral part of a film production team headed by Christina Varotsis, and known for its resourcefulness and stretching budgets to the breaking point. That reputation landed that crew the first season of HBO’s Project Greenlight.
After a the minor notoriety and Hollywood Awakening of Project Greenlight, Frank decided to move to Los Angeles. Although he left the bartender’s apron behind, he did manage to bring both his love of rough and tumble low budget film making as well as his solid, Midwestern work ethic. The rush of overcoming the challenges of making a film happen without the comforts and resources of an ample budget became addictive, and a niche as a low budget 1st AD was found…then abandoned for the paycheck of commercial production.
After years of working in commercials in Los Angeles, Frank returned to independent production to make music videos as head of production for both Propeller Productions and then for Highway 114. Producing music videos employed the creative problem solving of indie film production, but also introduced the creative freedom that is unique to short format videos. Everything about music video production is short, including the business model of a music video production company. When Josh Tickell of the Veggie Van Organization approached Frank to build and promote a sustainable vehicle to promote the theatrical release of his film, FUEL, Frank became a builder and green engineer.
Frank’s Email Address: email@example.com
Lynda Lopez- Producer
Lynda Lopez started her career in film as a Production Designer working on student films with friends from art school where she was a Graphic Design major. She then went on to assist some very talented Production Designers on studio films while still working in various capacities on short films and indie films. Due to her fascination for all aspects of filmmaking, she has become more involved with the Production side of things working as a Director’s Assistant and Producer.
Jenna Edwards- Producer
Jenna Edwards began her film career in Minnesota where she was signed on as talent with Easter Hailey. Quickly after being signed Edwards was hired by the agency as a full time employee giving her a head-start on her Hollywood education. After two years of rising through the Minnesota film community Edwards made the move to Los Angeles.
Soon after Edwards moved to Los Angeles she was hired by agent Jamie Ferrar. It was while Edwards was working for Ferrar that she developed an interest in the casting process. Before long she had moved from talent agencies to working in casting with such industry leaders as; Sally Steiner (Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Boy Meets World), Barbie Block (Jonas, Pepper Dennis) and Allison Jones (Superbad, The Office).
During this time Edwards was also able to gain valuable production experience working with studios like Disney, MTV, FOX and CBS.
After several years of successfully navigating her career through the Hollywood studio system Edwards made the leap to independent film with her first feature April Showers and has since successfully produced 4 feature films as well as co-hosting the Film Method podcast and teaching producing classes at New York Film Academy.
After her success with April Showers Edwards formed Mattoid Entertainment with partners Jeremy McGovern and Andrew Robinson where they produced the first ever made-for-internet movie, In the Darkness, which premiered on Hulu.com. Mattoid has recently made the leap to distribution, where they have acquired three feature documentaries to be released in 2011. The first, Adopting Haiti premiered as the #1 documentary on Hulu.com.
Aside from continuing to work at Mattoid, Jenna is busy working on budgets for several independent films, producing 2 feature films and developing projects for television as well as teaching producing at New York Film Academy.