Episode Seventy: The Hierarchy on Set

May 4, 2011 by  
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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: madcap1314@gmail.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.

Producing Sunflowers Website

Burbank International Film Festival

Episode Nineteen: The Script Masters

November 18, 2009 by  
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Episode19_photoIn our first episode of Season Two we talk to two heroes of pre-production: 1st AD and script supervisor. These two positions are crucial to the pre-pro phase of making a film. As we learn in this episode, the better prepared these two are for your production, the smoother the gears will run.


Episode Nineteen Guests

Elaine Gibson- 1st AD

Elaine_DriveThruA born and raised Californian, Elaine was raised in a family of photographers, painters, and writers, so her passion for the arts started early on. An adventurer since birth, Elaine has traveled the globe seeking out the new and unknown in art, which has taken her to 4 different continents. Though she spent her freshman year of college at Iona College in New York, a fateful 3-month trip to China soon landed Elaine in UCLA’s School of Film and TV. Despite studying to become a director, her constant need for a challenge and the joy of organizing choas lead her to assistant directing her peers’ films. She graduated UCLA TFT in 2005, with an award in socially conscious film making, as well as numerous films as an AD under her belt. After working for the likes of Scott Rudin and John Daly, Elaine decided her passion really lies with independent film. Elaine’s addiction to the unbridled energy of Indie sets, and the belief that working through challenges only make movies better, has time and again drawn her to the 1st AD’s seat. Elaine currently works as 1st AD and Producer on independent films.

Amy Arter- Script Supervisor

Amy_ArterAmy Arter grew up in San Diego. After studying at San Diego State University, Amy, who had always loved film but never thought there was a career in it for her, took a job in the art department on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean 2 where fate placed her work station directly behind the Script Supervisor.  After a week watching the Script Supervisor work and finding out what the job entailed, Amy was hooked.  She immediately researched the job and was lucky enough to study under veteran Script Supervisor Robert Gary.

Soon after her training, Amy started working as a Script Supervisor and has been working consistently ever since.  She has been a script supervisor on over 45 different productions in the film, tv, internet and commercial world.

Jenna Edwards- Resident Producing Advisor

Jenna_ResizedFor more information about Jenna, see the About page or click here.

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Soonami Productions