The New and Improved Production Apprentice

Some of you may be new to this website, and some of you may remember what it used to be. Back in 2016, I was on a job for Disney in Singapore. I was off kilter with the time change so I was up in my hotel room updating my personal website, and this one. As I was typing away, I noticed that the light for my webcam came on. No program was accessing it at the time and I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I panicked and shut the lid of my laptop, but it was too late. Someone in my hotel (or in the surrounding area) was able to get into my computer and access both sites. Completely hacked. At the time, I didn’t have much free time to rebuild the site, so I decided it was time to hang up my hat for a while. At that time, life was getting busier and the site became a little bit of a grind. As with most business ventures, I was coerced into “making money” off of this thing and in doing so, I was pumping out articles and reviews that made me start hating this. I began this site to help people, and I truly enjoyed the first few years of pA. The hack was truly helpful. It was a cleansing of sorts.

Today as I sit here, I just went through all of the posts on the original site. I got rid of the ones that I hated and the ones that didn’t make much sense anymore. What you have before you is a rebirth of the site that I had always wanted. Tips for people getting into this industry, interviews with industry professionals, and behind-the-scenes articles of how this stuff happens in the real world. No reviews (unless I really want to tell you about something cool), no industry news or tech news (there are plenty of other great sites that do that well), and no bull shit. Just cool production related stuff about the art and craft of film making. That’s my promise moving forward. I’m sure I’ll die a broke man, but in the end, I got into this business because I want to have fun with my career. This is a place to showcase the fun that is out there in the world of film and video production. I hope you enjoy!

The beginning

Production Apprentice began as an idea that I had several years ago.  I was always coming across new interns and graduates from film school and Universities that had a good knowledge of the theories of production, but when it came to the actual hands-on work, these poor kids were inexperienced.  Of course, I’m not expecting interns to understand complex lighting design or how to deal with audio phasing issues, but I would expect them to understand how a C-stand operates or how to place a lav mic on the talent.  These little tid-bits of information were lacking.  Then I thought back to my experience in college and realized that there wasn’t enough time to go over all of this information, this was something that I picked up in the field.  Knowledge came with experience . . . or so I thought.

As I started paying more attention to this on different projects  however, it became apparent that some of these kids on the set were getting passed over for jobs because of this lack of experience.  They weren’t learning in the field like I did, they were expected to know everything as a PA.  For some reason, production companies seem to think that interns are now a cheap substitute for video professionals.  I watched as one company threw a recent graduate to the wolves on a project, only to berate him in front of the entire crew when he made mistakes.  This was painful for me to watch. I wanted to do something about it.

Economic times are tough and companies are doing what they can to cut corners.  This means inexperienced people are going to continue to be put into situations that are overwhelming.  So what can I do about it?  Well, I thought it might be a good idea to recall some of my experiences and write about some of the basics of production.


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