Rochester / Finger Lakes Film Commission

Teaching the next generation of filmmakers

15 Aug

The staff at the Rochester/Finger Lakes Film & Video Office is used to keeping a pretty low profile. We don’t take bows and we don’t look for praise. We love the job that we do and we take it very seriously.

I would like to use today’s blog post to acknowledge some of the people who have helped our office to build the regional infrastructure, particularly in the area of crew.

Earlier this year, we organized a Production Assistant Workshop. The plan was to train aspiring filmmakers on the ins and outs of being a Production Assistant. It may sound like a menial job, in fact many think of being a PA as being nothing more than a “gofer”. Let me say that many notable filmmakers got their start in the industry as a PA. (including the author of this blog, although “notable” probably doesn’t apply).

The workshop filled up immediately and it was obvious that morning during registration, that we had assembled before us a very excited and eager group.

Instructors Tiffany Staropoli, Amanda Horne DeYager, Randy Sparrazza and Karl Goldsmith (film office deputy director) gave hands on training on everything from Walkie 101 to how to fill out I-9 and W-4’s. They covered Office PA, Set PA, Art Department PA, Sound and Camera Department PA……

The list of graduates from the workshop became a very valuable resource that we were able to offer to the crew of Amazing Spiderman 2 when they brought their production to Rochester in April. As I was walking the set during the filming, I ran in to almost all of the young people who completed the workshop. They were excited to be involved on the production and we were excited for them.

So thank you instructors. Get ready because we are getting ready to do another workshop soon!