Philly Film Production Bootcamp Recap

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Philadelphia has a vibrant and thriving video production community with an expanding group of extremely talented content creators and production companies. It is a creative community that Expressway Cinema Rentals is proud to be a part of and one that we are continually impressed by. That being said, it can be an intimidating and confusing industry to enter for young filmmakers. Our Production Bootcamp was conceived by Wendy Cox, an accomplished and experienced producer and longtime friend to Expressway.

For entry level filmmakers and technicians, navigating Philadelphia’s creative scene or even figuring out where to gain access can be a daunting task. Independent and Studio Feature films used to be the unofficial training ground for young industry hopefuls and college students. It was a great way to cut your teeth and an obvious route to meeting working professionals in the region. It was also the same training ground where seasoned professionals would seek out and find talented new production crew. Unfortunately, as fewer feature films have been shooting in the area, it has become even more confusing where one should even start. That was the call to action for Wendy and Expressway. The city needs more talented and knowledgeable young professionals in the industry. Inversely, aspiring filmmakers need direction and a venue to meet their future employers and learn how to prepare for entering the industry.

On March 4th, Expressway Cinema Rentals hosted Philly’s first Film Production Bootcamp, a six-hour crash course in the process, protocol and etiquette for entry level filmmakers. The event, which was sponsored by the Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA) and Philadelphia Women in Film and Television (PWIFT), was moderated by some of the area’s most experienced industry veterans, who’s passion for their respective crafts shined through as they download decades of industry knowledge onto the next generation of Philadelphia filmmakers.

Over 100 people attended the event, eager to learn all the ins and outs of the world of filmmaking. All the organizers and presenters were volunteers and we are extremely grateful for their contributions:

Wendy Cox

An experienced Producer and Production Manager who worked on some of the most iconic films of the 90’s such as Dumb and Dumber, Se7en, and American History X, filled the room with exciting set stories and first hand accounts of her experience, while breaking down the production process and introducing set terminology.

Wendy Cox Philly Film Production Boot Camp

David Raynor

Member of IATSE Local 161 and Producers Guild of America – East, whose credits include Silver Linings Playbook and Split, described in detail what his job as Production Coordinator entails and how an office operates on a major motion picture. He laid down the blueprint for how all of the production departments work together to create a film while also giving some solid advice on how to, and how not to, get hired onto a film crew.

Dave Raynor Philly Film Production Boot Camp

John Rusk

One of the most experienced and accomplished filmmaking professionals in the region and definitely the most notable Assistant Director in our local industry. He has been AD on most of the major studio features in the area and all of M. Night Shyamalan’s work. His recounting of the career he has enjoyed behind the scenes was both entertaining and eye opening.

John Rush Philly Film Production Boot Camp

Veronica Stickelman

A seasoned and kick ass reality TV producer, educated us all on the world of unscripted television. She contrasted the stark differences between scripted production and reality TV and wowed the audience with her insights into the world of reality TV. We were all enlightened as she guided the attendees through the process of creating a reality TV show.

Veronica Stickelman Philly Film Production Boot Camp

All of the presenters shared their unique perspectives on their slice of the Philadelphia film industry and were happy to pass on their knowledge to an eager audience. It is important for the community that we share our experiences and skill sets with young filmmakers so the industry can continue to grow and flourish. A huge thanks to this amazing group of people, which also includes Lauren McGarry, Monique Impagliazzo and Maria Breyman who were all extremely helpful and integral to organizing and executing this amazing event.

The attendance was better than expected and the audience reactions and participation showed us that this was an event that was sorely needed and valuable for our community. Our hope is to expand on the success of the event and hold similar versions in the future. The local industry needs an outlet where professionals can network and learn from one another, young filmmakers have an opportunity to prepare themselves properly for life in the field and industry veterans can pass on their knowledge in a way that strengthens the community. We look forward to hosting the bootcamp again and we will keep every one informed when it happens.

In the meantime, you can check out some highlights from the evening below. Enjoy!

Written By: James Madison – Owner / Producer

James Madison Expressway Cinema Rentals

James has a ton of kids and drinks a lot of coffee. When not busy sleeping, James is usually awake. He can often be spotted roller skating on Kelly Drive or pondering deep thoughts in wide open vistas. I’m not going to go as far as to say he’s the greatest blogger ever, but come on… you read that too right?