Kourtney White packed it all up, moved to L.A. and just landed a job with Apple TV. She recently shared her experiences with Jireh Jaramillo, who shares White’s story with theMEL.
“I moved to LA at the beginning of September, says White. I started off with a four-day gig helping an Amazon Prime show haul some set pieces from a warehouse. During this time, I was able to make connections and a couple of weeks later was asked back to work in the office as they finished up the show.
From there I worked on an HBO show for a bit, and soon I will be starting on another show in November for Apple TV.
I was/am an office production assistant – which is where you start if your end goal is to become a producer. Office PA’s do a lot of things – get lunches, stock crafty, make and print sides, go on runs, and a bunch of other tasks – it mostly depends on the day. Some days you might be doing pick-ups for six hours, other days you might be in the office all day. The days are long, but I absolutely love it and couldn’t see myself doing anything else.
My biggest supporter at UNW was Ann Sorenson who was my professor, advisor, and mentor. Moving to California was something I had always gone back and forth on and Ann was always there to listen and to talk through things with me. I’m so grateful for her and her wisdom and guidance!
During my time at UNW, I was able to hold leadership roles in the film department (Exec Staff for Northwestern Productions). Doing that for three years helped me to gain the confidence to talk to people and to strengthen my leadership skills and film knowledge.
…take iniative, and notice things that other people might not notice….Kourtney White
If you want to work in production, make sure that you network and make connections. If you work hard and your production coordinator or supervisor likes you, then they will probably either recommend you or help you find your next job. That’s how I’ve been able to keep getting work.
People notice when people work hard and when people take initiative. That is honestly huge. You don’t have to know everything, you just have to be willing to learn and not have to be told what to do every second. It’s second nature to me to always be working and always looking or finding something to do. If you want to work in production, work hard, take initiative, and notice things that other people might not notice (i.e. a cooler that needs to be emptied that someone just left there or printer paper that could be organized, etc.).
I spent a lot of time trying to figure out when and if I should move to California, and finally it seemed right for me to go. I didn’t have a plan or a job, all I had was an apartment. I knew that it was where I needed to go and knew that I would figure it out once I got there. I would say try whatever you want to do, I told myself if I moved out to California and didn’t like it, I could move back home, but at least I could say that I tried.
My last bit of advice would be to just try it! Don’t rush yourself or feel pressured by other people’s timelines, do what you feel like you need to do when you need to do it. It’s your life and you can move at your own pace.”