New York City-based Joaquin Prange says he entered the film business with the full intention of being a cinematographer, but "got hooked" working as a location manager.
Top of the World
With a career that includes sterling art house indies and mega tentpole movies, Michael Lerman has seen the full horizon of the AD’s craft--and the view has never been less than incredible.
At Base Camp
In her nearly 20 years as a 2nd 2nd AD on a string of hit TV shows, Alicia Lewis has made “base camp” a safe haven in often roaring seas.
Over the last 20 years, Associate Director Dominick Tringali has been paid to see some of the most legendary moments in New York sports history.
Assistant Director Carla Bowen does what it takes to ensure a smooth production-even if it means sitting on a surfboard out in the ocean for six hours.
UPM Allegra Clegg enjoys the challenge of working on complicated films. Beneath her sunny demeanor is a keen negotiating sense.
New York Indie
As an AD in the busy production world of New York, no one gets more out of less than Doug Torres.
Late Night AD
Associate Director Kathy Fortine likens her job on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to an air traffic controller. “I have to make sure the landing gear is down, the lights are on, and the runway is clear.”
AD on the Go
New York-based Julie Bloom says her favorite part of being a 1st AD is visiting places she’s never been.
From Silents to Spielberg
If there were an Ironman award for production professionals, Moore would have won hands down. His career began in 1916 as a child actor.
Richard Cowan, a film school dropout from Vancouver, Canada, says becoming a 1st AD by the tender age of 25 was a dream come true.
2nd in Command
O’Keefe says the art of staging TV comedies has changed since she first came into the industry, in the late ’90s, when the DGA training program told recruits they would need pagers.
In a 25-yearlong career, Stage Manager Arthur Lewis has worked on live broadcasts of the Oscars, Grammys, Emmys and Olympic Games.
1st AD Josh King, whose partial resume includes movies starring Mike Myers, Jim Carrey and Eddie Murphy, says running comedy sets is rarely all fun and games.
Mayer’s devil in the details approach is never more tested than during a presidential election year, when the “circus” that is a nightly newscast hits the road for debates and conventions.
On the set of the recent USA Network miniseries, Political Animals, 1st AD Richard Coad's biggest challenge was uniting crews from a trio of production centers in the most diplomatic way.
AD in Court
Working for 15 years as an associate director on Judge Judy has definitely influenced Karen Beck. Why else would she be willing to fess up to a gaffe she made decades ago as a booth PA that even her AD never managed to solve?
Her love for spontaneous filmmaking began on the streets of her hometown Baltimore, where she worked on her first feature as a production assistant on Barry Levinson's Avalon.
That old cliché—timing is everything in the film business—rings true with 1st AD Handel Whitmore, who says he’s not sure where he might be if not for a Utah snowstorm.
Some are born to it, and others just fall in. For 1st AD Justin Muller it was the former. His grandmother was one of the first women film editors in Italy and his grandfather was head of publicity for MGM Italia.
The VFX UPM
It took a degree in television from Emerson College, a three-year internship at Entertainment Tonight, and working for free as a PA in the Roger Corman moviemaking factory before Perritano set her sights on being a unit production manager. Since then she's never looked back.
Garry Hood has spent the last three decades as the head stage manager for the biggest award shows on TV. Even Michael Jackson (while being escorted to the restroom at the Kennedy Center) asked Hood how he managed to stay so calm during a live show.
First Assistant Director Peter Kohn laughs when asked what it is with him and water. "I have spent a fair bit of time around islands," he admits.
New York State of Mind
UPM Carol Cuddy has worked to get New York City location managers recognized by the Guild and helped engage the mayor’s office when it revoked movie parking permits.
The Buddy System
Former actor Dency Nelson has been a TV stage manager for some 35 years and has worked more than two dozen Oscar telecasts.
One of Hollywood’s most sought after 1st ADs is Adam Somner, whose résumé before he even crossed the Atlantic included some of the most revered names in the British film industry.
Taking Care of Business
Kathleen McGill's early years in production accounting cleared the path for her success as a unit production manager.
In the Background
In her 15-plus years in network television, 2nd AD Suzanne Saltz has pretty much seen it all, including those bygone days of single-camera shows.
Paving the Way
As one of the first female assistant directors in Hollywood, Daisy Gerber has been called a lot of things, but studio big shot was not among them.
New York Trained
Even with career highlights like working on The French Connection, Sophie’s Choice, and Naked City, William “Bill” Gerrity says receiving the DGA’s Frank Capra Achievement Award in 1983 was his greatest moment.
Charlie Star Trek
Charles Washburn, would never have come to Hollywood if not for experiencing the same racial bias in Chicago that blacks in the industry had endured for so many years.
The first black member of the Screen Directors Guild and the second black stage manager to work in network television, Franklin was as determined as he was skilled.
Nuts and Bolts AD
Callow was among the original ADs to join the Guild in 1938 and became one of the savviest nuts and bolts production pros in the industry.
The first Mexican-American admitted to the Guild (in 1937), Day was known for his professionalism - so much so that C.B. DeMille told him he'd never do a picture without him.
New York to Hollywood
Starting out cleaning lights at Biograph Studios, Jacobson worked his way up to 1st AD with on-the-fly solutions like substituting iced tea for whiskey to keep W.C. Fields sober.
Blowing in the Wind
With one letter of reference and a British taxi, Stacey arrived in LA from England and worked his way up to AD, a profession he chose because it paid $5 more per week than DP.
UPM on the Move
"No stone left unturned" is more than a nice cliché to describe UPM Garrett Grant’s approach to his job—it’s the crazy truth.
UPM Making Magic
As Miller says, being a UPM is all about making magic—within the network budget, of course. She points to a sign in her office (from a stint on The All New Mickey Mouse Club) that reads: Anything Can Happen Day.
"I must be an adrenaline junkie," admits Julie Gelfand, "because being an associate director in live television is not for everyone."
A former theater stage manager in San Francisco, Koster - a 1st AD on Private Practice who spent time as 2nd AD on JAG - says the stage is Spanish and film is Portuguese.
The self-described “short-timer” (some General Hospital department heads have logged more than 20 years) says she’s the director’s voice and ears on the set.
2nd to None
Jennifer Truelove says she still remembers the moment when she told herself there was no way she would ever want to become an AD.
Filling in for a friend on pregnancy leave was this UPM's entry into a two-decade career working in film production.
AD With a View
As an Associate Director for The View, Naylor experiences "a huge adrenaline rush" working in live television.
Her youth spent playing competitive volleyball, Levisohn is well prepared for the teamwork necessary to stage manage live awards shows.
A veteran of Six Feet Under and True Blood, this graduate of the DGA's Assistant Director Training Program jokes she's the go-to AD for shows about death, dying, or the undead.
Adventures of an AD
After switching majors from engineering to film, this AD has fulfilled childhood dreams of chasing pirates and launching rockets.
While sitting in the audience of The Tonight Show as a 14 year-old, Rissolo's attention was captured by those behind the cameras.
A former vocalist and music major, Digilio's role as stage manager on The View gaver her an opportunity to sing with a Beatle.
Having worked as an associate director in both news and sports broadcasts, Cabral admits he still get goosebumps covering a breaking event.
Comparing his job to that of a flight attendant's, this 1st AD maintains that each film can make for a bumpy ride.
Versatile Second AD
Having worked on hit comedies such as The Office and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Gonzales credits his success to having filled a variety of roles in the industry.
UPM Animal Instincts
A lifelong animal lover, Michele considered vet school before finding her niche in talking animal films such as Dr. Doolittle 2 and the Garfield and Alvin and the Chipmunks franchises.
A veteran of Home Improvement and One Day at a Time, this 1st AD has had almost as many yucks behind the camera as when the red light went on.
Capitol News Director
Sleeping in his car before a presidential inauguration is all in a day's work for this news director.
UPM on the Range
A native of Mountainair, NM, Walpole's background in architecture and photography and his experience as a grip, editor, camera assistant, and actor made him a natural fit for UPM.
AD on the Line
As a 1st AD, Robinson sees his job as balancing the needs of the crew with the director, actors, and department heads and walk a political tightrope every single day.
Raising the Bar
Having spent the majority of her life on set, Blymyer finds herself now making the move from 2nd AD to 1st.
At the Ballpark
Twohie, a Queens native (and Mets fan), has spent seven seasons - over 525 games - as an AD for the New York Yankee broadcasts in the Bronx.
The Wilmington-based UPM says it's difficult for outsiders to resist North Carolina's laid-back atmosphere when they come down to shoot.
AD in the City
After serving as an interpreter for a Japanese bank commercial shot in New York City, Kawakami worked his way up the ranks with a little help from good timing.
A veteran of the Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and MTV Movie Awards, Williams likens her role as stage manager to that of "den mom."
As UPM for commercial director Dante Ariola, Hill compares each shoot to childbirth-you need a short memory or you wouldn't do it again.
Windy City AD
Working on tabletop food commercials and network dramas, Harris says he'd rather work with a group of infants over a tray of deli meats any day and that there's a right way to AD beer.
Local News Beat
Whether it's broadcasting a policeman's funeral with a storyteller's eye for service and glory, or covering the 2008 Democratic primary, Zucker's passion for local news shines through.
UPM on the Run
A former AD, this UPM has managed to balance her work and personal life as a mother by managing the LA units on major projects, including Sex and the City.
Working at the NFL Network's Total Access, Love is the only female coordinating director in the sports broadcasting industry.
Staging the News
A stage manager at This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Fox has 25 years of experience stage managing news, including a gig where he counted down the president.
Managing the Big Apple
A longtime 2nd AD/location manager in New York City, Raij has shut down bridges, taken on marathoners, and found a Big Apple-based substitute for Boston.
1st AD to the Rescue
Known for his laid-back rapport with the crew, the Samoan-born Porter will still dash through burning buildings or wade through farm refuse to keep the production on track.
SM With a Plan
After stage managing shows like Who Wants to Be Millionaire and The View, Bruce-Baron says his SM skills have made for an easy transition into alpaca farming.
Quiet on the Set
A second alternate on the DGA National Board, Santaballa likes to say that her job is mostly about "telling adults to be quiet" - including CBS president Les Moonves.
A former 1st AD turned UPM, Larson-Nitzsche compares her job at CBS/Paramount's Numb3rs to working in the banking industry.
Home on the Range
A former stockbroker at Merrill Lynch, Hausman calls himself a "repeat customer" for directors such as Milos Forman, Mike Nichols, Martin Scorsese, Ang Lee, and Sydney Pollack.
Though she might deem herself a "hall monitor," Renee admits the best tools she brings to her job as a 2nd 2nd AD are abundant humor and a knack for extreme multitasking.
Stage-Bound in Nashville
Sinclair, a banjo-playing fan of bluegrass and country music, compares her role as stage manager to that of a doting mother.
Lost in Hawaii
As a 2nd AD on ABC's Lost, Wainani - whose name means "beautiful water" in Hawaiian - is no stranger to challenges of the aquatic kind.
Windy City AD
Choosing filmmaking over the family restaurant, this AD helped cement Chicago's straight-shooting image on-screen in films like Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Home Alone.
Joining General Hospital as an intern straight out of college, Van Cleave worked her way through the ranks to production associate, managing the frantic pace of daytime serials.
Out of the Box
Having originally come to LA to study finance at USC, the former executive director of Chiat/Day created the Jack in the Box campaign and created a new career in directing commercials for himself.
Art of the UPM
After winning "Best Business Student" at her high school, Knutsen sought out a job that would allow her to remain creative while also fulfilling her interest in business.
Mentor of the Newsroom
Having spent 34 years at WABC in New York, Martinez, who recently received the Franklin J. Schaffner Award, enjoys bringing middle school and high school kids into the studio for a glimpse of the broadcast world.
AD to the Rescue
Working as a messenger boy at Columbia in January 1936, McWhorter attended the DGA's first public meeting at the Hollywood Athletic Club.
The Shot Known 'Round the World
Though his shot precedes him, the longtime AD, UPM, and producer gets a kick out of how his name has become standard production slang.
AD With a Plan
After moving to LA after college (a trip given to her by her parents), Green enrolled in the DGA Training Program and began building her two decade career in television.
Still Life with Food
A leading director in the advertising niche of tabletop, Blitz compares his work to still life, but on a multi-dimensional level.
As directors on Comedy Central's Mind of Mencia, Plonka handles the in-studio segments while Hammon hits the streets for single-camera sketches.
View From the Bay
The Berkeley-based Liu, a graduate of the DGA Training Program, enjoys the problem solving that comes with being an AD.
Like his boss, Scorsese's 1st AD is an avowed cinephile, mentally storing the images he comes across at MOMA, Film Forum and Lincoln Center for visual references later.
As the Wheel Turns
As a longtime employee of the iconic syndicated game show, Corwin worked his way up from stage manager to associate director, finally replacing Dick Carson as director in 1999.
New Orleans Bound
The New Orleans native built his career patiently and doggedly, working for years as a PA on local productions including The Pelican Brief and Dead Man Walking.
Mr. White Gloves
Known to Miss America contestants as "Mr. White Gloves," this stage manager compares his primary responsibility - keeping things on track and moving - to that of a 1st AD.
An Associate Director for NBC Nightly News, Farinet takes a seasoned and practical view of her role producing the nation's top-rated newscast.
The Key 2nd ADs on USA Network's Monk say that their rotation lends itself to greater individual involvement with each episode and, ultimately, a more organized show.
This Sporting Life
Ronni Fisher remembers picking up pointers from just watching legendary CBS stage manager Jimmy Wall during the US [tennis] Open. It wasn’t long before she got her shot at stage-managing, as well as assistant directing.
A Nose for News
Having spent his entire 29-year career at ABC's Chicago owned-and-operated affiliate, Jeff Kos worked his way up from the mailroom to directing the 5 and 10 pm newscasts.