• Friday, January 03, 2020 2:37 PM | Jaymie Macek (Administrator)

      Article By: Maria Shamkalian
    PAFIA Vice-Chair

    Brian Anthony Wilson began his film career with the Supporting Lead role of 'Woody' in Kevin Costner's 1997 film, "The Postman". Since then, he has appeared in over 160 Film/TV Projects. Selected credits include : Ocean's 8, Glass, How To Get Girls, Creed, Limitless, Title VII, 6 Souls, Crooked & Narrow, Keeping The Faith / Mare of Easttown (HBO), Dispatches From Elsewhere (AMC), Wu-Tang: An American Saga (Hulu), Siren (FreeForm), Bull (CBS), Bloodline (Netflix), Gotham (Fox), Broad City (Comedy Central), Blue Bloods (CBS), Law & Order : SVU (NBC), The Sopranos & The Wire (HBO).

    Recent Theatre: Looking Over The President's Shoulder (one-man show @ Act II Playhouse), King Lear (SCP), Gem Of The Ocean * Barrymore Award * (Arden Theatre), Thurgood (One man show @ Olney Theatre Center) & Fences (J.A.G. Prod., VT).

    What is your most recent success and how did you accomplish it?
    My most recent success was getting to portray 'Eddie, the EMT', in a scene opposite the amazing & gracious Kate Winslet, in the locally shot HBO, mini-series, "Mare Of Easttown". Ms. Winslet is in my top 5 favorite Actors, what a thrill!

    How did you get started in the film industry?
    I got started in the film industry with a Supporting Lead role in the epic post apocalyptic Film, "The Postman", with Oscar winning Director, Kevin Costner, in 1997. I auditioned, with the help of Mike Lemon, via VHS tape (2 scenes, 6 lines), which I sent, via FedEx, out to L.A. On the strength of that tape, the Producers flew me out to their Production Office, on location in Tucson, AZ, to meet with Mr. Costner. I was told, "if he likes you, be prepared to stay for 10 days of rehearsal, if not, you'll be on the next flight back to Philadelphia". Mr. Costner was out scouting locations, so was l lead to a room to await his arrival. I walked through a doorway, that had '222' above it, which i took as a good omen, as my Bday is February 22nd. I met with Mr. Costner, discussing the script (which i read on the flight out) and the film/his expectations. When asked, I explained i had no film/T.V. experience, only 10+ years of Theatre training/performing in plays. We spoke for about 16 minutes, after which, he offered me the role of 'Woody'. I was thrilled, to say the least! I was not in S.A.G. at the time but was given a 'Taft-Hartley' waiver to work on the film. In all, i spent 5 & 1/2 weeks, rehearsing & filming the Movie. Shooting on picturesque locations in Tucson, AZ & Bend, OR. It was a Life defining experience.

    Why do you choose to work in PA and what do you love the most about working in Pennsylvania?
    I 'choose' to work in PA (born & raised in Philly but have been living in South Jersey since 2004) because the vast majority of my Family is here, including my Wife, who is a Professor in Philly, my kid & my Mommy, who still lives in Mt. Airy. I love working here because of the proximity of my Family and also because, i'm a bit of a 'known entity' here. whereas in L.A. or NYC, i'm a 'who the heck is he?', actor :).

    What are some of your favorite shooting locations in Pennsylvania?
    Favorite shooting locations? Shooting at City Hall for my two, quick scenes in "Law Abiding Citizen" (opposite Gerald Butler & Jamie Foxx) was pretty cool! Also, I love the rural Pennsylvania locations of several M. Night films I've been honored to work on, like "The Happening" & "Glass", lots of greenery & cows.

    What do you love the most about your job?
    As my first NY Agent told me, after shooting "The Postman", "You're Immortal baby!". I am Blessed to do a ton of Theatre but once the show closes, that's it; all the blood, sweat & tears you poured out onstage is gone, forever. But with Film/T.V. projects, you can revisit your work (which can sometimes be a bittersweet thing) as long as the medium of Film & T.V., exists. Also, I LOVE the nuance & subtlety of doing Film, where you can do so much, with the lift of an eyebrow or turn of the head, as opposed to Theatre, where you have to 'reach the audience member sitting in the back row', you have to be a lot 'bigger'!

    What is your most memorable, most awkward, or funniest on set story?
    Most awkward was when I shot "Keeping The Faith", directed by (and starring) the amazing & gracious, Edward Norton. There was a scene where my character has to 'close line', the the other leading actor, Ben Stiller. I rehearsed the scene with the stunt coordinator for around a half hour and all went well (I had stage combat training and was confident in my ability) but when it came time to shoot the scene, Mr. Stiller told me, "I don't want you touch me" (or words to that effect). Then after a few takes, Mr. Stiller complained that the move felt false and my 'arm recoil' was not true. Of course, it didn't help the action because he didn't want me to make contact with him. I was perplexed, because he's a big Star and I'm a nobody. I tried my best but if you watch the film, you can see that I actually do not make contact with him. Such is the Biz.

    Do you have any upcoming Pennsylvania-based projects?
    Upcoming Projects include, a small recurring role on the (wonderful) Jason Segel helmed, AMC T.V. series, "Dispatches From Elsewhere"; a supporting Lead role as a Police Chief, in the indie thriller, "Shimmer"; a Lead role in an indie Horror Film, "Room 9" (recently acquired by Lionsgate) ;  a supporting Lead role as a Psychiatrist in the Jillian Bullock helmed psychological thriller, "A Cup Full Of Crazy" (filming in Philly in May) and a Lead role as a Police Captain, hell bent on Justice & revenge, in a new T.V. Pilot, "D.O.P.E Unit", by PhilaDream Films, shooting in Philly in 2020. Whew!

    PAFIA has been working hard on increasing the film tax credit in Pennsylvania and bringing more film work to our local crew and talent, but we must all unite to really make a difference. What can you tell our elected officials about the importance of PA film industry and the difference it has made in your life?
    I honestly think its a bit a 'no-brainer' because of the VAST amount of 'return on investment' that happens when these Film/T.V. Projects shoot here. They spend BIG Bucks, housing actors, producers & crew; feeding them, buying props/costume, all LOCALLY! Its made a difference in my life by allowing to work on a number of Hollywood Films, opposite a few Oscar winning Artists, right here, in my hometown, without flying out to L.A.!

    What is your advice for the aspiring actors and filmmakers? Some steps to take? Some mistakes to avoid?
    My advice to aspiring actors and filmmakers? Learn your craft! Take classes, do student films, write your own content, don't sit & wait for 'the Business' to come to you. If you make (or act in or produce) a compelling product, guess what, they'll come to YOU! The Industry is thirsty for new Content, especially with SO many different venues (Apple TV+, Hulu, Netflix, etc). Learn/practice your craft whenever you get an opportunity, even if its just a reading or a table read (I've been cast from both!). Don't just go see the Blockbusters, go see/support and learn from indie films (even ones with sub-titles) and go to LIVE Theatre. Study with different people and ask questions when you get on set. And of course LIVE LIFE and observe people & the human condition.

    What are some good strategies to find more gigs?
    Networking. Networking & Networking! And the 'usual suspects' : Actors Access, Backstage.com, Castingnetworks.com, Film.org & more! Google auditions. 

    What are some of the most valuable lessons that you have learned about this industry and wish you knew earlier?
    Be professional, on time and courteous/respectful to all around you (but my Daddy taught me that years ago!). Research who you're going to be auditioning for/working with, tons of info on the web and knowledge is Power! Also, know your worth and don't compromise your ethics, go with your gut instincts. Sometimes, saying "No, thank you", can be a good thing.

    What is your favorite film shot in Pennsylvania?
    Favorite Film shot in PA?  "Crooked and Narrow" ; a gritty, superbly written, acted & directed (by Neal Dhand) indie film, its also a lovely homage to Philly. My first scene was shot in front of the Rizzo mural in South Philly! Its available on Amazon Prime.

    What is your favorite project that you worked on?
    Favorite Project I worked on? "99% Sure", a wonderful little "Rom-Com', with wit, substance, heart and a stellar cast/crew!

    What is your biggest aspiration in this industry?
    My biggest aspiration? A Series Regular role on a long running and well written show. I'm past ready and my skill set is honed to do great work!

    What would be the best way for our local PA cast and crew to submit to your upcoming projects? 
    Probably Film.org or scouring Facebook and reaching out directly, if we're linked on any media platforms.

  • Friday, December 27, 2019 11:00 AM | Jaymie Macek (Administrator)

      Article By: Maria Shamkalian
    PAFIA Vice-Chair

    Marcus A. Siler is an actor and director who is a proud graduate of East Stroudsburg University with a degree in Theatre. As a Philly native, he started his professional acting career as a preteen with a traveling theatre company based out of Philadelphia. He is the Owner and Director of Theatre and Me, and through his company, Marcus has produced/directed 2 feature films (The Bully, and You Matter To Me) that were seen in 5 film festivals winning 1 award, 1 film-documentary (BEaUTY) that was seen in 5 film festivals winning 2 awards, 2 short films (I See Jesus, and The Invitation) that were seen in 3 film festivals. Marcus is also in production of his company’s first TV/Web Series, “Water Helps The Blood Run.” As an actor, Marcus has starred/co-starred in episodes of the ID channel shows The Mind of A Murderer and A Crime to Remember, as well other shows and films such as Lucifer’s Bride trilogy, 100 Frogs and I See Jesus.

    What is your most recent success and how did you accomplish it?
    I auditioned for a pilot for a VH1 and got one of the lead roles for the reenactment show, hoping that it gets picked up. My last film “The Invitation” was a finalist for a Cammy award.

    How did you get started in the film industry?
    I started with theatre as a preteen and went to college to study Theatre, obtaining my degree in 2001. I did my first TV/Film job after I graduated with a role in a Septa/Phillies commercial. I directed my first film, “The Bully”, back in 2013 when I started my company Theatre and Me.

    Why do you choose to work in PA and what do you love the most about working in Pennsylvania?
    I love the atmosphere in the PA filming region. The scenery and landscape are second to none. PA has so many locations that you can use to make it feel/look like you are in multiple parts of the world. There is so much talent in PA that you don’t have to go anywhere else to find what you need in terms of cast and crew.

    What are some of your favorite shooting locations in Pennsylvania?
    I love the surrounding area of University City/West Philly and Center City. I have found memories filming scenes in these two areas. I’ve also had the great opportunity to film in the Pocono area. It was so very aesthetically pleasing.

    What do you love the most about your job?
    I love that I get the chance to use my creativity to the fullest and challenge it every day. I also love that I get the chance to inspire people with my work.

    What is your most memorable, most awkward, or funniest on set story?
    My funniest/awkward moment… I was filming my first feature film, “The Bully”, and we went out to film one day and the forecast indicated light snow flurries. By the time we were halfway through filming it was a small blizzard. It was so bad that we had to push each other’s cars out of the driveway at the end of filming. Despite the drastic change in forecast, we were able to exercise our creativity and complete our film day by changing some of the scenes to fit the weather.

    Do you have any upcoming Pennsylvania-based projects?
    I am directing and co-starring in my company’s first TV/Web Series being shot in PA called “Water Helps The Blood Run”. It streams online at
    www.YouTube.com/TheatreandMeEntertainment starting on Christmas Eve, and on Philly regional cable, PCAM channel, Comcast 66 and Fios 29

    PAFIA has been working hard on increasing the film tax credit in Pennsylvania and bringing more film work to our local crew and talent, but we must all unite to really make a difference. What can you tell our elected officials about the importance of PA film industry and the difference it has made in your life?
    Without the film tax credit in PA, many talented crew members and actors won’t have jobs. To be able to compete with other cities to get some of the big grossing films that would bring more revenue to our area businesses and state, we need the film tax credit. This will also assist in a lot of our residents having opportunities at employment, bringing thousands of jobs to our area.

    What is your advice for the aspiring actors and filmmakers? Some steps to take? Some mistakes to avoid?
    Don’t be stop by Nos. You are going to hear a lot of no in this business when applying/auditioning for jobs, but you can’t allow that to stop you. Keep pushing forward and believing in yourself. If you really want this, keep striving for it no matter how much time passes. Some of our greatest actors/filmmakers didn’t get their big break until later in their lives. Believe. Practice, network and promote yourself, and practice more. Remember you are valuable, be the best you can be, and you will stand out. Plus, keep a “good” team around you. People that will give you constructive feedback and be there for you will help make your wins and losses much better. One of the best steps in PA to take, because of the many universities that we have, is work on student projects to get experience and build your craft. Don’t be afraid to take chances and put yourself out there.

    What are some good strategies to find more gigs?
    First, continue practicing and sharpening your skills by taking classes/workshops with some of the talented instructors in the state. There a several reputable casting directors in the area that allow you to register with them. Do so. This can help you get your foot in the door.

    What are some of the most valuable lessons that you have learned about this industry and wish you knew earlier?
    Be true to yourself in this industry. You don’t have to be like everyone else to make a career in this industry. This industry is about reinventing every day. Go out, and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and show you. Building a good team around you can help you go the extra mile each day.

    What is your favorite film shot in Pennsylvania?
    My favorite film series shot in PA is the Rocky series that embodies the strength of our region. I’ve been hoping to get a chance to be a part of the next stage of the series, Creed.

    What is your favorite project that you worked on?
    The Bully. This was my first feature film that I wrote and directed here in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was the start of my film directing career in PA.

    What is your biggest aspiration in this industry?
    As a director I would love and look forward to the opportunity to direct a big budget film. I would love to redo my favorite film of all time, “The Neverending Story.” As an actor I look forward to getting my chance to be on a major sitcom and star in a film that would film in my home town of Philadelphia, PA.

    What would be the best way for our local PA cast and crew to submit to your upcoming projects?
    Anyone who is interested can go to
    www.TheatreandMe.com to contact me or email us at TheatreandMeLLC@gmail.com for crew and TheatreandMeCasting@gmail.com for casting opportunities.

  • Thursday, December 26, 2019 10:59 AM | Jaymie Macek (Administrator)

    Article By: Amelia Addor
    PAFIA Writer

    Imagine you’ve rented a high-rise apartment for four weeks to live in. You just dragged three bags of luggage from the train station to your AirBnB, through a lobby, inside and out of the elevator, and down a long hall. You’re exhausted and ready to relax after a long day. And the first thing you walk into is an apartment with no directions on how to use the facilities. Or worse, there are so many directions taped to the apartment walls that you don’t know what color the wallpaper is. Enter Coral, a Philadelphia-based company that was created to make AirBnB your second choice.

    Long-term travel isn’t easy for anyone, especially not a high-profile client or busy business-person. Ken Myers, the fresh-faced and cheerful Co-founder & President of Coral described it best by citing his own experiences living and working in Germany.

    “I was on the road a lot. Four to five days a week traveling from country to country­: France, England, all over Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Italy. So I was living in a hotel four or five days a week using different hotel brands, so I was experiencing … what it was like to be an extended traveler on the road, and to have hotels be an extension of your apartment-living experience.”

    As anybody who has traveled using AirBnB, hotel, or a hostel knows, walking into a room covered in an array of color-coded post-its is not an ideal situation. And those issues magnify when you are living with a highly demanding schedule. Andrew Carlone of Philadelphia found a solution and in 2015, Coral was created. Coral began as a digital guidebook meant to eliminate the clunky paper guidebooks found in rental units to be made available to guests as a download. And this was just the beginning for Coral. Once Ken Myers came along, things headed into new and rewarding territory.

    With his personal experience, Ken helped shift Coral into an experience unlike any other. He and Andrew met through a common business mentor. Together, they melded and molded Coral away from a software business model, heading towards something he described as “next generation luxury accommodations provider”. Imagine a five-star hotel with personalized amenities, tailored local experiences, and ready-to-use facilities fit for a celebrity, which was their goal all along.

    These rentals managed by Ken and Andrew cater specifically to high profile clients in the film and television production industry and can be found in Philadelphia, PA. But Ken believes it’s only a matter of time and planning before they expand their scope to the rest of Pennsylvania. Coral has set its sights on expanding into Pittsburgh thanks to its growing popularity with television and movie productions. Actors, actresses, and entertainers are beginning to realize the potential Pennsylvania has for becoming a television and film industry hot-spot.

    With the help of PAFIA (Pennsylvania Film Industry Association) who actively supports and promotes the Film Tax Credit (FTC), the film industry has been making its way into the Keystone State since the FTC was signed into law in 2007. Pennsylvania offers a 25% tax credit to film and television productions that spend at least 60% of their total budget in Pennsylvania. The FTC has brought over 155 feature productions to the Keystone State, with over six of them happening this year.

    The interview continued with questions about advocating for the FTC in Pennsylvania’s capital, Harrisburg with other PAFIA members. Ken Myers has consistently recognized the positive impact on many people’s lives throughout Pennsylvania with this growth in media-based economy.

    “Andrew and I have benefited directly from the film and television production industry as a business and we’ve realized the direct, positive impact of the industry’s introduction not only on the state but local business owners who have nothing to do with production itself. For Coral it’s quite clear: we’ve seen our revenue grow ten-fold from last year just because of the film and television production increase that we’ve had here. That impacted us directly as far as direct bookings are concerned, and as our partners are concerned.”

    Lastly, he made it clear that Pennsylvania locals weren’t the only ones benefitting from PAFIA’s hard work, and the work of members like Ken and Andrew.

    “It’s good for the guests on a personal level because it enriches their experience. We work with a lot of businesses from around the area since one of our unique added options is that we ‘plug our guests’ into the city they’re located in. If there are a couple actors or actresses here or some individuals from the crew, we really want to expose them to the best of this city because they’re going to be here for sometimes up to six months. The tax credit enriches the lives and experiences of the guests as well as the local businesses. Everyone gets excited to see the small mom and pop shops and experience authentic travel and the shops get to expose their brand, their products, or their services to a new, influential audience.”

    Coral is just one of hundreds of businesses that have adapted to the growing film and television industry here in Pennsylvania. PAFIA has hundreds of members who want to share their story and success just like Ken Myers and Coral. Follow Coral’s journey on Instagram and website to see their elite guests, and all that they offer in glossy, enviable photos. And when you visit Philadelphia next, think of how nice it would be to have all your needs and desires taken care of by one fantastic brand catering to the luxury and sparkle of Pennsylvania’s growing glamour.

  • Friday, December 20, 2019 1:04 PM | Jaymie Macek (Administrator)

     Katie Shenot is a 2003 graduate of Point Park University with a degree in Musical Theater. Upon graduation, Katie began working with Nancy Mosser Casting in Pittsburgh and is still with the company under the title of Casting Director. Her work includes Film and Television projects such as "Downward Dog", "Love the Coopers", "The Dark Knight Rises", "Perks of Being a Wallflower", "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl", "Banshee; Season 4", "The Fault in Our Stars", "She's Out of My League" and many more. She has also cast hundreds of commercials both locally and nationally. She is a proud member of PAFIA as well as Women in Film and Media.

    What is your most recent success and how did you accomplish it? 
    On the Amazon feature film, I’m Your Woman, we had to cast a 1970s nightclub scene with hundreds of background. Finding hundreds of people for period scenes can be extremely difficult because it requires that they have the right hair, no tattoos and be able to fit the costumes, which are real vintage clothing from the 70s. We also don’t reuse people who’ve been in other scenes so it was all new faces.  Seeing it come together on film was exhilarating and worth the weeks of hard work! 

    How did you get started in the film industry?
    I majored in Musical Theater but knew by the time I graduated that I wanted to have a career in Casting.  I called Nancy Mosser about an internship and the rest is history!

    Why do you choose to work in PA and what do you love the most about working in Pennsylvania? 
    I love that the crew is family here across both sides of the state. We are amongst the hardest working and most professional in the industry and this is coming from the many Executive Producers and Directors who have filmed here.  Pennsylvania has a myriad of filming locations and can play any time period.  I feel like there is heart here and a true passion for filmmaking.

    What are some of your favorite shooting locations in Pennsylvania?
    I have great memories of shooting the entire end fight sequence of Dark Knight Rises on the steps of the Mellon Institute.  A remote location in North Park for the upcoming Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom was probably my most magical on-set experience.  I also loved filming at Kennywood for Adventureland because it’s an iconic location and it brought it back full-circle for me since I worked there in college in the stage shows.

    What do you love the most about your job?
    It’s never the same! I am very fortunate to not have a typical 9-5 job and I get to be creative.  Giving someone news that they’ve been cast is also a highlight. You’ve never seen someone be happier than being told that they got the part!

    What is your most memorable, most awkward, or funniest on set story?
    Awkward! I remember during Jack Reacher, I was at the Production office for a meeting with the ADs and had to run to the restroom. When coming back, I strode through a door I thought was the room I had just been in and had my head down and walked straight into a mat where Tom Cruise and Jae Courtney were rehearsing an intense fight scene with the Stunt Coordinator and Director. Everyone stopped what they were doing and stared at me.  I was mortified.

    What are some of the challenges of being a female filmmaker?
    I think that we have to validate ourselves more. That exists even for those of us who have been doing our jobs for years.

    What is your advice for other women in film?
    Keep your head in the game. Try to remember that just because something really stressful is happening, you have to pick yourself up and find a solution because there will be another fire around the corner. This is a fast-moving industry and not everyone is cut out for it but you have a lot of sisters around you to talk to and approach for advice.  We are always willing to help.

    Do you have any upcoming Pennsylvania-based projects? 
    We will be working on an Indie project in the next couple of months and are staying busy with our Commercial clients.

    PAFIA has been working hard on increasing the film tax credit in Pennsylvania and bringing more film work to our local crew and talent, but we must all unite to really make a difference. What can you tell our elected officials about the importance of PA film industry and the difference it has made in your life?
    Without the film tax credit, the film industry in PA will virtually disappear.

     That incentive is the reason that productions continue to bring projects of all sizes here.  I’m a proud Pennsylvania Film Industry Association board member and I believe in our mission to spread awareness of the crucial benefits of the credit.  It brings young people to live, work and raise families here, which is something that the state desperately needs. Because so much of the budget needs to be spent in Pennsylvania, the boost in business is something that many local vendors have come to rely upon.  I would have to move if the credit went away.

    What is your advice for the aspiring actors and filmmakers? Some steps to take? Some mistakes to avoid?
    Take classes and workshops!  Mingle and get to know people from all facets of the film industry. Connections are so important so you want to build solid relationships with reputable business professionals.  Lean on your local film office!  They are always willing to let you know if something or someone isn’t legit and they likely will have updates on current projects that are filming.  Join groups like PAFIA that help connect you with a community. If you’re an actor, watch what you post on social media.  Best bet, have a public actor page and a private personal page.  You never know who you may be offending if you like to post about hot button issues which could cost you work.

    What are some good strategies to find more gigs?
    Find the reputable Casting Directors in your region.  I’m a big believer in being involved in the theater community to stay sharp with your acting skills.   For crew members, make sure you are listed with the Film office for when productions are looking for crew. 

    What are some of the most valuable lessons that you have learned about this industry and wish you knew earlier?
    Don’t gossip. Everyone knows everyone.  My motto is to be kind to everyone. You never know who could be hiring you in the future!

    What is your favorite film shot in Pennsylvania?
    I’m actually going to say a series. Downward Dog!  It’s a shame that it was a critical darling but didn’t have time to land a big audience before it was canceled.  Working on that show never felt like work. We’ve been working with Animal, Inc for many years so that was an added bonus to shoot with dear friends.

    What is your favorite project that you worked on?
    Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. It was an extremely special project and I will always hold that film close.

    What is your biggest aspiration in this industry?
    I’d love to see Casting become a category at the Oscars! It’s a long time coming.  As a member of the Casting Society of America, we are all hopeful that this is something that will come to pass soon.  What would a movie be without Casting? 

    What would be the best way for our local PA cast and crew to submit to your upcoming projects?
    Anyone who wants to be on file with us can go to www.mossercasting.com under “For Talent” and create a free talent profile.  That puts them in our database and they’ll start to receive emails from us when we have casting needs.  Also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

  • Monday, December 16, 2019 4:31 PM | Jaymie Macek (Administrator)

    As 2019 comes to a close, I would like to start off by thanking all of our loyal and dedicated PAFIA members, whose passion for film has propelled our fight for the PA Film Tax Credit into new territory. Your hard work in spreading the news about PAFIA and our mission has convinced the legislators to raise the PA Film Tax Credit from $65 million to $70 million.

    YOU made this happen. 

    This year was a great year for film in the state of Pennsylvania. We were

     able to celebrate the filming of Mare of Easttown, 21 Bridges, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Sweet Girl, I’m Your Woman, Concrete Cowboys, Mindhunter Season 2, Queer Eye Season 5, Manhunt: Lone Wolf, and Dispatches from Elsewhere. 

    Our organization currently has 787 due paying members; 241 individual members and 546 corporate members/sponsors. We have 28 board members, all of whom have been extremely active in raising money and spreading the word about PAFIA to their sets, crew members, production staff, agencies and beyond. As of November 2019, PAFIA has raised $81,935.

    PAFIA’s social media footprint has grown exponentially in 2019 – bringing film related news and events to individuals throughout the entire state and nationwide. We have recently begun a #PAFIAPAFeaturedFilmmaker series, filmmakers from all over PA are interviewed and share their answers and insights with our followers.  This year we introduced ‘Where are we Wednesday,’ where photos are posted from different filming locations throughout the state, tagging the legislators and encouraging them to see what is happening in their district and how they can be positively impacted by the PA Film Tax Credit. Our goal is to increase our presence on social media even further and reach even more people in Pennsylvania. We have more articles planned that will feature different projects, people, local businesses, companies and more – all to show the positive impact of the PA Film Tax Credit.

    In the upcoming year, PAFIA’s goal is to build more connections and foster growth within the Independent Film community. We recognize that Independent Film is the future for crew workers in Pennsylvania. In 2019, PAFIA participated in the inaugural Red Rose Film Festival in Lancaster, PA.  Making connections in Lancaster was only the beginning, as we hope to network between all 5 areas of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, Erie, South Central, the Poconos and Pittsburgh in 2020.

    While we consider the PA Film Tax Credit $5 million increase a win, Pennsylvania still has much more work to do. In 2020, we want to have the PA Film Tax Credit increased to $140 million – meaning 15-25 more productions in the state per year. This translates to more jobs, more productions, more tourists – more of everything we need to keep film in PA.

    We are asking you, members of PAFIA, to continue to spread awareness and positivity of the PA Film Tax Credit, through word of mouth, social media, phone calls to legislators, or any way that you see fit. Please ask your friends, family and colleagues to consider becoming members of PAFIA. The more support from our membership numbers we can show to the legislators, the better. Click here for more information about PAFIA membership. 

    Thank you, again, for your dedication to PAFIA's mission and unwavering support for the film industry in Pennsylvania. Happy Holidays!

    Sincerely,


    David Haddad
    Chairman, Pennsylvania Film Industry Association

       

  • Friday, December 13, 2019 4:16 PM | Jaymie Macek (Administrator)

    Article By: Maria Shamkalian
    PAFIA Vice-Chair

    Introduce yourself!
    I am an award-winning filmmaker from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I have directed multiple short films and have shot others including a documentary in Finland. My biggest personal achievement is working full time as a freelance filmmaker with various productions around town, both commercial and narrative.

    What is your  most  recent  success  and  how  did  you  accomplish  it? It may sound strange but as stated above, I am able to financially comfortable working as a freelance filmmaker!

    How did you get started in the film industry?
    I started as an intern for a small (two person) production company my junior year of college and those connections lead to more connections which lead to even more connections!

    Why do you choose to work in PA and what do you love the most about working in Pennsylvania?
    Pennsylvania native here! I like it because it feels almost punk in a way. We never were an industry (film industry) town but have since kind of evolved into our own little film community that outputs some serious quality. Most of the locals feel like true salt of the earth people.

    What are some of your favorite shooting locations in Pennsylvania?
    I don’t think I have a favorite location because I think Pennsylvania has so much to offer in regards to location shooting. I appreciate shooting in Pittsburgh but also enjoy going anywhere outside of the big cities for something more rustic or outdoorsy.

    What do you love the most about your job?
    I love that my job is always different. Different locations, scenarios, times.

    What is your most memorable, most awkward, or funniest on set story?
    The early call times are awful but typically make for surreal moments of sunrise over whatever location we might be shooting that day. Just taking a minute to sip on some warm tea and appreciate the moment is probably some of my most memorable experiences on set.

    Do you have any upcoming Pennsylvania-based projects?
    I am currently in post-production on a short film I directed in the Pittsburgh area and am working with some buddies on a feature slated for next fall (2020).

    PAFIA has been working hard on increasing the film tax credit in Pennsylvania and bringing more film work to our local crew and talent, but we must all unite to really make a difference. What can you tell our elected officials about the importance of PA film industry and the difference it has made in your life?
    I am a little biased because I work in the industry and see the direct result of the tax credits and I will admit I do not know the full scope of what all the tax credit does but I like to think that anything that brings productions to town is not a bad thing, especially with the seemingly increasing number of streaming services that are looking for content and are producing it themselves. I mean, Netflix has been in the Pittsburgh area consistently for the past 4 years and Amazon for the last two.

    What is your advice for the aspiring actors and filmmakers? Some steps to take? Some mistakes to avoid?
    The biggest hurdle I had to get over as a fimmaker/collaborator was to not taking things personally. Everyone has their own thing going on and we all want the end product to be the best possible thing so it might frustrate us at times when someone messes up or mistakes. That person potentially scolding you is working towards the same objective as you. Everyone is everyone’s best friend at wrap.

    What are some good strategies to find more gigs?
    Work hard. People notice.

    What are some of the most valuable lessons that you have learned about this industry and wish you knew earlier?
    Stop whatever you are doing and get on a set.

    What is your favorite film shot in Pennsylvania?
    The Deer Hunter.

    What is your favorite project that you worked on?
    Whatever project I am working on now.

    What is your biggest aspiration in this industry?
    I would love to be able to travel and tell stories in any capacity through the medium of cinema.

    What would be the best way for our local PA cast and crew to submit to your upcoming projects?
    Reach out any time! I have nothing personal in the chamber right now but am always looking to collaborate!

  • Friday, December 06, 2019 4:50 PM | Jaymie Macek (Administrator)

      Article By: Maria Shamkalian
    PAFIA Vice-Chair





    Our first featured PA Actor is Lyman Chen, based in Philadelphia. He has worked on the following PA projects:

    • The Happening (2008), Mark Wahlbrerg
    • Tenure (2008) Luke Wilson, Dave Koechner
    • No Boardaries (2009)
    • Badges (2010)
    • It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (2011) Danny DeVito
    • Safe (2012) Jason Statham
    • Creed (2015) Michael B. Jordan
    • How to Get Girls (2017)
    • The Upside (2017) Bryan Cranston, Nicole Kidman
    • Servant (2019), Rupert Grint
    • Dispatches From Elsewhere (2020) Sally Field

    What is your most recent success and how did you accomplish it?
    I just completed 3 different television series in the same month (CBS, HBO, & AMC).  By having representation in different markets throughout the country, I’ve always had different opportunities at all times.  This was amazing because it all lined up at the same time.

    How did you get started in the film industry? 
    In 2002, at 30 years of age, wanted to explore film acting.  I had never had any acting experience whatsoever, but had spent my entire life enamored with watching TV and Movies.  I found an intro to Film Acting class at Mike Lemon Casting in Philadelphia.  He was the prominent casting director at the time, and was casting for the CBS Drama Series, Hack.  I found out that I filled a very rare niche (Asian American Male) and started working immediately in various commercials, industrials, and used being a Background Actor in Hack for a year to learn to realm of Film Acting. 

    If you are union, how did you become one?
    I got my SAG Eligibility through background work on CBS' Hack in 2002. I did not join until 2004 when I booked my first national commercial which actually filmed in Philly.

    What are some of your favorite shooting locations in Pennsylvania?
    The Rocky Statue at The Art Museum for Creed was amazing and got to meet Sylvester Stallone and of course Michael B. Jordan.  My entire family was in the scene too, so it was great to give them a taste of what it’s like to film on a movie set.  Filming on the Schuylkill River on a River Boat for It

    What do you love the most about your job? 
    I love to watch the process of a TV show or a film being made.  From the different styles of actors I work with, to the crew that works on them.  Getting to know them and their unique stories and journey is so intriguing to me.

    What is your most memorable, most awkward, or funniest on set story? 
    My very first day on a set was as a Background Actor on Hack.  One of the stars, Andre Braugher came up to me and asked me to run lines with him and handed me his sides. I had never seen a script or sides in my life and had no idea what to do. After fumbling about, and reading his lines, the other dialogue, and everything else wrong, he grabbed the sides out of my hand and politely said, “I’m gonna relieve you of the burden…” and walked off.  The other background actors (who are now my dear friends) just laughed their asses off and couldn’t believe I blew it so bad.  I said my career was over before it started….

    Do you have any upcoming Pennsylvania-based projects? 
    Yes. Had the pleasure of working on AMC’s Dispatches From Elsewhere with a small multi-day player role.

    PAFIA has been working hard on increasing the film tax credit in Pennsylvania and bringing more film work to our local crew and talent, but we must all unite to really make a difference. What can you tell our elected officials about the importance of PA film industry and the difference it has made in your life? 
    I would not have EVER EVER EVER decided to pursue a career in Acting if Hack was not filming in Philadelphia.  The opportunity to work Background my first year was instrumental in giving me the experience to take it to the next level. 

    What is your advice for the aspiring actors and filmmakers? Some steps to take? Some mistakes to avoid?
    This is truly a lottery and you need to have your stuff together, but you need a lot of luck also.  Enjoy the journey and the moment.  Treat every person on a set, from the director, to the background actor, to the caterer like they way you would want to be treated.  Good Karma is your friend. 

    What are some good strategies to find more gigs? 
    I audition a great deal and make sure casting directors know what I’m up to and what I’ve been working on.  Casting Workshops have been very beneficial for me, such as Actor’s Green Room in NYC.

    What are some of the most valuable lessons that you have learned about this industry and wish you knew earlier? 
    Don’t ever write or post anything negative about anyone or any project on social media.  It WILL get back to that person!

    What is your favorite film shot in Pennsylvania?
    I’m a huge Trading Places fan! 

    What is your favorite project that you worked on?
    The Departed was the greatest and first principal role I had.  The success of the film was my break and opened the doors for every job I have worked since.

    What is your biggest aspiration in this industry?
    Would love to be a series regular on a series.

  • Friday, November 22, 2019 9:40 AM | Jaymie Macek (Administrator)

     Turkey’s Done” is an award-winning short film that was shot in South Philadelphia back in July of 2016.  It’s the collaboration of four women who wrote, produced, directed and starred in the film: Jennifer Tini, Monique Impagliazzo, Krystal Tini (also key hair & makeup artist and wardrobe stylist), and of course, Cheri Oteri, who were all born and raised in the Philadelphia area!
    The crew consisted of about 30 people (all local hires) who worked incredibly hard to capture our vision. The film would not be what it is today without Charles Bouril-Director of Photography, John White-1st AC, Kevin Howley-1st AD, Roseanne Mangoni-2nd AD, Johnny Baum Baum-Gaffer, Brigid Squilla-Prop Master, Dale Pavinski-Editor, Sam Nuttle and Sean Hamilton-Sound, Josh Clarke-Locations Manager, Richard Chiarantona-Production Manager, Julianna Pinto, Production Coordinator, Danielle Teta-Craft Service, Jennifer Condo-Set Photographer and Jennifer "Bok" Barkowitz-Publicity. A very special thank you to Kathleen Kearney and Nicole Agostino for being there during every step of the Production process.

    1) How did you come up with the idea and how did you get it going?
    Monique Impagliazzo, Jennifer Tini snd Krystal Tini had moved to Los Angeles after working on a feature film being shot in and around Philadelphia and the Jersey shore. Once together in our tiny apartment we all collaborated on a script to be brought to life based on real life “characters” from our very own neighborhood! From the start, we KNEW we wanted Cheri Oteri for the lead not only because she is a Philly native, but also because she is our favorite comedic actress that we fell in love with in every film! We knew we wanted to create something that embodied the typical and very colorful Italian family. How close we are- too close most times- our loud, yet welcoming and warm ways, and also to tell the story of true tradition, PHILLY tradition.

    2) What were some challenges that you have encountered?
    Some challenges were in post-production and finding a really good editor. With only two days of shooting we weren’t able to make many corrections or have the luxury of getting many takes. Our friend Dale Pavinski carefully put it all together and even offered to do some extra shooting of Cheri (all of her scenes at the makeup table). It came out better than we ever expected!

    3) The burning question: how did you arrange the budget?
    The budget! Well, with past experience and having the script broken down, we knew we needed as close to a full crew as possible. The biggest help though, was shooting in Philly! We were able to pay our crew, provide great craft services (ALWAYS feed your crew well), and obtain the best equipment because SO many people and businesses were willing to donate their time, food for our whole team, and even their homes as shooting locations! It’s something we’ll never forget and it’s why we want to bring the feature script back to shoot in Philly!

    4) What are the plans for distribution?
    Right now Turkey’s Done is on Amazon Prime Video and we are in conversation with Shorts TV, a new platform just for short films! We feel so blessed with these outlets, as years past there was nowhere for them to be seen.

    5) Care to share all the amazing accomplishments, awards and selections?
    We were quite shocked at how well received this film has been across North America! We were an official selection of Vancouver’s Just For Laughs Film Festival and to our surprise, came home winning 3rd place for Best Comedy out of hundreds of films! We now realized this film resonated with people everywhere- not just on the East Coast! This was followed by winning Best Comedy at The Philadelphia’s Women’s Film Festival and The Golden Door Film Festival, Best First Time Directors at The Philadelphia Independent Film Festival, and Cheri won Best Actress at The Burbank International Film Festival!

    6) Which film festivals do you suggest submitting to?
    Film Freeway is a great resource for researching film festivals.  We would suggest reading all the rules especially with the bigger film festivals like Sundance, Toronto and Cannes.  Then you can focus more on ones that fit your film, either by genre, shooting location, etc. We highly suggest submitting to festivals in your hometown and make sure to include that in your cover letter. Speaking of cover letters, they are very important, make sure to personalize each one. 

    7) Why did you choose to film in PA and what do you love the most about working in Pennsylvania?
    When you have a script based in South Philly, created by 3 South Philly women, and your executive producer is Cheri Oteri, also a Philly native, there really wasn’t another option in our opinion!

    8) What are some of your favorite shooting locations in Pennsylvania?
    Shooting in South Philly is always a treat, it’s a way of letting the rest of the world get a glimpse of our world! However, if we had to shoot outdoors we’d love to capture Valley Forge Park or some hidden roads along the river, even Fairmount Park would be beautiful!

    9) How did you all get started in the film industry?
    To make a long story short, Monique worked for the Mary Anne Claro Talent Agency, which represented actors from Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York. Jennifer was hired as an assistant to producer Diane Kirman after she was recommended by Mary Anne Claro, a close friend whom she met through her sister, Krystal, who was one of those talents Mary Anne represented. Talk about a small world... This was our first taste of the film industry!

    10) What do you love the most about your job?
    We love the freedom of filmmaking- choosing a story to tell, assembling the perfect cast, bringing people together, never knowing how it’s all going to work out but then it somehow does- it’s all about the journey!

    11) What is your most memorable, most awkward, or funniest on set story?
    Dino's character drove a Classic Cadillac in which we rented for the weekend.  During the wrap celebration, the crew couldn't get the car started and tried to give it a hot shot.  When they did there was a loud BOOM and the car caught on fire! Shortly after, the police and fire department showed up.  We can honestly say we went out with a bang!

    12) What are some of the challenges of being a female filmmaker?
    In all honesty, we don’t feel there are challenges being female. We all believe in ourselves. We all believe in the law of attraction and that our thoughts become things. There are too many obstacles to overcome when making a film, that being a female doesn’t really factor into our consciousness when we are in work mode. We work hard, we know what we want, we figure out how to get it.

    13) What is your advice for other women in film?
    The advice we would give women film makers is go out there and create your own projects and tell your own stories.  No time like the present.

    14) Do you have any upcoming Pennsylvania-based projects?
    We would like to bring our feature script, from which Turkey’s Done was based, to shoot in Philadelphia again. The way the community came together to help us is something we’ll never forget, and we would like to return the favor by spending our budget there!

    15) PAFIA has been working hard on increasing the film tax credit in Pennsylvania and bringing more film work to our local crew and talent, but we must all unite to really make a difference. What can you tell our elected officials about the importance of PA film industry and the difference it has made in your life?
    No matter where you are in the world, everyone likes a piece of Hollywood in their town! Shooting films not only brings work, but it boosts local economies, communities come together with excitement, and it helps people who want to get into the film business gain a bit of experience they won’t otherwise get unless moving to LA, NYC or Atlanta. Philly has some of the most beautiful locations and rich history that the city shouldn’t think twice about offering incentives! There’s no downside!

    16) What is your advice for the aspiring actors and filmmakers? Some steps to take? Some mistakes to avoid?
    Some helpful tips include getting involved anyway you can! Become an intern or a production assistant - get that coffee -it's where you gain experience and learn.  Make yourself useful on set and always be on time.  Producers love hiring people they can rely on and they will then take you with them on other projects. And be POSITIVE!

    17) What are some of the most valuable lessons that you have learned about this industry and wish you knew earlier?
    The most valuable lesson we all learned is always do what’s best for the project, never do what’s best for yourself. This is one of the first things we were told in film class, however, it’s not always easy to follow when there are three or four people at the helm of a project and each has their own opinion and vision. Just always remember it’s about the project and never about the individual.

    18) What is your biggest aspiration in this industry?
    Right now our biggest aspiration is getting our feature film “in the can” -with a full budget to shoot everything we want, how we want and where we want, and then having a platform for it to reach the masses! Ideally a theatrical release would be awesome but we are also open to a Netflix release or another similar platform.

    Follow "Turkey's Done" on social media:
    Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

  • Thursday, November 21, 2019 3:48 PM | Anonymous

    On Thursday, October 31, the House Democratic Policy Committee hosted a hearing on the Film Tax Credit at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. Philadelphia Representative Maria Donatucci and Joe Ciresi were the local “hosts” of the hearing.

    The Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA) was invited to testify, and PAFIA’s very own Mike McCann was part of a panel. M. Night Shyamalan also provided testimony and spoke to how the decisions are being made about filming locations. He shared information about programs in Georgia and other states.

    Mike McCann was fantastic and the hearing went well. Mike advocated for more certainty and predictability, which an increase to the annual allocation to the program would provide.  The House Democratic members who attended were very enthusiastic about increasing the cap.

    The following House members attended:

    Rep. Maria Donatucci
    Rep. Joe Ciresi
    Rep. Mike Sturla
    Rep. Tim Briggs
    Rep. Mark Longietti
    Rep. Dan Williams
    Rep. Steve McCarter
    Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell
    Rep. Margo Davidson
    Rep. Mary Jo Daley
    Rep. Steve Malagari
    Rep. Kristine Howard
    Rep. Mike Driscoll

    In addition to M. Night and Mike McCann, Carrie Lepore from the Pennsylvania Film Office, the Motion Picture Association of America, and others testified in favor of the credit and the economic benefits to the state and local communities where productions are shot.

    The House and Senate returned to Harrisburg on Monday, November 18th for the week. Both chambers are then scheduled to reconvene in December. The House and Senate have not been in session very much this Fall, so things have been fairly quiet.


  • Friday, November 15, 2019 11:00 AM | Jaymie Macek (Administrator)

     Written by: Maria Shamkalian
    PAFIA Vice-Chair

    Born and bred in Philly, Jozef Jozefowski never ventured far from Broad Street, whether going to Temple University or to the Mummers. For the past nine years he has been working as a grip in the film industry, cranking out commercials and the occasional feature. His biggest achievements are in the day to day trenches, teaching green technicians and helping build camaraderie among crew.

    1) What is your most recent success and how did you accomplish it?
    My wife and I recently had an addition to our family. Now we have two kids!

    2) How did you get started in the film industry?
    I went to Temple University, and out of a long list of majors, I decided to go with Film and Media Arts. It wasn’t until my last semester, that I discovered grip and electric (G&E).

    Working on a senior project, I was the only one who knew how to use power tools, so they made me the key grip. From there it was basically working for free or earning little pay as a production assistant (PA), but preferably a Grip PA. I would scour Craigslist or the film office job list, and eventually I started forming a small work circle. Things really took off two years into the trade, when I was taken in by a few great technicians and key grips. I couldn’t have gotten to where I am today without the knowledge and help of Nic Reader, Zac Rubino, Jimmy Madison, Francisco “Sonic” Kim, and Dave Greenplate. These guys took the time to teach me and they pushed me to become a better technician.

    3) Why do you choose to work in PA and what do you love the most about working in Pennsylvania?
    Family and Philly

    4)  What are some of your favorite shooting locations in Pennsylvania?
    Philly of course! I especially enjoy tech scouts— it’s like going on a sightseeing tour of the city, visiting locations you have never been to or places you never thought you would gain access.

    5) What do you love the most about your job?
    I love explaining to non-industry folks what a “grip” is. All kidding aside, gripping is an excellent combination of both manual labor and creativity. It’s that combination that keeps me coming back for more!

    6)  What is your most memorable, most awkward, or funniest on set story?
    All the jobs seem to run in together, with each awkward or funny story overriding the next. The most memorable moments come on the last day of working a feature. For me it’s always an overnight in the rain. But as the sun rises and they call, “that’s a wrap,” it is a truly fulfilling and magical moment. It lasts only a moment though, because then you have to start breaking down and loading the trucks.

    7) Do you have any upcoming Pennsylvania-based projects?
    I never know when my next job is coming. It could be tomorrow or it could be next month. That’s why you gotta make sure your phone is on you when you get the call!

    8)  PAFIA has been working hard on increasing the film tax credit in Pennsylvania and bringing more film work to our local crew and talent, but we must all unite to really make a difference. What can you tell our elected officials about the importance of PA film industry and the difference it has made in your life?
    There are so many people who are a part of the creative economy. We have a thriving local film community that works together on both passion projects and paid projects. Tax credits help ensure that our community can grow and impact other industries. In the end everyone benefits from tax credits.


    9) What is your advice for the aspiring actors and filmmakers? Some steps to take? Some mistakes to avoid?
    If you want to get into G&E, go stop by a rental house. Ask them if you can sweep the floors for free, and while you’re there you can learn about the gear. Now, although I tried doing this same thing and was told, “no” at the first rental house, it didn’t stop me from going on to the next one, which is where I learned a lot.

    9) What are some good strategies to find more gigs?
    Network. You never know where your next break is going to happen. And while networking, treat everyone — I’m talking about every person from way below the line to the highest person above the line — with equal dignity and respect. People will notice, and they will want to work with you on the next job.

    10) What are some of the most valuable lessons that you have learned about this industry and wish you knew earlier?
    Don’t get angry with the people who block the one door, or the one set of steps, or the only entrance onto set. They’re not intending to be rude, they’re focusing on their job. Understand that there are a whole lot of people and departments all working together to create one great movie, commercial, or late-night infomercial.

    11) What is your favorite film shot in Pennsylvania?
    I’m a fan of Silver Linings Playbook.

    12) What is your favorite project that you worked on?
    I really enjoyed working on the History Making Productions, “Philadelphia the Great Experiment” series. I love Philly and dig history, so it was a great experience bringing the history of our city to life.

    13) What is your biggest aspiration in this industry?
    I’m content working as a key grip. I don’t need acclaim or awards— not that those are bad things, they are pretty good things! My focus is to work every job (whether big or small) to the best of my abilities, to make sure I can support my family, and to drive home safely at the end of a very long day.

    15) What would be the best way for our local PA cast and crew to submit to your upcoming projects?
    Well I just checked my calendar, I have no upcoming gigs. But if any body else does, feel free to reach out and email me at jozefowski.jozef@gmail.com and I will make sure you get a first class G&E crew.

Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA)
461 Cochran Road, Box 246
Pittsburgh, PA 15228
(717) 833-4561  info@pafia.org

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