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Andi Mack Apprenticeship

Utah Film Commission has been working with Disney Channel’s Andi Mack television series to provide an on-set apprenticeship with 1st Assistant Director Troy Rohovit. Over 40 production assistants applied for the apprenticeship and two were offered the two-week experience of joining the crew on set. Apprenticeship mentor Troy Rohovit stated, “The 1st A.D. Apprentice program that we put together with the hard work of Utah Film Commission was an amazing success.  Both Kalie Pead and Jon Van Sickle were perfect candidates for the program.  It was such a pleasure being able to give back to the film industry here in Utah and to have the opportunity to pass on some of my thirty years of experience to the next generation of Utah filmmakers.” Both Jon and Kalie had similar experiences and said that the apprenticeship provided them with an understanding of production that can never be learned in the classroom.

Jon Van Sickle and Kalie Pead completed the apprenticeship and are studying at Weber State University. Kalie is planning on graduating Summer 2019 and is interested in pursuing work on set in Utah as a 1st AD. Jon is continuing to pursue production work as well.

Tell us about your experience on set and working with 1st AD Troy Rohovit?

Jon: My experience on set was stimulating and enlightening. It was great working with Troy and I was with him all of the time. Troy is extremely knowledgeable and was able to answer all of my questions on set.

Kalie: Initially, I was nervous about starting the apprenticeship but I had nothing to worry about because Troy was open and willing to explain everything that was happening on set. He was great to be around.

What was one of the biggest things that you learned while you were working with the Andi Mack crew?

Jon: I was a day player on the television series ‘Night Clerk’ but I only experienced what a set was like when filming. With Troy, I was able to work and experience pre-production as well as production which allowed me the opportunity to see the bigger picture of how a large production works.

Kalie: Honestly, the most important thing I learned is the importance of paperwork.  You always want to do the fun stuff but it’s important to understand the administrative side of the job makes the rest of the work easier to do.

You are Production Assistant Certified with Utah Film Commission. Did the certification program help you on set?

Jon: The Production Assistant Certification Program provided information that I utilized on the ‘Andi Mack’ set. It was helpful to be told about what to do and what not to do when on set and the terminology that is commonly used.

Kalie: I was PA Certified through Weber and Utah Film Commission. The program was helpful in learning set etiquette. I think it’s great to be certified because the certification program introduces you to more career options. I’m now pursuing 1st AD work.

What is your favorite story from the ‘Andi Mack’ set?

Kalie: The location we were shooting at happened to have chickens, llamas, and dogs. There were chickens everywhere on set! I felt so bad for the sound guys because you could hear the chickens from so far away. An actor was spit on by a llama which was pretty funny.

Jon: Working with the crew was a great experience and every day was different.

Do you have any advice for someone that is interested in the apprenticeship program?

Jon: Don’t forget to dress warm! We were working a lot outside so life was much easier when I remembered to bring extra layers.

Kalie: If I could give any advice to someone who would like to get into the industry and has only worked as a production assistant, fight for this apprenticeship because other people will start fighting for it so do it while you can.

Syd Smoot is the Film Office Coordinator at the Utah Film Commission. She’s a Utah native and studied cinema studies at Northeastern University. For any press and media inquiries, contact the Utah Film Commission at filmpress@utah.gov.

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