Monday, April 29, 2013

Crew Scene Honors: Jersey Shore musician Marc Ribler

On the 6 month anniversary of the day Superstorm Sandy slammed the Jersey and New York shores, it seems only fitting that I share the selfless efforts of a Jersey Shore musician..

This Saturday, I was privileged to attend my local Foodbank's 17th Annual Humanitarian Gala. This event honors businesses and individuals within NJ's Monmouth and Ocean counties that have taken phenomenal action and showed exceptional leadership helping those in need within our local communities. 

As the honorees were being presented, we were shown a video titled "Garden State" - a moving tribute to our shoreline. Halfway through, every person at my table was brought to tears. Over those painful images was a powerful and uplifting anthem, true to the "Jersey sound" - a song called "Garden State".


The songwriter, Marc Ribler, was then acknowledged for his  tireless efforts to raise funds and awareness for his beloved home through this incredible theme of hope and restoration. 

As creatives - whether it be as a film maker, artist, or musician -  we hope that our work will evoke some kind of thought or emotion.  Needless to say, Mr. Ribler not only accomplished that, but encouraged others and provided opportunities to join the effort to contribute. 

After witnessing the devastation firsthand and feeling helpless, Marc went right into the studio and recorded "Garden State".  All proceeds from the downloads on his website were donated to the Sandy Relief Fund. But he didn't stop there....

Feeling the need to do more, Ribler reached out to local Jersey Shore musicians for yet another emotive song - much like a "We Are The World" of the Jersey Shore called "Our Spirit Is Strong". 


Aside from raising funds, Marc has actively been involved in Jersey Shore relief shows, including the local "Restore the Shore" concert. 

Although it lifts our hearts to see our homes being rebuilt and our boardwalks being raised, the Jersey Shore still needs help.

 If you'd like to contribute, please go to where you can download either/both songs. 

All proceeds go to the Sandy Relief Fund.
Marc has already been able to donate two checks earlier this year! 

You can also donate to to help families and hunger relief organizations who are still in need.

We should all follow Marc Ribler's model of utilizing our talents to inspire giving, raise awareness and motivate people to help each other. 

Kudos and congratulations Marc..Thank you for setting an example and for your endless contributions!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Crew Scene Series: The Mighty Green Vaqueros


                                                       "Mighty Green Vaqueros Promo"

One of the reasons I started the The Crew Scene was to highlight  extraordinary creatives and the projects on which they work.  No matter what your specialty, production is about informing, sharing, and sometimes, when we are lucky - transforming.

Making a documentary film is a labor love.  Lower cost equipment, bold new funding models and online and mobile distributions have allowed greater engagement with larger audiences and more endearing and personal stories to be told. Stories like “The Mighty Green Vaqueros”...

This documentary tells the story of soccer coach Kyle Hagenburger, the dedication and love he has for San Diego’s King-Chavez community, and the unprecedented success of the high school soccer program.

Coach “H” was hired as a history teacher at the charter school called King-Chavez Community High School in downtown San Diego. The school's purpose was to help build up and breathe life into a neglected immigrant-based community. King-Chavez Neighborhood of Schools serves the special needs of the kids from Logan Heights, the poorest and most gang - and crime-infested neighborhood in San Diego. 

A situation that would be assumed to be an immeasurable challenge, turned into a massive success and changed lives of these students and the entire town of Logan Heights. Overcoming many adversities - lack of funding, being challenged by gangs and poverty being among the few  - these champions came to energize, uplift, and transform their community. 

Each month, we hope to provide updates, interviews and give readers an opportunity to follow the journey of this inspiring program and the production process through film making, funding and distribution. 

Telling this remarkable story of inspiration, dedication, strength and hope is the mission of filmmakers couple Kyle Hagenburger and Carmen Caserta of Hot Beverage Productions and their partners Thomas O'Hara and Chris Fung of Game Day Films. 

Stay tuned as we share their story !

 - Jessica 

For more about the Mighty Green Vaqueros, 

Like them on Facebook

Follow them on Twitter

Subscribe to the YouTube Channel 

Watch this NBC 7 story about Kyle and the program itself:


Four Seasons from Greg Bledsoe on Vimeo.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Interview with Industry Insider: Editor Amy Frank

Name: Amy Frank

Industry: Television Production

Where do you work?: 

Vinnie Potestivo Entertainment (VPE). I am an Editor at VPE. I edit everything from sizzle reels, to casting tapes, to on-air segments for network TV shows.

What made you choose this career path?

I majored in Television/Radio with a concentration in Video Production at Ithaca College, so since graduating it was always my goal to work in TV production. 

Tell us about one of your best experiences on the job.

Where do I begin? As I was racking my brain trying to think of a story, I went over all the crazy things that have happened over the course of my 8 year television career. Everything from living in a hotel in LA eating exclusively gas station food for a SyFy channel film shoot, to running a casting call of sumo wrestlers for an infomercial, to climbing over piles of garbage and animal feces in the home of a hoarder for FOX's Buried Treasure. 

The story that stands out the most, however, is the heart to heart I had with Gordon Ramsey while working on Kitchen Nightmares many years ago. On a particularly grueling day, Chef Ramsey approached another member of the crew and myself, and told us that even though we were young, to stay focused on our careers. He said not to get caught up in partying, or boys, or meth (kidding...well really, don't do meth!), or any other distractions. He said that if we were true to ourselves and continued to be hard workers and passionate about what we do, the rest will fall into place. As I continue to grow as an editor, I've kept Chef Ramsey's words in mind. Whenever there have been temptations to be lazy, or take the easy road (or meth), I think of that long, exhausting day and remember that if I stay focused I'll get through it. 

What was something that took you by surprise when you first got started?

When I first started in the industry, what took me by surprise were the LONG HOURS! Growing up, you're taught that normal adults work 9-5 jobs. The 12+ hour days on set and/or in the production office certainly took some getting used to, but when you love what you do, the time flies. It should also be known that in no way are production people "normal" adults, having nothing to do with the hours we work.

Trying to break into this field is a real eye opener for many that want to rise in the ranks. For the purpose of sharing the reality of working in media and entertainment, share what you feel is the most difficult part of about trying to establish yourself in this industry.

The most challenging part of trying to establish yourself in this industry, is understanding and coming to terms with the freelance lifestyle. There will always be pockets of time without work. It's just the nature of the business. Learning how to use that down time productively is key. 

Any projects/jobs coming up that you'd like to talk about? 

Confidentiality agreements prevent me from giving too much away, but there is a new MTV series for which I recently edited on-air segments that I'm very excited about. I'm happy to post an update as soon as the show becomes public knowledge! 

Advice for up and comers trying to break into you area of media? 

NETWORK. Keep in touch with every single person you work with and touch base with them periodically. Some will respond, some won't. Just keep reminding people that you're alive. This has been career-saving for me. Eventually, a handful of these people will continuously recommend you for jobs, and the down time between gigs diminishes.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Crew Scene Livestream: Tribeca Talks Directors Series - Jay Roach talks with Ben Stiller

Join The Crew Scene as we host the livestream of Tribeca Film Festival's Tribeca Talks series.

Today's Tribeca Talks: Directors Series: Emmy Award winner Jay Roach in conversation with Ben Stiller.

Livestream begins April 21st 3pm EST. Don't miss it!


Film Festivals, Awards and Competitions... to submit or not to submit?

A few times a year, usually around awards season or while a big film festival being promoted in the press, I have the same debate with a film maker friend of mine who goes all Joaquin Phoenix on me. 

Every. Single. Time. 

"I'm about the art, not submitting my project and money to become a corporate puppet...blah, one can judge my creation...blah blah...". Sorry, by now that's how I hear it. 

Here's the thing: while I am all about "the art" and passion for what I do, the platform to spread it to a wider audience is a pretty major plus. I won't lie.. the recognition among my fellow peers doesn't hurt either. Who doesn't love a pat on the back? 

In reality, most of us are small independent filmmakers, artists, designers, producers, animators, writers, etc. We are freelancing, have a business to promote, or work for a *gasp* corporate organization who would love to have their programs receive recognition. 

The benefits outweigh whatever negatives you think there be. An award to boast on your resume, portfolio, or company site is an advertising platform. You stand out from competition and it puts you in a better position to have clients come looking for you. Your rate or salary increases. There's the possibility that it may even make raising funds for your next project a little easier. 

Point blank, it opens up another door of opportunity. So why not? 


Do your research. Try sites like for a complete listing of all film festivals around the world. 

Films not your thing? 
Look into the Telly Awards who honor local, regional, corporate and cable programs. 

The Webbys' is one you may recognize. They accept submissions from websites, online film/video, and social or interactive media. 

There is also the AVA Digital Awards. All things digital like video, blogs and podcasts are all accepted for submission.

Do a search, ask around, and keep an eye out for awards posted on websites for companies within your industry and you'll get an idea of where to apply. 


Submitting to film festivals and other competitions can be a bit of a process and requires some preparation. 

Here are a few things you should have a heads up on: 

You pay per submission - Submission fees range anywhere from $40-$200

Make sure your project is link ready - Many competitions and festivals make it easy to apply online and usually request a link to review your project. 

Your project needs to be complete and submission ready
Review everything including the format and audio. Be sure that it is at its' best possible compression size for the highest quality. Check the link or DVD. Does it play flawlessly? Read through the submission requirements to be sure every one is met. Don't ruin your chances because of oversight.

Send it in early - Although there are a few deadlines, it's best to prepare to apply as early as possible. That cuts out any last minute rushing, you make sure everything is right. Keep in mind, the fees increase the longer you wait.

Create a Withoutabox account - This database will give you access to information on thousands of festivals, competitions, and exhibitions. You can submit to more than 800 competitions via the site, self distribute and much more. 

Accept that you may not be contacted or chosen- As in any competition, not everyone gets selected. Don't call or email them, inquiring about your submission. What is not chosen at one, may be a winner at another. 

So, now that you have a little know into how this process can help you, go ahead and submit away! I promise your creative soul will NOT shrink into oblivion!

Good luck!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Tribeca Film Festival: What to watch, Where to go, What not to miss!

Didn't make it Sundance? Couldn't jump on your jet to Cannes? Lucky for a few of us industry folks and film aficionados on a smaller budget, the 12th annual Tribeca Film Festival has kicked off!

Ok,.. well it kicked off April 17th, (I know, I know- I'm a little late), but don't worry, I have plenty of screenings, talks, events to share with you and a few tips to help guide you through it all. 


The film festival is first and foremost about... what else? MOVIES!

You have about 200 movies to choose from in every genre: Comedy, documentary, sci-fi, family friendly. Most films have several showings on varying days, so you have plenty of chances to catch the movie of your choice.

Review the film guide for more movie options, locations and times: 

Here are a few of the most anticipated screenings: 

The Machine

A sci-fi thriller about a cybernetic soldier designed by British programmers and its escape from a secret lab during the second Cold War.


A documentary - named Oxyana after Oceana, West Virginia resident's widespread abuse of Oxycotin. Set against the landscape of this abandoned coal mining community, the documentary follows the lives of a community consumed with addiction.

Flex is Kings

This documentary captures the Brooklyn dance movement with a focus on street performers and their innovative contortionist dance moves. 

Talks and Panels

This insightful series provides several days of panels and discussions with artists, producers, directors and actors chatting about their craft and experiences. 

Here are a couple you may want to check out: 

Director Series: Jay Roach with Ben Stiller

It's exactly what it sounds like. A conversation with Emmy Award winning director Jay Roach and comedic actor Ben Stiller. 

What are they going to talk about? Who knows! 
I'm hoping for a cameo from Ben's dad Jerry.. you never know at these things!

Although it's not until April 21 at 3pm, you might want to book your tickets now. Surely, this will be a popular event.  

After the Movie: Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me

Now who doesn't love this brassy Broadway legend?  Stick around after her documentary for this panel (Apr 22 at 5:30pm) as she talks about the movie and her long lasting career. This will no doubt be a lively and enjoyable session!

                                                 Future of Film series

This event, running from April 22nd-25th, will be moderated by "Talking Dead" host Chris Hardwick and media exec Jason Hirschorn. 

Panelists like Morgan Spurlock, the Safdie Brothers, and Lisa Donovan discuss everything from the ever changing creative formats and film distribution to the rise of digital film making. 

Tribeca Family Festival  (Sat, Apr 27th) 

If you're like me and have a budding filmmaker or a child that enjoys the arts, this is the perfect free all day event for the family. 

For the grand finale of the festival, the streets of lower Manhattan will be filled with arts and crafts pavilions and live chef demonstrations from local restaurants. You create giant bubbles in the Bubble Garden and see special performances from Broadway shows.

For that lil' up and coming filmmaker I mentioned? Head to the Tribeca Studios Backlot! They can learn about the elements of film making or even stand in front of a green screen. 

There are two movie screenings within this event:

Downtown Youth - Behind the Scenes

Screening of a collection of shorts by young filmmakers

with a sneak peek of Smurfs 2

Things to know

Price points:      General screenings    $8-16
                         Panels/talks              FREE - $25

                         Packages are available    $250-$1200

(Downtown residents, students, and seniors get $2 off general 
  screenings, $3 off of other tickets)

Box office opens 1 hour before screening. Get there early!

Wanna see a celeb? Best time would be between 7-9 pm at Regal 
 Theater. They will most likely be walking the red carpet. 

Get the app! It would be a helpful guide. Search for it in the app  

For more information on movies, times, locations and much more,
visit the site itself: 


Have fun and maybe I'll see you there! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


CASTING a FAMILY in the NY Tri State area for a fun FAMILY 

GAME SHOW in development for a major cable network.

Family needs to consist of MOM + 2 or 3 GROWN Kids (18 

years and older - sons & daughters, all ethnicities).

Fun and out-going personalities please!

All participants will be compensated.

Must be available to tape for up to 2 hours in May.

Email for details







18TH, 19TH (both days not necessary but at least one date.)





Masquerade people in if you have a 

masquerade costume. (bump up in pay)

Bikini models with dance experience. ( bump in pay)TO BE CONSIDERED CALL FOR AN APPOINTMENT 


Compensation: PAID


**For more casting jobs, or to post casting opportunities join the facebook group "I Need a Day Player"**

Image courtesy of

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Truth and Necessity of Networking as a Creative: Networking Online

Your online presence is an invaluable opportunity to stay relevant and connected while out of work, setting up your next gig, or promoting your portfolio.

Let's be clear though... Networking online doesn't mean your 1000 Facebook "friends" that you don't speak to. Networking online means INTERACTING with like minded people, whether it be as a creative or in a particular industry. People that you will be able to share information with that will help you both along to the next opportunity, whatever that may be. 

You may think you're networking by sending an email here or there when you need help, but here are a few more consistent ways to stay in the mix that you may not have thought of:

LINKEDIN:  Every professional should have a profile.

This may seem like I'm stating the obvious but there are many
simple things that are frequently overlooked. 
 - Be sure your profile is complete and up to date. One of the first  
   thing a hiring manager does is look you up on here. Your 
   profile should match your most recent resume. 
 - Your photo should represent your professional brand. 

 - Keep your contacts updated. Run through your email every       
   once and a while and be sure you are connected to everyone 
   you should be.

 - Ask for and give recommendations. Make sure to always return    
   the favor. Keep in mind that managers and supervisors carry  
   more weight over co workers. 

- Stay in that timeline! Share an article. If you're looking for 
  work, it doesn't hurt to post a reminder. 

- Keep your skills updated. 
- Join groups. Be as active as you can on industry forums. You'd 
  be surprised how many jobs and leads come from this source. 
  Introduce yourself, speak a bit about what you do, consistently 
  interact and comment. 

- Try to connect with your contacts in real life. How? Send them 
  an invite to a networking event to attend with you. Meet up for  
  lunch or coffee and share ideas. Talk about what's going on in 
  your industry. 

- Always wanted to work for NBC? Find a recruiter or hiring 
  manager within that organization and request to connect. Send 
  an Inmail explaining your desire to explore opportunities 
  within their organization and that you would like to network. 
- Do not ask any connection for a job outright. It is  
  unprofessional and too forward. 

FACEBOOK: We use this site to share all kinds of silly and useless information. Use it to your professional advantage!

 - No doubt that your personal and professional contacts are 
   blended together in your friends list. Separate them by creating 
   a new list in your friends list and making note that these are 
   work contacts.This makes it much easier to filter who is 
   exposed to certain parts of your life and where information is 
- Take advantage of the many groups that are hosted here. You   
   will find many more people to network with. Be sure to 
- Post articles, talk about your next project, and share within this 
  circle. Remember the whole point is to stay visible. 
BLOGGING: This is a great way to share information, or promote your work, business, or portfolio and increase your possibility to attract potential clients. Not only will you stand out, but it will allow people to get to know you and give you an edge over competition in your field. It can take a lot of work, but the long term benefits outweigh it all. 

YOUTUBE: Do you have a channel? This a great way for filmmakers, motion and VFX artists to showcase their work and makes it incredibly easy to share on social networking sites. Work in fashion? If you show your work through fashion shows, take this opportunity to do short interviews with industry friends or do a vlog to do a behind the scenes of your shows. People love to SEE what you're doing, not just talking about it!  However you choose to use this medium, do your research and find out whats relevant and current so that people will be interested in watching. 

Industry/Networking Etiquette:

- Share and share alike! If someone shares your status or post, if 
  they comment - SAY THANK YOU! Share their statuses,  
  comment and interact with them as well. Build up that networking 
- Reading any blogs? Is it a good read? Is their information 
  valuable to you? SAY SO! Take time to leave a comment. 


Happy Networking! 

Image courtesy of

Monday, April 15, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

We can tweet now!


Follow The Crew Scene @TheCrewScene for up to the minute news and articles! 

Image courtesy of

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Insider Tips: What it REALLY takes to get cast in reality TV

One of the most common questions my friends in casting are asked
is: How do I make it onto reality TV? 

Everyone wants to be the next big thing, some struggling actors are looking for ways to jump start their career and the quickest way these days is to be a reality star.

I've worked in casting on several shows and I have to say that a lot of people think the key to getting noticed is to show up at castings in an outrageous outfit, pretending to be dysfunctional or controversial.  

The truth? All of those things can be seen through. They know if this is not really who you are. Every. Single. Time. 75% of what goes into making an initial casting decision is the person as a package. The look, personality, does your story make for good television. Will viewers be intrigued by you? Keep in mind this does not necessarily mean in a negative or emotional light.

Want to know what goes into that other 25% of making that casting decision and increase your chances? Read these tips:


First things first! Fill your application out correctly and include every single piece of information that was requested. 

Casting producers hate having to dig for things and will even throw out an application rather than have to waste their time contacting that person. In their defense, it eliminates the people that don't follow directions and could be hard to follow up with.


During this part of the process, the casting producer will ask you questions to gauge how you would fit on the show. 

Be straightforward and to the point and answer these questions within two to three sentences. Take this opportunity to how big  your personality is. When I say big personality, I mean as close to yourself as possible. Enhance it - if your passionate about what your vying for - show it. 

 Be YOURSELF but be confident, excited, enthusiastic,- all depending on the theme of the show. This is the time to be funny, if it applies and show your qualities that make you unique.


If the casting call has been out for a while, the needs will be more specific. If its in the last couple of weeks of  the casting, it makes it a lot harder to get through. 

Try to apply as close to the original casting date as possible.


If they ask for one pic, ONLY SEND ONE PIC! Don't send 15 and ask them to pick the best one. That's the whole point of asking for one pic. 

Always send a flattering pic that frames your face. No sunglasses, no blurry pics, etc.

Want a lil' more insight? Watch this quick interview from with Real World Star Kenny Santucci explain the casting process and how he made it.

Credits: Thank you to Amy Frank for contributing to this article

NAB Show - Day Three



Day three is all about exclusive coverage and special features! Black Magic will be on to discuss their news products like Cinema Camera, Abelcine will be covering the conference in the afternoon. Stay with us for coverage of NAB Show 2013 hosted right here at The Crew Scene! 

Livestream begins at 1:30pm EST.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Interview with Industry Insider: Production Coordinator Sara Laskow

Name: Sara Laskow

Industry:  Television Production

Where do you work?

Disney Channel (It's a Laugh Productions).  I am a Production Coordinator and I also do Audience Coordinating when I work on shows that have live studio audiences.  In the production office, I am responsible for a lot of things including the PA's.  I do everything from crew paperwork, to Deal Memos and contracts for the DGA, AFTRA, etc.  I am basically the "go to" person for any production needs. When I do audience related stuff, I am the liason between theaudience service we use and the production I am on. I also take care of any VIP audience guest requests.

What made you choose this as a career path? 

When I was little I used to come to LA to visit my dad and he would take me on studio tours.  Anything that was going on at any given time always seemed really exciting to me and I told my dad that I had no idea what I wanted to do but I knew it had to be in the entertainment industry.  Nothing else ever grabbed my attention the way the excitement of making a TV show or film did and after my first PA job working as a set PA on a Burger King Commercial in the middle of midtown Manhattan, during rush hour, I was hooked

Tell us your funniest experience on the job. 

I was working as a PA on a promo for Nurse Jackie in Brooklyn with Edie Falco and Melissa Etheridge.  For some reason, the director took a particular liking to me and instead of doing normal PA duties, he had me stand in for her the whole day. The funniest moment was when they were planning a shot of Melissa rocking out on her guitar with the wind blowing her hair.  I had to stand there pretending to play guitar in front of the whole crew with two gigantic, industrial fans blowing my hair all over the place.  I couldn't see at all and all my hair was getting in my mouth.  Looking back on it, it was really funny but at the time I was mortified.  I was happy that I didn't have to do any heavy lifting or cleaning up that day though.

What was something that took you by surprise when you first 
got started?

I was surprised by how important PA's are to a job but how much of what they do goes unnoticed.  The hours are long, people just expect you to know everything, and when you get something right, generally, people aren't there to pat you on the back, they just expect that is how it should always be done. While starting out as a PA is one of the best learning experiences you can have, it is not a teaching job.  You have to best fast on your feet and anticipate the needs of those around you.

What are the best / most difficult parts of your job.

One of my favorite things in terms of what I do is coordinating audience on show nights.  I love it because it gives me the gratification I need at the end of a long, hard, shoot week.  I am the one that can make a kid's dream come true by introducing them to their  favorite Disney star.  I have had opportunities to be involved in a few Make a Wish wishes and I think it will be hard to come across a more rewarding experience in my lifetime.  One of the hardest things is the politics of it all.  There will be times when you work with people that you absolutely love and want to work on every job with but then there will also be times where you just have to put up with people that you may not like.  On the last show I was on, I was working with someone who was not good at their job and I was picking up most of the slack.  I was then repremanded for not doing something that I was apparently supposed to do but was never told to do.  The job was very stressful and the hours were very long.   Everyone was
under a lot of pressure and I am sure things were just taken out on me for the wrong reasons but I had no choice but to smile and say, "ok". It is never in your best interest to throw someone else under the bus even if it is their fault because you never know who you will be working with on your next job.  For such a big industry, it is a small world.

Any projects/jobs coming up that you'd like to talk about?

I just finished the Girl Meets World Pilot for the Disney Channel.  It was one of those jobs that I got really excited about.  Getting to work on something that had a lot of hype was crazy! It was also really fungetting to work with people I  grew up watching on TV. The Executive Producer is also a really inspiring person to work with.  He is someone who is EXTREMELY passionate about what he does and wants everyone to learn which I feel is rare.  He would make sure all the PA's each had an opportunity to sit in the writer's room and contribute.  One of the PA's even ended up getting a joke in the script. This man was very old school and very dedicated to his craft. He wouldn't let anyone push him around and if he had a vision, he wanted to see it through and I really admired him for that. It was a wonderful experience and I hope I get brought on to do the series.

Advice for up and comers trying to break into you area of media?  

Love what you do and you'll never work a day in your life...for the most part.  When you are passionate about something, not only does it make things more exciting for you, but those around you will see it as well.  Treat each job like it is the most important one in the world, even if it is getting water for someone, you never know who you are getting water for.  I've worked with someone people who i've been told were extremely difficult but i've found if you treat them like you would like to be treated, then it pays off.  There are constant opportunities to network yourself and meet new people so take advantage of those opportunities without being too pushy or demanding, it is important to know your place in the world of production and have large amounts of respect for those around you and ALWAYS anticipate their needs as well but don't be annoying about it.  It could be as simple as restocking the fridge when the sodas get low or telling your boss to order more paper for the supply room.  Whatever it is, try and be on the ball.  It makes our jobs easier when we don't have to tell you do things and I promise, those things do not go unnoticed.