“Copy That!” – The 1st AD (with Starr Victoria & Jada Merritt)

“Copy That!” – The 1st AD (with Starr Victoria & Jada Merritt)

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Star Victoria graduated Cum Laude from Georgia State University. She was awarded the prestigious Mary Pickford Scholarship to attend USC to obtain her MFA in Film and Television Production. She is an Assistant Director and Producer, best known for La Ruta (2019), Jade (2019), and Lakewood (2010). She was named winner in the Best Woman Student Filmmaker-West Region in the DGA Student Awards. Star was also the winner in the Jury Prize Social Change category by First Look, USA, and joint winner of the Gold Telly Award for Social Video in the General Student category for La Ruta in 2020/21.

On the podcast this week we welcome Star Victoria. Star dives into what the role of the 1st AD involves, how it differs from the director’s job, and why it is such a key position in filmmaking. She discusses potential routes into becoming a 1st AD, the key skills and qualities needed, and gives tips and advice on getting a foot in the door. Star Victoria also shares her personal story of the experiences in her early life that brought her to take on behind-the-camera roles rather than pursue her initial passion for acting.

“It’s basically putting pieces of a puzzle together so that all the producers, the directors, and actors see how the plan to make this movie is laid out.” – Star Victoria

“I always think of the First AD as the directors firsthand.” – Tamika Lamison

“There’s never been a movie or a show that had enough time or enough money.” – Adam Leipzig

Highlights This Week:

● How the first assistant director allows the Director to focus on the vision of the project rather than its coordination.

● How Star Victoria gets to understand what the director needs when she’s working with them for the first time.

● How a first assistant director keeps the timings on track.

● Ways being a first assistant director has informed Star Victoria’s role as a director.

● How she stays in her lane as a director and lets her first assistant do their job.

● How Star Victoria got her first gig in the industry.

● The importance of diversity and inclusivity on film sets and why the industry is seeing more opportunities for women directors.

● The importance of building good relationships in the industry.

● Star Victoria’s advice for an up and coming assistant director on how to keep yourself mentally strong during production.

“You never leave theater, you might take extended vacations from it, but you never leave.” – Adam Leipzig

“When you can make a film that’s entertaining and makes a difference or has impact, to me that’s a win-win.” – Tamika Lamison

Guest Stars

Star Victoria

Star Victoria

Star Victoria graduated Cum Laude from Georgia State University. She was awarded the prestigious Mary Pickford scholarship to attend USC to obtain her MFA in Film and Television Production. Star recently directed her 1st feature film for Lifetime and TD Jakes called Lust starring Keri Hilson and Tank. In 2020, Star's USC Thesis film La Ruta won a Directors Guild of America Jury Award for Best Student Film Directed by a Woman from the West Coast, a Gold Telly Award, Gold Davey Award, Silver Young Directors Award, USC's First Look Industry award for Best Social Change film as well as the Los Angeles Cinematography award for Best Student Film and Best Actress. It has screened at several festivals around the world including Dances With Film, American Black Film Festival in the Emerging Directors category, LA Shorts, MiCignero in Mexico and L’Hospitalet De Llbregat International Film Festival in Barcelona Spain. Star is also an invaluable 1st Assistant Director for many productions including the USC thesis film Lalo's House, which won silver in the Student Academy awards in 2018.
Jada Merritt

Jada Merrit

Jada Merritt has been working actively as a set PA and Assistant Director in the film and tv industry since 2017. Based in Oklahoma City, her production credits include shows like “American Ninja Warrior”, “Stillwater”, and “Golden Arm”.

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