Category Archives: Assistant Director (AD)

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We are Alyssa and Lindsay; we both grew up in Massachusetts (Cape Cod and Brookline, MA) and have made careers in the film industry over the past five years here. We met working on Moonrise Kingdom in 2011 and, last year, we got married and purchased a house in Medford, MA. We both feel so fortunate that we can live and work in the place where we grew up (doing the work we love!) and be close to our amazing friends, parents, siblings, and adorable niece and nephews.

Alyssa joined the DGA two years ago as an assistant director with her local designated as Boston, MA. She also works as a VFX coordinator with local company, Zero VFX. Lindsay is a member of IATSE Local 481 and works as a props assistant, on-set dresser, and doing SPFX.

Please keep the tax incentive so we can continue living, working, and being part of the Boston community that is our home!

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I moved my wife and children back to the east coast to have a better life. I knew I’d have to travel around the country for work, but I also knew we would establish a great base and great way of life, near family, with the same values I grew up with.

As my children began to grow up (they are now 14 and 12), the thought of traveling for work became something that I liked less every day. In 2006, the film industry in Massachusetts began to explode with the advent of the tax incentive; since August of that year, I have been able to work on projects in Massachusetts and sleep in my own bed (with the exception of one film project). I’m not sure I’d have the relationship with my children and my wife that I have, or the chance to pay off my mortgage and be able to maintain a healthy financial life if it weren’t for the opportunity I have to work in the film business in Massachusetts.

I’m proud of the work that we’ve done here and how the expansion of the film business has created many, many jobs.

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My name is Elizabeth MacSwan. I am an assistant director and have been a Massachusetts resident for almost my entire life. I first knew I wanted to be in the film industry when I was 14. I attended USC film school in Los Angeles, since that was where I thought I needed to be if I wanted to be a filmmaker. I quickly realized that California wasn’t for me and, once I graduated in 2002, I actively pursued getting film work back on the East Coast. I worked as a production assistant in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, DC, and New York. During this time, I always called Massachusetts my home, despite not being here very much. It would have been easier to move to another state to live and work, but I simply didn’t want to live anywhere else.

In 2005, I got my first job in Massachusetts as a PA on the movie The Departed. Since then, because of the tax incentive, I have been able to work here in Massachusetts and rarely have to travel. I’ve moved up the chain to assistant director and, in 2008, I bought a home in Waltham. I am close to my family, in the industry I love, and I call home the only place that has ever felt that way. Without the incentive, I wouldn’t be able to say any of those things. In addition, I’ve had the privilege of getting to watch our Massachusetts film family grow in both numbers and skill, proving to productions coming in that they don’t need to bring in their crews from out of town. We have the talent they need right here. Please continue with the tax incentive, so we may all work and live where our hearts lie, in this wonderful state we all call home.

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My name is Brendan.  I was born and raised in Quincy and I have worked in film almost six years now. Without the film tax incentive, I would have no work and be forced to move out of the state and away from my family. I work with hundreds of people on a daily basis that are employed because of the incentive. Eliminating the film tax incentives will hurt thousands of Massachusetts residents and businesses.

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My name is Stephen Turro. I moved to Massachusetts  when I was 19 years old to attend UMass Boston. At 18 and 19, my now-wife and I struggled for years to make ends meet, bouncing from job to job while in school full-time. When I got my first job as a production assistant on Ted in 2011, it changed my life. I was given a chance at a career and I’ve made the most of it.

I haven’t stopped working in the industry since. In a few months, I will be eligible to join the Director’s Guild of America (DGA) as an assistant director. After a near decade-long engagement, my girlfriend Audrey and I could finally afford to make it official and got married in August 2013. All of my film work has allowed me to support my wife while she finished her bachelor’s degree and eventually her MBA. None of this would have been possible without the film work here in Massachusetts. We were hoping to try for kids in the next year or so, but if the film tax incentives are eliminated, our plans will be put on hold. We’ll have to leave Massachusetts, and the cost of relocating to Georgia, Louisiana, or some other state with film tax incentives will put a financial hold on any plans for a family in the near future. Please keep the film tax incentives and keep Massachusetts filming!

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My name is David Chapman. I am a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) working as an assistant director on film, television, and commercial productions — some of which were Jimmy Fund/Dana Farber fundraising commercials to which I proudly donated my time.

After interning at local Boston TV and radio stations throughout college, and graduating from the UMass Amherst, I was able to land a job as a production assistant on the film The Witches of Eastwick.  From there, I chased the rare films around New England, culminating in a move to Los Angeles.  Eventually, I moved back here to work as an AD on the Fox series Against the Law — the last network series to be shot in Massachusetts. Although the series was short-lived, it precipitated my move back to the area to be with my family.

The film tax incentive program has helped the local infrastructure begin to grow. I have seen a generation of young film professionals and ancillary businesses, both large and small, plant real roots in this community. While productions want to come to Massachusetts for the talented crew and beautiful locations, as in any business, they will only come while we provide a competitive business environment.  Thank you for your support of the Massachusetts film tax incentive program.

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My name is Ken, and I am an assistant director and member of the Directors Guild of America. As I grew up in Chelmsford, MA, I was enthralled with characters and fantastic stories from the movies that I loved to watch. While studying at the UMass Amherst, I dreamed of the day that I would be blessed with the chance to work on films myself. In 2005, when I graduated, I was very happy that I could pursue my passion here in the state that I have grown up in and love. I am thankful that I’ve been able to make a living loving the work I do while remaining close with family and friends. My hope is to one day direct/produce projects here with the many other talented people with whom I have build friendships these past ten years.

The film tax incentive is the reason that talent is growing in this great state of ours. Please, Gov. Baker and the others who represent this great state of ours: help that talent to grow and prosper. With your help and the continuing hard work of the people whom I’m proud to call my friends, one day this state could have a sustained booming industry that our country and the rest of the world will applaud for years to come.

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My name is Jill. I’m a hardworking member of the middle class. I’m a regular person. I’m married and I have two children. I’m a library trustee at my town library (this is an unpaid, elected position). I volunteer my time speaking to young girls such as the Girl Scouts, trying to inspire them to reach for their dreams. I’m sure you’ve seen me around — I sit next to you on the T, at Sox games, and in your local movie theater. I love to watch movies and, even more, I love to make movies. I work in the film industry.

I grew up in Massachusetts and have always lived here. I put myself through college here. I want to raise my children here because I love it here. I know a whole lot of people believe that the Massachusetts film tax incentive only benefits wealthy people who live out of state, so I’d like to clear up that misunderstanding. The film tax incentives benefits me, regular Jill, and a lot of people like me: your neighbors.

The number of films and TV shows shooting here in Massachusetts has doubled over the past two years. If the film tax incentive is phased out, nothing will be shot here, and productions will move along to somewhere else that does have a tax incentive. Really, they will.

I pay real estate, excise, sales, and income tax here. I work hard, as do the thousands of other Massachusetts residents who choose to work in the film industry. We aren’t famous actors, we aren’t insanely wealthy, and we don’t take advantage of a tax incentive and flee the state with bunches of money, which is the image far too many people have of how it works. We’re regular people, like you, just trying to keep our jobs. Please, help us. Please, don’t let Baker phase out the film tax incentive.

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