If anyone asked me one year ago what I thought I would be doing today, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I could say, “I am an Associate Producer for a reality television production company at AMS Pictures.” I feel so blessed every day I get to come to work, and it all started by taking a chance on the Original Programming internship. I still remember sitting down with our Director of Development, having a very limited idea of what reality television production was about and walking out taking a very important step towards my future. I was told I would get out of this as much as I was willing to put in. After a little hesitation, I hopped right onto the road less traveled and decided “I can only learn so much in a classroom – so let’s do this!” I took a small break from the Art Institute and enrolled in Andy Streitfeld’s School of TV and Moviemaking! My career in reality television production began!
My first day, I was put onto a location production, where they were taping a sizzle for truTV. This was nothing like what we did in school. I didn’t have animation students pretending to be grips — this was a REAL production. Our Technical Director pulled up on the grip truck, unloading lights galore. One of our camera operators was strapping light panels to places I didn’t think light panels could hang. One of our grips was giving a Grip 101 lesson to the 3 newbies. I was thrown right in to see if I would sink or swim. By the end of the day, I was definitely swimming and knew this was exactly what I wanted to do. Through the duration of my internship, I was involved in the development and production of several sizzles and on set for a pilot for HGTV. Before I knew it, I was brought on full time as the Associate Producer for the Nando Parrado documentary and Ma’s Roadhouse — two projects that couldn’t be more different.
The greatest thing about being an Associate Producer for a television production company in Dallas is that I am pushed to my limits daily. I have to be able to organize a shoot on the side of a mountain while on a set with props you need to see to believe; wrangle unruly bar patrons while the Director of Photography for my next TV show is asking what the call times are for tomorrow. Being a reality television production Associate Producer means I have to listen to every conversation around me, filtering out what I know I can take care of and doing it before being asked. I could join the circus with the amount of juggling I do.
The best part about being in this industry is that I am only limited by my creativity and effort; no one will ever tell me that I am doing too much or that my ideas are too off the wall. I feel like there is a great competitive drive that forces us all to a new level every day, and it makes me want to wake up in the morning just to see how far I can push myself today. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by great producers with immeasurable talent who are willing to take the time to teach me what they know.
Since starting with AMS Pictures a year ago, I have worked on a series and a documentary that are soon set to air on major cable networks, one sizzle in development and a string of ideas just waiting to be brought to life. I don’t know what it’s like being an Associate Producer in other reality television production departments – but here at AMS Pictures…I am pretty much the luckiest person in the world!