We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer “Jedon” Hatcher and Monique Shaw and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, Monique, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
We started First Team Productions because over the years, working in the film industry, we saw a large number of newer Production Assistants (PAs) that were ill prepared to work on a film set. Everyone has some sort of training to work in their industry. A Doctor, Lawyers, but in the film industry the proper training necessary to excel is not easily accessible. Often times, you learn as you go. First Team Productions is really pulling the curtain back to give people with aspirations to work in film the education needed to fill this void. Some PA’s may turn to two day boot camps but often leave with service level information. The basics, and who wants to be basic? We know because we too we’re these types of PAs early on in our careers, but looking back on our 10 year tenure, we are sharing what we learned along the way with our first project; Walkie Check? Good Check. The Complete Guide To Being a Production Assistant In The Television & Film Industry.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Our business works well because we are like Yin and Yang, and it works! Jedon is the logistics. Loves organization, networking inside the industry and builds efficient processes for the company. Monique, on the other hand, thrives in visual creativity. She is a storyteller and loves to develop visual concepts from start to finish, invites the opportunity to share her talents with the team and puts her fingerprints on every aspect of a project.
One thing that sets these two women apart from many of their PA associates is their backgrounds. Both women gave up lucrative careers in Corporate America to pursue their passion for the film industry. Fortunately their background in a somewhat stringent environment, also gave them a deeper understanding of professionalism, confidentiality, and work ethics. Not to say that their counterparts don’t have these attributes, but their understanding of these attributes are deep rooted in pure drive and passion. Working as a Production Assistant isn’t easy. There’s a lot of 4AM wake up calls because you have to be on set before the shooting crew. There’s hours upon hours of standing on your feet. There have also been plenty of nights when all they could do is literally crawl into the house because their feet or backs gave out on them at work. Not to mention missed family events, and being a working parent is often the hardest. But giving your children a role model to aspire to, making your close friends and family proud, and the pure determination to succeed in this industry wouldn’t let them stop.
First Team Productions wants our community to know that we are striving to empower PAs to step onto any film set and be a Rock Star through our life experiences. It doesn’t matter if you are a Film Professional, Movie Buff or Breaking into the industry. We have something valuable to share and through it all, you will gain a different perspective of film from our viewpoint.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Being in the film industry, and shooting on location, they both have seen some of Georgia’s hidden gems. With both of the ladies being transplants to Atlanta, Jédon being from Washington, D.C. and Monique from Columbia, SC, they both have taken friends and family off the beaten path of the typical Atlanta trip. To get some downtime in the city and to enjoy the fruits of their labor whenever they can. Jédon is a huge foodie and some of her favorite spots are St. Cecilia in Buckhead, New York Prime Steakhouse and Bon Ton’s in midtown.
Now, Jédon also likes to let her hair down from time to time so you may catch her at a cigar lounge like Patio, Acere or at a rooftop lounge like Whiskey Blue or Sky Lounge. While the weekends may be short in the entertainment industry, because chances are you’ll spend your Saturday catching up on rest, Jedon will make sure that she finds the time to pamper herself. That may mean getting her nails done or getting a massage or facial.
Monique takes refuge in spending time with her family, her husband and children. She loves a good couples date night with friends. Date nights may consist of going to the Garden Room in Buckhead, wine tasting or catching a live jazz concert in or around the Atlanta area. She too understands the value of self care so a great HITT workout with Effect Fitness would be next on the agenda, hiking up Stone Mountain or just having a good ol’ BBQ at home in the backyard is the perfect way to spend a weekend.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We want to end by dedicating this article first and foremost to our First Team Productions internal staff. These women joined the team because they believed in Jedon and Monique’s vision for the company. They dedicate their time and give valuable input to help push the company forward everyday. Thank you could never be enough; We Appreciate You! Last but never least, we want to give a shout out to our friends and families. They understand the sacrifice that comes with this job, along with our dream to become entrepreneurs, some days seem impossible. You all pour into us consistently that nothing is impossible. Our dreams are bigger than what we could ever imagine, but we could never do it without family. We do this for you because we know you are always rooting for us to succeed. Thank you.
In closing, we want to encourage anyone wanting to work in the film industry, to keep going until you achieve that goal. Most importantly, surround yourself with positivity, and you have to take care of yourself physically, mentally and spiritually. Self care is very important.
Linkedin: First Team Productions
Other: Email: email@example.com