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Last August, an opportunity came knocking at my door via IAFT.  After winning a scholarship for their certificate filmmaking program, I often found myself attending their free taster workshops and open houses as a way to get a leg up on my courses, but also to meet industry peers and network.  It was at one such workshop that I met Aaron Palermo.

I had actually met Aaron three years earlier; when we had a brief conversation on the telephone in response to a call for artists I posted on one of the local actor ‘Meetup‘ pages.  Aaron, like myself, is from California and has made a name for himself as a leading indie film director in Hong Kong.  Although we had a pleasant conversation and expressed interest in working together, it was three years before I finally met Aaron in person at IAFT.

Again, our conversation was brief, but enjoyable.  Aaron is definitely a colorful character, an individual devoted to finishing a film he’s been producing for three years now.  He’s someone who decided that if he’s going to make it in this industry, it’s going to be of his own accord – I respect that.

A week later I received a call from Aaron offering me a job as the Assistant Director on a film being directed by Lawrence Gray. I had crossed paths with Lawrence before, once at Dov S.S. Siemens two day film school, and on again at Jeanne Hartman‘s acting workshop.  The way Aaron put it was that Lawrence needed someone to protect him from actors, production managers, and anyone in general who may try to come in and take advantage of his kindness.  In other words I would be the bad guy; I would have to be “Les Goodman” – Tom Cruise‘s character from “Tropic Thunder.”

Aaron convinced me that I should take on the challenge, claiming I would learn everything about the film industry and that the pay would be pretty good too.  So I contacted Lawrence, and in a few days I found myself at the door of a production company called, “Fat Englishman Films Ltd“.

Stay tuned to my blog until next week, to find out what happened next as I set foot into the confusing and far from glamorous world of a micro budget feature film for the very first time!

Joey Angelakis, IAFT Student

Our programs offer advanced training in:

– Acting
– Screenwriting
– Directing
– Editing
– Producing
– Cinematography
– Sound Design

One Hollywood Blvd
Bigfoot I.T. and Media Park
6015 Lapu-lapu City
Cebu, Philippines
Globe/Viber: +63-917-314-3456
Smart: +63-947-991-9659
Phone: +63-32-495-2111
Skype: iaft.student.advisor

1/F Trust Tower
68 Johnston Road,
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Phone: +852-5808-3440

Kaasrui 12, 2000
Antwerp, Belgium
Phone: +32-3-808-3600

6363 S. Pecos Road – Suite 103
Las Vegas, NV 89120
Phone: 1-702-475-5614

635 S. San Fernando Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91502
Phone: 818-581-3055



IAFT Cebu, Philippines is a film school that delivers an educational experience that reflects Hollywood roots and traditions. Founded in 2004, IAFT Cebu offers Certificate and Diploma programs in film , acting and 3D animation. Located in: One Hollywood Blvd
, Bigfoot I.T. and Media Park, Lapu-lapu City, Cebu, Philippines. Email:, Contact Numbers: Globe/Viber: +63-917-314-3456 Smart: +63-947-991-9659 Phone: +63-32-495-2111