Hi, I’m MJ! I’m a freelance Production Designer in LA, with a body of work that includes a pretty wide range: digital series, branded content, television, and feature films. My very first gig was in 2011 as an Art PA on ABC’s Wipeout. It was a big budget, major network challenge-reality show that taught me a broad skill set which I’ve carried with me into my work in smaller budget narrative content: basic construction, foam sculpting, driving a scissor lift in the rain, using a screw gun while wearing mittens, and the importance of having a sharpie at all times (AT ALL TIMES!). Since then, I’ve Production Designed digital content for Disney Online, Fullscreen, GSN’s Door 3, and my first feature, American Folk, was released last week. My team is currently in pre-production with HLG Studios for a web series called Binge, which is very near and dear to my heart. You can see links to most of that stuff on my website! mariejach.com
Life as a freelancer in any field isn’t easy, but being a freelance art person in digital media can be especially difficult. Even if you’re incredibly talented and hard working, sometimes it can feel like being in one of those money-catching booths on an old game show. But, not only are you up against the clock, the lights are off, you’re covered in goo, and you’ve had nothing but string cheese to eat for five hours. So, over the last 8 years, I’ve learned a lot about how to navigate life on set and those slow time freelance blues, while building a network of awesome collaborators, and a crew that I love and trust.
ASK ME ANYTHING about any of those things… OR:
- Being a female department head
- How to turn a penny into a dime and look like a million bucks
- When to say no
- Dealing with your inner critic
- Kit organization. I LOVE talking about how to organize kits.
- The difference between a PD and an Art Director and a Set Dec and a DP. (A lot of people don’t know and that’s okay!)
- How to negotiate your day rate without seeming or feeling like a jerk.
- Anything that might be so dumb or awkward, you could only ask a total stranger on a public forum.