As part of our continuing 3Questions series, I present John Poladian, a Production Coordinator for the CW TV show 90210. Prior to joining 90210, John was an assistant production coordinator on the hit series, 24.
His position "is basically best described as a manager for the working crew. Within my department, I have an Assistant Production Coordinator and three Production Assistants. We help every department within the show with whatever they need. We make sure production runs as smooth as it can be from pre-production to production to wrap. We are basically the heart of the show, without us, the show will die."
HBAD: How did you get your start?
JP: I started in this business by studying Cinema, Television & Arts at California State University of Northridge (CSUN). CSUN was able to get me in the Intern Program and they helped me get an internship with Warner Bros. I interned for a short lived WB show call Maybe It's Me. Once I graduated, I was asked to work for Warner Bros as a production assistant. My first real show was the FOX drama Fastlane. I have worked on various projects for WB, CW, FOX, Nickelodeon and ESPN. My favorite show was working for 24. I was there for 5 years.
HBAD: What are the most difficult challenges you've encountered on your career path?
JP: The most difficult challenges that I've encountered is having to fire production assistants. It never gets easier. The job is not difficult, but some PAs just are not cut out for this business.
Another challenge is the balancing act I have to do between work and my personal life. My job takes anywhere from 12 to 14 hours a day. It's hard to maintain a relationship when you are consumed by your job. I rarely see my family. I try to see them every Sunday, but sometimes that becomes difficult. My girlfriend is still trying to get used to this business. I'm not going to lie. It's not easy. You really have to want to be in this business to make it work. I have seen a lot of people walk away or move back home because they couldn't handle it.
HBAD: What advice would you have for someone just starting out in this business, looking to get into production?
JP: The advice I have for high school & college grads is that they have to remember that it doesn't matter what film school you went to. I've seen so many students who think they are big shits just because they graduated from USC or NYU Film School. Just work hard and do what your boss asks you to do. And do it with a smile. And I think that applies for all jobs. Trust me, people take notice in the hard workers.