• Lilly Heidari

Production Coordinator to Partner Relations

During Holy Irresistible, I worked as an Assistant Production Coordinator. Our main duties in production included administrative tasks, running errands, helping manage craft services, and supporting our team of 50+ cast and crew members, most of whom lived together in a dormitory during the shoot. I also helped gather background actors from the Rome community, network with local businesses, and organize the wrap party. Working on Holy was life changing. Our team was full of passionate, kind, ambitious people who worked hard every single day. Our days were long, busy, and often fast-paced.

The spirit of collaboration and teamwork was so strong during the entire production. I learned so much about how a film is made and how each person in every department does their job. Because we were an indie project, we often shared duties and helped each other out. I was the boom mic operator for about two weeks, and it was really cool to learn that skill set as well. Holy was such a learning experience — my friends and I learned about film production from mentors and industry professionals as we all worked on this one wonderful project.

Also, it was a new era in history; vaccinations had just become accessible, and I went from seeing only a couple friends at a time while masked to living with forty new vaccinated friends and co-workers. It was an explosion of community, of connection, and I cherished it even more because of the pandemic.

As I grow out a buzzcut from this summer, I’m also growing into life post-graduation. After Holy Irresistible wrapped, I went home to Columbia and got to work. For the first time, I didn’t have much to edit: I was writing a completely new part of my story. I started to restructure my life, now without an academic framework, considering what kind of work and projects I wanted in my schedule. It’s scary approaching a season where you make all the decisions, especially when you’re not sure if you can professionally do what you’re passionate about. I have embraced that fear and all the uncertainties that come with it.

I started working for Local Cinema managing Partner Relations and Events Coordination. In addition, I’ve had several other part time jobs throughout these new chapters. In July, I trained with the new Anne Frank Center at USC to be a tour guide for the museum exhibits. I then worked as a nanny for three months, and in October, I stage managed a play about women with Medicaid who gave birth during the pandemic. Since then, I’ve done part time work as a stagehand for venues in Columbia. Throughout these commitments, I’ve focused on my own creative projects, specifically writing and making music. I’ve had a wide range of experiences since May, and shifting between environments has taught me almost as much as the experiences themselves. Life happens also in these in-betweens, in the time outside of work, when I get home, and the quiet days without work. I am learning in the limbo, especially since I didn’t have many periods of stillness as a student. Now I get to design my life from the stillness, which, though challenging, is hopeful and full of potential.

Local Cinema has been one of the few constants in my life since graduation. It is such a joy working with people I love on projects we’re all passionate about. Since the summer, we’ve met once a week to discuss our current duties, projects we’re collaborating on, and what we can do moving forward. So far, I’ve made budget plans, helped plan events, been applying to grants to help fund our non-profit, collaborated with our team on a newsletter, and read and discussed new scripts. I’ve also written a blog post (if you’re reading this, that means that I did in fact finish the blog post. Also, the way I wrote this was absolutely not linear at all.). A couple weeks ago, I attended the Rome International Film Festival with several of our other team members to represent Local Cinema and make connections with industry professionals. And the future for Local Cinema is full of unique and interesting projects.

This kind of work wasn’t one of the avenues I had originally foreseen when I was nervously reimagining life after college — this was a kind of work I simply didn’t know a lot about. Local Cinema is creative, passionate, and centered around community and connection. I am so grateful to be learning how to do this work as I do it, and above all, to be learning and working with such wonderful friends. And as usual, I’m working on my own personal creative projects, looking toward a future I now know solidly and professionally prioritizes community, collaboration, and storytelling. I am writing and revising as I go. What an exciting season of change.

Read more about Lilly's journey here