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"IMPRACTICAL JOKERS" LINE PRODUCER AND FTC ALUM TALKS CAREERS AND STAYING CREATIVE



By Briyahna Rice


On Tuesday, November 12th, the FTC Career Services team did it again, bringing in not only a phenomenal guest, but also an FTC graduate who now has a great career. That graduate was Phil Russell, who works as both the Line Producer on the well-known reality TV prank show, Impractical Jokers: Inside Jokes and the Post Coordinator on a new show called 100 Day Dream Home; both under the company NorthSouth Productions. Russell visited the college to talk to the students in the film division about how his time at FTC helped him get to where he is now in his life and career.


For his primary job as a Post Coordinator on both shows, Russell coordinates all of the post-production that happens, making sure the editors get all of the footage that they need and making sure that cuts are going out to the networks on time. Sometimes he’ll review and watch over the edits before they go out and give notes to the editors, such as what has to be changed, what was left out, or if a date was missing. When he came to Five Towns College from high school, he stated that he was just a kid who liked making movies, but like many new freshmen, didn’t know any of the intricacies that come with the different positions, or even what a director of photography was.


So, while he was at FTC, Russell learned as much as he could about all of the different positions, not to mention a lot about the value of teamwork. He feels that for people who want to be directors, it’s important for them to understand every aspect of filmmaking to better communicate with their crew. In his seminar, Russel gave examples of how he is able to talk with the field crew about what is needed on the post side of things when they’re shooting 100 Day Dream Home.


Utilizing FTC’s equipment and guidelines, Russell was able to take out the gear he needed and shoot as many projects as he wanted, doing close to 200 short films as a student. Whether class assignments or personal projects, he showed them to his professors and was able to learn as many different positions as he could. After he graduated from FTC, Russell came back to work as the Equipment Room Manager before he moved on to start freelancing as a cinematographer and camera operator. He gained these opportunities due to a group of talented friends he had at FTC, who were all comedians and enjoyed producing comedy films.


The group then started going to Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) comedy classes in Manhattan and