The Process of Hollywood Stardom

Jordan Tyner, a 25 year old Columbus, Ohio, native, has steadily climbed the Hollywood ranks as a freelance production assistant. Though he’s seemingly in the infancy of his professional career, Tyner has already worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. Since moving to LA in late 2014, Tyner has taken part in the development of projects from Hollywood heavyweights like Michael Bay, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Issa Rae. His accomplishments are a true testament to his work ethic, one he insists will help propel his future endeavors as an aspiring independent producer for major film and TV productions.

How would you explain what it is you do professionally?

I work as an assistant on film and television productions. My top priority is to support the production and my superiors to ensure the project is running smoothly, on budget and on schedule.

What pushed your transition from journalism to TV and movie production?

I initially planned on pursuing journalism with goals of becoming a sports reporter, but quickly learned that I preferred to stay behind the camera. I easily made the switch to film production because of my interest in telling stories. After learning the process of filmmaking, I became the most intrigued by the ever-changing challenges that came with working in this industry and I love the idea of having a career in which I can entertain people for a living.

Originally from Columbus, Ohio, how did you make the jump to LA?

While a student at Ohio University, I received the opportunity to attend the school’s inaugural Ohio-in-LA program during the Fall Semester of my senior year. I joined 15 other classmates as we took classes in Los Angeles to learn about the entertainment business, all while interning at companies that we were interested in. At the end of the program, I made the decision to stay in LA for good and completed my final semester of college online.

What were you doing once you first got to LA?

When I got to LA as part of the Ohio-in-LA program, I obtained an internship at a commercial production and development company called The Institute. I worked as the development intern in the production office, which was run by the producing partner of Michael Bay. As an intern, I had the opportunity to learn the process behind developing films, television series, and commercial projects. This was a fruitful experience that enhanced my desire to work in this industry, while also showing me what it takes to run a production company.

One of your biggest connections is Cuba Gooding Jr. How did that come about?

My first paid gig in Los Angeles was as a production assistant on a TNT television show called The Last Ship. I saw this as my foot in the door, so I made it my mission to make an impact through my hard work because I knew it would lead to better opportunities. Shortly after this gig ended, I was approached by one of my former coworkers that recommended me to work as Cuba’s assistant while he filmed the hit TV show American Crime Story. I have worked with Cuba over the last few years on various projects from television shows, feature films and commercials.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned from working with Gooding Jr?

One of the biggest things I learned from working with Cuba is to always remain confident. He preached that I should trust my intuition and not be afraid of being wrong. With my position as his assistant, it was always necessary that I represented him confidently so that others would trust and respect me. Being confident meant getting rid of self-doubt and to only use mistakes or failures as lessons and not barriers.

With your current position as a Production Assistant for Issa Rae, did you feel they translated well?

I worked as a Production Assistant on Season 3 of HBO’s Insecure. The most valuable part of that experience was having the opportunity to work with a cast and crew that is predominantly Black. Up to this point, I haven’t worked on a project like this, so it was very inspiring to see people like me in the business that are successful. Being able to see how hard Issa works and how involved she is with the show showed me what it takes to reach her level.

What are your future plans/endeavors?

I am currently set to attend the American Film Institute to obtain my Master’s Degree in Producing. As a Producer, I will oversee every aspect of a film’s production from development to distribution. Eventually, I plan to start my own independent production company so I can help bring someone’s vision to life, while also creating the content that I want to share with the world.

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