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Natalie Angel, Production Coordinator

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by april macintyreThe work of a production coordinator (POC) can’t be easily described. That person wears many hats, depending on the size and type of production. The job often involves anticipating problems before they arise—plus triple-checking details, deflecting unwanted calls or visitors, and triaging all kinds of creative personalities. It’s not a job for passive, spineless types. Just ask Natalie Angel.After graduating from the University of Texas with a B.S. in radio, film and television, Angel wisely took an internship with the Texas Film Commission. Like many coordinators, she worked her way up the production-office ladder, through the ranks of assistant production coordinator and producer’s assistant before squarely landing as POC for some of the biggest films to roll through the Lone Star State.Angel recently finished work as POC on The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, an untitled Mike Judge film, and The Ringer. Below the Line caught up with her on her newest project, Every Word is True, directed by Douglas McGrath, starring Sandra Bullock, Sigourney Weaver and Angelica Houston, currently filming in Texas.Below the Line: This is your fourth big movie as POC in less than two years. How are you managing at this pace? How is this film going so far?Natalie Angel: The pace can be intense and challenging; I have to depend on the individuals that I hire to provide me support. As for this film, after four in a row, it finally comes natural.BTL: What has been your biggest challenge with Every Word is True? Any there particular areas or departments that are more difficult than usual?Angel: I thought the biggest challenge would be with our high caliber of actors, the “dealing” with the stars and their agents; however, everyone has been extremely nice and very enthusiastic about the project. I would say every department has their hands full. This is a period film about a real person. This story has been told before but this one has to be remembered. That’s a lot of pressure.BTL: How involved do you get in hiring the production office crew? Can you talk specifically about your staff on this film?Angel: I have the privilege of hiring the production office crew, and I have the best. Karen Wacker is the assistant production office coordinator, Chris Jackson is the travel coordinator and Karen Ramirez is the production secretary/PA. This is our third film together as a team and we still like to hang out together after work.BTL: Finding good POC jobs is not easy, especially when you are situated between Hollywood and New York. Will you try either coast to find more work, or are you planning on staying in Texas? And what about mining the busy New Orleans/Louisiana film production scene?Angel: I left Austin for two years to live in Los Angeles. I was called back home in 2000 for a film and have been working here ever since. Should I need to go back to Los Angeles, New Orleans or if I ever get the chance to work in New York, Austin will always be home.BTL: Everyone outside the business thinks that it’s all glamour and fun. What is your reality check and best advice to anyone pursuing this crew position as a career?Angel: If you are looking [for a career in this position], you must first have the mindset to produce the best film possible. Then, and only then, should you consider this as a career. If you want to get in for the glamour and fun, make friends with a film person and just go to the parties.

Written by April MacIntyre

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