Hollywood recently called one JSU student, and he answered.
Zach Annesty, a Drama major with a Technical concentration and Music minor, is currently in Los Angeles, at work on the movie Divergent.
“When I got the e-mail for this job, I sat there on the futon and paused everything I had going at the time: my computer, my TV, and my radio, so that I was in absolute silence,” Annesty says. “The first thought I had after I sat there for a while was, ‘What do I have going on that week?’ I instantly started thinking of what I had to do to make this trip possible.”
Annesty, 25, went on a film tour study class to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, through JSU last summer. It was there, while he and the other students were helping on the set of a movie, that Annesty made an impression on 1st Assistant Director (A.D.) Artist Robinson.
Robinson is also one of the many 1st A.D.s at work on Divergent.
On the set of Divergent, Annesty is a Production Assistant (P.A.).
“The P.A.s are basically the management staff for a movie production,” Annesty explains. “Sometimes the P.A. group has multiple jobs to do in order to make the set run as smoothly as possible.”
Annesty is responsible for the distribution of paperwork such as time cards and time sheets every day and says that he is also in charge of the producer’s table. “This means the first thing I have to do when I come in to work is set up the producer’s table in the exact spot they want it, with the exact type of chair to go with it,” he says.
“If this isn’t done right, I have been told that the producers have the right to fire any person they want to just because they aren’t happy with the progress of the movie.”
Divergent is based on a book of the same name by Veronica Roth. It follows a dystopian society that is divided into five sections, each of which cultivates a different virtue in its residents. When residents are 16 years old, they choose the faction in which they must live for the rest of their lives, even if that means saying goodbye to their family and friends. The story focuses on one girl, Beatrice ‘Tris’ Prior, who has a secret that may destroy her or could help save the people she loves from an unraveling society.
Annesty admits that even though he is working on the movie, he has never read the Divergent book series.
“I have actually never read any of these books that have been turning into movies,” he says. “What I do is have my fiancé buy the books and have her tell me about them in detail. I hate to read.”
Annesty that he is a fan of Divergent based on the summaries that he’s heard and read.
Annesty plans to complete his degree program and graduate from JSU in 2014. His career goals are to become well-known in the filmmaking industry and doing whatever he can in the craft.
He will fly back to Jacksonville on February 2nd to continue his studies.
Divergent stars Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller, Kate Winslet, and Theo James. It opens in theaters and IMAX March 21st, 2014.