Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab Shadow Program

Two people stand behind a camera, looking on at a scene they are presumably recording. They both wear face masks though the person in front, who is Black, has pulled their face mask down to smile at what they are looking at to the right off-screen. The photo is in black and white.

A shadowing opportunity to learn on-set with BlackStar — for Black, Brown, and Indigenous filmmakers in Philadelphia.


BlackStar’s Filmmaker Lab Shadow Program will offer filmmakers the opportunity to be on set and learn as this year’s Lab films are being produced.

The Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab is a year-long fellowship for four local BIPOC filmmakers. These filmmakers are creating short films, executive produced by BlackStar, that will premiere at the 2022 BlackStar Film Festival. The Shadow Program offers additional local filmmakers the chance to observe these productions as they happen, pairing selected participants with a department head or crew member on set over a multi-day shoot this Spring. These filmmakers will gain first-hand knowledge about film production, receive further professional experience, and make invaluable connections with others in the industry.

Applications for this year’s Lab Shadow Program will open January 13 and participants will be selected by early March.

The BlackStar Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab is presented with Xfinity, with additional support from All Ages Productions, Independence Public Media Foundation, Kickstarter, Vimeo, and Wyncote Foundation.

FAQs Questions? FAQs Questions? FAQs Questions? FAQs Questions? FAQs Questions? FAQs Questions? FAQs Questions? FAQs Questions? FAQs Questions? FAQs Questions?

Will shadows be paid?

Yes, shadows will be compensated $100/day for their time on set.

How will I be notified about acceptance? Will I be notified if I’m not accepted?

All applicants will be notified via email no later than March 7, 2022.

We will use the contact info you provide in your application to correspond with you. Please make sure is cleared in your spam filter!

What if I want to work on the crew?

This is not a crew opportunity. This opportunity is for shadowing. You will observe a crew member while they perform their duties.

Can I work on more than one set?

Pending availability

How long will I be expected to be on set?

We don’t have specific details yet. If you’re selected we will provide more specific information about the nature of the shoot. Typical shoot dates run approximately 12 hours.

When and where does this take place?

Principal photography for the Lab films is set for Spring 2022 in the Greater Philadelphia area. We are moving forward with an in-person production in accordance with safety guidelines as outlined by the CDC. Selected shadows will receive further details about the dates and locations closer to the shoot.

Can I select the crew member that I would like to shadow?

You will not be allowed to select the position. We will do our best to select the position you want but we cannot guarantee placement in any particular department.

I have not made a film yet. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes! No prior filmmaking experience is necessary.