Academy Member
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Ella Jerrier

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Young Artist Academy™ Awards
2021 Outstanding Producer - Nominated
2021 Outstanding Director - Nominated
2021 Outstanding Writer - Nominated
2020 Young Artist Award Best Director - Nominated
2019 Best Ensemble Performance in a TV Movie or Special - Winner

Young Entertainer Awards
2020 Best Young Director - Nominated
2019 Best Leading Young Actress - Television Movie or Mini Special - Nominated

Academy Activity

Your Advantage & Awareness

Academy Newsletter Interview - June 2022

Young Artist Academy™ Award Winner Ella Jerrier has conquered many accomplishments in her five years working in Entertainment. The 16-year old Writer, Director, Producer and Actor from Irvine, California shares about her favorite projects, where she finds amazing mentors, and gives some solid business advice.

This industry is SO humbling! When you’re not in a Star Wars or Marvel project, it’s really easy to be grounded because it is so hard to get a big break. You don’t have time to get a big head because you are too busy grinding while hoping for your shot at the big time! Sixteen is a tough age for kid actors…a lot of times casting directors can just hire an 18-year old that looks young. Don’t let that stop you or frustrate you! Keep working. I’ve had hundreds of auditions, lots of callbacks and chemistry reads - the right role is out there for you. In the meantime, do your own thing. Create, create, create! There are so many new outlets to get your work out there.

The biggest project I worked on was several years ago - a TV movie called Terror In The Woods. I met some of my best friends on that set (Sophie Grace who won an Emmy for The Babysitter’s Club and Skylar Morgan Jones who has filmed a couple of movies that will be coming out soon) and found some amazing filmmaking mentors - especially the director, DJ Viola, and the director of photography, Dave McGrory. Since that movie, and during the pandemic, I spent more time writing, directing and shooting my own short films. I’ve made 3 so far and they’ve done a bunch of awards at festivals and were even shown at The Chinese Theaters in Hollywood!

[To spark my creativity,] I watch EVERYTHING! I have certain shows that I love like 30 Rock, The Office, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, Star Wars, Marvel, etc. I pick up some nuggets of ideas from shows like that - but I also really apply things that happen in my real life. They always say “write what you know”. My first short was about competitive dance, my second film was about empowering girls, etc.

I really like the creativity [of the Entertainment Industry] and watching my friends work. There are so many paths you can take when you learn from your peers…I started out just acting, but now I really love writing and directing - and I’m even loving working with the cameras, lighting, and editing software.

[I’ve started strengthening] the technical side of the business. I have been working with a lot of advanced equipment. I shoot with a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera in 6K, I use camera stabilizers and can fly a drone. I work with editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve…and now I’m working on learning how to do color grading. There is a lot that goes into making a film look like a film…it’s not just saying lines in front of a lens.

Business Advice: Be professional on set - you can still get fired from the job if you show up not ready to work! Don’t be late, treat everyone with respect, know your lines and the intent behind your lines, hit your marks!

Network Tip: When you are on set, meet everyone and learn from everyone. I made so many connections on the set of the first movie I ever worked on. The casting director has coached me on auditions, the director wrote me a recommendation for my arts school, the director of photography gives me advice on cameras and lenses. You never know when you may be able to help each other out in the future.

Follow Ella on Instagram @ellawestofficial  @girlbossfilms and Facebook @EllaWestOfficial

Your Advantage & Awareness

Academy Newsletter Interview - May 2019

Ella West Jerrier has been acting since she eight-years old, and dancing since she was four.  The native of Dallas, Texas answered our interview while boarding a plane to Los Angeles for an exciting audition!

You really have to work hard to be an actor.  You can’t just show up and be handed a job - unless you’re like Chris Pratt or someone.  You always have to be working on your craft to get better and get more experience.  My dad always tells my sister (who plays sports - though it applies here too)  “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”.  There are only so many jobs, and when you are not working, you should be writing, drawing, doing scene study, dancing, working out, etc - whatever gets your creative juices flowing. 

My biggest project was as one of the lead roles in Lifetime’s TV movie Terror In The Woods.  It was based on the real-life incident in Wisconsin where 2 young girls tried to sacrifice their friend to Slenderman.  I played one of the girls that lured their friend into the woods.  Lifetime and the producers trusted 3 girls who weren’t even 13 to play such big and heavy roles.  We weren’t background characters or comic relief.  We had to go to some really dark places to make sure we captured the tone of the movie. 
We had the best director ever, DJ Viola.  He was so great working with all of us kids.  One of the things he told us - and I think about it all the time - is to really understand the intent behind your lines, don’t just read the lines.  I think about that going into every seminar and audition.
One of the best tips I ever got was in a seminar with producer Kate Lacey Kiley and casting director Josh Einsohn: treat every audition as a 2-3 minute show starring YOU.  Make the most of it and don’t hold anything back … if you get to go on to the next round, great. If not, you gave it your all.
In addition to acting, I do a lot of dance and choreography.  It’s all about telling a story and creating a vision - very much like acting.  I also spend a ton of time writing.  I must have 20 half-written scripts on my laptop!  One day I will actually film one!
Networking Tip: For young actors, social media is a great way to connect with people in your same line of work.  There are lots of great singers, dancers, and actors that have really fun Instagram accounts.  I’ve met a lot of people through Instagram (or friends of friends) and then I get to meet them in person in LA or NYC so that is really cool.  Of course, make sure your parents keep an eye on your account as there are lots of weirdos out there too.
Advice on Cyber Bullying: Always make sure your parents have access to your accounts.  I know we are teenagers and already know everything - but our parents want to keep us safe and sometimes they can see signs of trouble before we do.  Always tell a parent if something doesn’t look right or feel right.

Ella has lots of great auditions going on, 
so follow her for the newest updates!

41st Young Artist Academy™ Awards 
Nomination Announcements
(Watch for Ella's Nomination at 35:10)

41st Young Artist Academy™ Awards


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