The Guild

  • Fan Friday: From Fans to Crew

    Many people dream of working on their favorite show. For two lucky and very talented fans of The Guild, that dream came true. Meet Leonardo Nasca and Dan Cooper, fans of The Guild who became a part of the production team.

    Leonardo Nasca (Leo) hails from Florida, where he studied recording arts at Full Sail University. He’s a self-proclaimed “hardcore gamer” who plays and even competes on Xbox 360 games like Halo, Gears of War and Call of Duty, he’s been a fan of The Guild since the first season.

    He joined Twitter in November of 2010 to stay in touch with business contacts, and being a fan of The Guild, began following The Guild’s creator, Felicia Day. Felicia tweeted about needing help with the Art Department for an upcoming “Mystery Project,” which turned out to be Dragon Age: Redemption. Even though he wasn’t experienced in working for an Art Department, Leo joined the team and he worked on Dragon Age: Redemption as a prop maker. Following that, he worked on The Jeff Lewis Five Minute Comedy Hour where he met The Guild’s Sound Mixer, Sean Oakley. He impressed Sean so much that he was brought on to work for The Guild. Sean says, “His enthusiasm for audio carried over into Season 5 of The Guild when he worked on my team again as Sound Utility and helped make this season, in my opinion, one of the best sounding yet.”

    Leo with Production Designer Greg Aronowitz on the set of Dragon Age: Redemption

    As a member of the Sound Department, Leo works as Sound Utility. He helps the Sound Department with whatever is needed-whether it’s mic-ing up the actors or holding the boom pole. On days when extra footage is being shot, he gets to learn the ropes as the audio mixer.

    He says, as most crew and cast members will agree, the most rewarding thing about working on The Guild is that everyone involved is one big family. Everyone knows their job, does it well and works hard. Because of this, he says, you can see the effect of the great teamwork and camaraderie not only in how smoothly production runs, but in the quality of the final product as well.

    When The Guild isn’t filming, Leo stays busy by working Sound Department on other productions of both large and small scale. While he enjoys working on other projects, he says The Guild sets the bar for him and that he’ll always work for any member of The Guild family.

    Leo on the set of The Guild with Eureka’s Colin Ferguson

    Dan Cooper is a former military man turned Camera Assistant who is originally from Arizona. Two of Dan’s childhood friends are Camera Assistants, and after Dan left the military, they helped get him started in the industry. Dan, who is also an avid Xbox player, stumbled upon The Guild while stationed overseas and has been watching it since Season One.

    Dan saw the same tweet of Felicia’s that Leo responded to and applied to it as well. A month later Chris Darnell, the Director of Photography for The Guild, contacted him. Dan’s name had been passed along and ended up in Chris’ hands as a fan that wanted to work on the show. Chris says he was “reluctantly interested. I was expecting someone very green at best, but was happily surprised that Dan was a legit AC (Assistant Camera) who worked extremely hard and definitely knew what he was doing. He soon became an invaluable member of the crew.”

    Dan (foreground) tends to the camera in between takes on The Guild set

    As a member of the Camera Department, Dan works as a Camera Assistant, in which his job is to pull focus for the B-Camera Operator. One of the cameras used in Season 5 was the Canon 5D and according to Chris, “pulling focus on a 5D with still lenses is every 1st’s nightmare, but Dan did a great job and never complained.” Dan impressed Chris so much that he said, “Without him, the camera team wouldn’t have been able to move as quickly as we did. He definitely deserves a big thank you from the entire Guild team for all his hard work this season.”

    Dan agrees with Leo in that the most rewarding part about working on The Guild is that the cast and crew are like family. He says that while everyone knows his or her job and place on set, it’s an environment where you can joke around and have a great time. His favorite part is the comedy and says there is a great rapport between the cast and crew and because of that, there’s never a dull moment.

    Outside of The Guild, Dan and some friends are working on funding and pre-production for a short film they wrote together and will co-direct. You can find out more about this project and how you can support it via Kickstarter.

    -Lindsey Koens