Film Student



Concurrent with the hiring goals, the Half Initiative provides an educational Director Shadowing Program in which directors on every Ryan Murphy Television production mentors emerging and mid-career women, BIPOC and minority directors through one full episode, from pre-production to post, along with offering a significant stipend for their commitment. These funds provided critical stipends for travel, lodging, and daycare for working mothers, allowing them to meet personal financial obligations while gaining unprecedented access to further education and career growth. 

A cohort of directors who have yet to direct episodic television are selected through an application and interview process. After shadowing they continue their education by attending ongoing panels and networking events with other mentees to learn from RMTV producers, writers, directors and key department heads from production.


Since 2016, 156 directors have participated in the director shadowing program, of which are 54% Women, 10% Transgender, 65% People of Color and 22% Identifying as LGBTQ+.


Ryan Murphy TV shows that have had shadowing directors have included: American Horror Story, American Crime Story, 9-1-1, Pose, 9-1-1: Lone Star, The Politician, Ratched, Hollywood, Scream Queens, and Feud: Bette & Joan.


The application is open from January 1-31st each year. Accepted mentees are placed with a professional episodic director on a Ryan Murphy production from pre-production through post on a single episode.  


The Director Shadowing Program application is currently closed.


The Production Assistant (PA) Intensive program provides access to mentorship, education and job opportunities with Ryan Murphy Productions.


In an effort to create equal opportunities for women, BIPOC and minorities behind the camera, the Half Initiative PA Intensive creates an educational opportunity for emerging talent to learn how to be an episodic production assistant by training alongside production assistants on a Ryan Murphy production; supporting and shadowing the crew at all levels of production with a mission to provide them with a skill set to become a viable hire in the world of television production.  


Through an application and interview process, 4-6 participants who have not had access to working on a professional episodic television production are selected to participate in a 4-week PA Intensive on a Ryan Murphy Production taking place in the summer. The cohort of mentees go through an orientation together and then get placed as a PA in various departments on a production. The participants work as paid PAs and receive access to shadowing and working in departments they are interested in, along with departments that the Half advisement team in collaboration with the production team places them for further education. In an effort to support the mentee’s skill set, they train and shadow in multiple departments over the 4 weeks.


In addition to on the job training and mentorship, participants engage with their peers in the form of educational sessions that include career building, networking, etiquette and industry communication in an effort to continue their momentum in the entertainment industry.


The application is open from March 1-31st each year. Notification of status is May 15. Accepted participants are placed on a Ryan Murphy production as a PA for 4 weeks in the summer. 


The Production Assistant (PA) Intensive application is currently closed.