We interview First Assistant Director Jonathan Petersen.

How long have you been in the film industry?
“I joined the industry in 1994.”

What made you want to A.D.?
“In those days it was normal to be a runner, nowadays called a P.A. for at least 3 years….this gave you time to check out the different departments which helped your descision as to where one wanted to focus.
I was a 3rd AD then 2nd for a few years and progressing to a 1st seemed natural.”

Where is your favourite place in South Africa to shoot?
“We are truly blessed with such a beautiful country with some breathtaking location choices…Cape Town notwithstanding. Too many to mention I guess.”

Absolut Vodka 2016


What personal motto do you live by in life?
“Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” I try to set a good example for my boys….I have two. I also strive for personal improvement on a daily basis without taking things too seriously, life is too short.”

How do you usually feel the day after AD’ing a Farm Shoot?
“It really varies on many things…but generaly invigorated.”

Citroën 2017 – Jonathan & E.P. Peter Sherlock.
Novartis 2017 – Director Michael Lawrence and Jonathan onset.
Cosentyx 2015 – Crew & Internationals
Peugeot 2016 – Crew & Internationals

Who are your favourite directors to work with and why?
“I have had the pleasure to work with so many over the years. As an A.D. you rarely get to work with the same director more than a couple of times.”

In your opinion, what characteristics make for a truly great director?
“I would say that having a pragmatic approach always helps as film making is loaded with curve balls. It is a collaborative process and having trust in others is important.”

Novartis 2017 – Director Michael Lawrence and Jonathan on location.
Novartis 2017

Share a fond memory from a Farm job with us.
“I would have to say that working with The Farm team there is always time for a funny moment. Too many to mention.”

What is your favourite film quote?
“What a director should be doing is making it appear as though there was no script. ” John Hughes”

Any advice for young directors in the Film Industry?
“There are two different schools of film, (commercials and long form film making) both tell stories but they are vastly disimiliar.

Citroën 2017

Alfred Hitchcock once said, ” To make a great film you need three things….the script, the script and the script.” “

Absolut Vodka 2016
BH -25
Absolut Vodka 2016 – Jonathan & Focus Puller Sean Rau

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