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Janet Urban's "Friends in Film" and "Career on Fire" Training - An Honest Review

Updated on January 17, 2017

Friends in Film - Real or Scam?

Friends in Film. Janet Urban. FIF friends. Career on Fire training? Real or scam?

So here’s the skinny. Like me, you were probably scrolling through your feed on Facebook and came across Janet’s ad that asks if you want to enroll in her free “Career on Fire” two-week class. Free? Who does anything for free anymore? So of course, you jump on board. For two weeks, you get to chat with this successful lady and other aspiring actors, actresses, directors, producers, writers, etc in a “classroom-esque” setting in the Yammer program where you learn the secrets to set your career on fire.


Of course, no one does anything for free. So the entire time, you’re sitting there thinking when is the financial part of the situation going to arise and how much? Well, before we get to the price of the program, let me tell you what the program does for you and share my own FIF experience.

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Holistic-Approach Mentorship

Basically, Janet Urban has a lot of years under her belt in the film industry, spanning from the news side of things all the way to working with famous stars in a slew of movies. Trust me, she has plenty of pictures to prove it.

She’s the sound engineer person and she gets paid big bucks to do what she does because she’s found a niche area that everyone isn’t talented, knowledgeable or experienced enough to do. She’s in hot demand. Everyone wants her on their film project. She even shows you legit checks that she’s received from doing what she does and just like me, you will be astounded with the amount of zeroes on that check. Is she legit? Yes, she’s legit. The woman knows her stuff. She wants to teach you how to become a hot commodity too, but at a much faster pace than the normal method that most actors and actresses uses to make it to the top.

What she is teaching you is how to avoid the pitfalls and mistakes that she made in the film industry while trying to make it to the place where you’re trying to go--and to do it much quicker! Think about it this way: it’s like having someone take you by the hand and lead you step by step through the film industry with gentle admonishments that says, no, don’t go that way, go this way instead, and instead of doing it in 10 years, you do it in 2 (sorta kinda).

What is the holistic approach that she uses? She doesn’t just focus on the film industry but she focuses on you as a person. She’s like an Iyanla Vanzant of the film industry. She teaches her “Friends in Film” mentorees how to think differently, how to think like a winner, how to be confident, how to address your fears head-on and overcome them. It’s like spiritual enlightenment and positive glow beams shooting out of the computer screen. If you take it seriously, it will really make you a more confident individual who views the world and the challenges that it throws at you in a whole new light.

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The Set-Up of the Class & Money Back Guarantee

Once you sign up for the class, you get access to two free modules that are basically “freebies” for those who aren’t going to stay with the program long anyway. The upside of this program is that Janet offers a short, 2-week trial period where you get your money back guaranteed. So after 14 days, if you decide it's not for you, break camp.

Then once the people who are just testing the program are locked out, the modules with greater material are presented.

For me, a lot of the module material became repetitive, not to mention the amount of spelling and grammatical errors that riddled each module. I am an editor. That’s what I do for a living, so grammatical errors scream at me from the page. Sometimes, it was difficult for me to get through the module due to the amount of grammatical errors I was encountering. But if you can get pass that, the module information is really good at first, but like I said, it got repetitive for me afterwards. However, each module reveals something that you hadn’t thought about concerning an approach that you can take in the film industry. These new tidbits of information were like gleaming diamonds in an ocean of mediocre. So I started thinking, considering the amount that I’m paying a month for this program, was that tiny gleaming diamond worth those hundreds of dollars? Hmm...I wasn’t too sure.

Update: You must note, however, that I only stayed with this program up until the third month, so this is a limited perspective of what the program offers for you. It's an eight-month program, and I have not the slightest idea of the material and information that the other modules offer. So your experience may not be the same as mine.


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Yammer a.k.a The Bat Cave

Yammer is the Bat Cave and I must admit, this was my favorite part of joining Friends in Film. Yammer is just like it is when you’re in the free “Career on Fire” training class. However here, you have all the FIF Mentors posting, and they’re posting some pretty rad stuff. They’re talking about their successes, the amounts that they just got paid to do certain gigs, etc., etc. It is very inspiring and it gives you the feeling of, If they can do this, then I can do it too! For anyone who loves a challenge, such as myself, seeing people post their successes in Yammer all day motivates you to go even harder to create your own successes so you can post your own pictures and share your own financial earnings and/or film industry experiences.

What Janet Does Not Do
What Janet Does
put in a word for you to the “big dogs”
mentor you
allow you to use her connects as a leg-up in the film industry
encourage you and inspire you
find work for you.
tell you if she thinks an opportunity is legit or if you should pass on it
post different PA jobs that you should look into
tell you how to make a film industry resume
post different places that are holding casting calls and looking for actors/actresses
tell you how to write off film industry expenses on your taxes
look at your resume (unless you have the Gold package)
have weekly calls with her mentorees to keep the morale up b/c the film industry is a tough nut and if you don’t keep up the morale, people will break camp
look at your emails (unless you have the Gold package)
allow you out of the program if you so desire without a hassle
A concise idea of what this mentor program will and will not do for you

The Film Industry Guidance Janet Gives

Janet will also give you some clear directions you should take, such as you should make production assistant business cards, you should do PA jobs for free, you should do paid extra work on major shoots, you should pass your business cards to the PAs on the major shoots, you should establish authentic relationships with people who are in the film industry because they will remember you and how you made them feel, you should go to film festivals and any events that have anything to do with the film industry. And then use these relationships to vector, vector, vector toward the final destination where you want to find yourself.

Update: Reminder, this is an eight-month program, and I only stayed until the third month, so there are modules that I did not see or experience. Your experience with FIF may be different than mine. If your gut says go for it, go for it!


How much does Friends in Film cost?

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The Cost

Okay so finally, what we've all been waiting for.

Finally, after the two weeks of free “Career on Fire” training, you are hit with two options that allows you to take Janet on as your film industry mentor for 8 months. One option is $349 per month, the other option is $499 per month. The $349 per month is high but attainable. Those who can afford $499 month, kudos to you! Believe it or not, some people actually do the $500/month plan because they want more direct access to Janet. I went with the $349 because it was more in my budget.

Update: The price has increased now. This is what the program used to cost in 2016. I'm unsure of what it costs now.

Me on Set as an Extra in Fox's Shots Fired - FIF video

My Experience with Friends in Film

So after the “Career on Fire” training, I was pumped! I was so ready to go, as I'm clear you can tell from the above video :) . So I did the $349 and I was uber excited. I knew that my career was going to catapult to another level and here’s why. By the time I joined Janet Urban’s Friends in Film mentorship program, I had already been an extra in TNT’s Good Behavior, an extra in History’s Six, and an extra in Fox’s Shots Fired. So I felt like, I’m already doing this, I’m already “in” the film industry, but I’m on the “extra” side and I want to be on the “actor” side and Janet is about to show me how to get there.

Basically, Janet’s advice is to go through the backdoor, which is to use PA work as an entry level position into the film industry. I wasn’t too crazy about this. I didn’t want to PA. I wanted to act! But I realize that sometimes you have to crawl before you walk, so I started crawling.

The first thing I did was locate free local PA work to build a resume. It was simple. Within a week, I was doing my first PA job. See the video posted below to see how that went, which was a disaster, lol (get ready for a good laugh)! However, I appreciated the experience because it helped me to be more confident. Just like I told the guys in Yammer, I would much rather mess up doing PA work for free for a family-owned company than to mess up doing PA work for a major production company who will never hire me again.

About three weeks after my free PA work, I ended up with paid PA work on a professional set. It was my first major paid PA job ever. I got paid $155/day just to hold a walkie and direct extras around, pass out bottled waters, secure the location area, etc. It was for Cinemax’s Outcast filming in SC. But this was a “day player” role, meaning that they only call me to PA when they need me. So it’s more like an occasional gig than a job because they already have 20+ PAs on the roster. For that particular gig, I worked one day. That was it. One day.

Shortly after I landed that gig, my husband lost his job and Janet’s program was no longer affordable for me because I had to pay all the household bills. When I reached out to Janet to ask if I could take a hiatus from the program, she didn’t even honor my email with a response. Instead, she deactivated my account and just like that, I was kicked out of Friends in Film and kicked out of Yammer. Go figure.

Understand that one of the deciding factors for me leaving the program was not because I thought it was a scam, but because circumstances made it unaffordable for me.

My First PA Job - What You Need to Know/Avoid

It's Cables not Cords, LOL

Janet actually corrected me in Yammer and let me know that they're called cables, not cords. See, she is quite helpful! I learned something new.

The Million Dollar Question - Is it a Scam?

Is it a Scam or Is it Legit?

Do I think it’s a scam? No. However, it’s not the type of program that I was expecting it to be, based off my three months there. While I was a part of the program, the modules that I viewed were mostly confidence-building and facing your fears, which is a good thing. And in my opinion, her method shows you how to make great money in the film industry doing something that you don’t particularly desire to do, but it’s paying the bills while you’re “vectoring” toward what you really want to do, which for me is to be a leading role actress. Much of the information that Janet gives (at least in the first three months of the program), you can find it on the internet, although it might not be as well-packaged as the modules that she releases to you.

In the Friends in Film program, you do all the work. Janet doesn’t do any of the work for you. She tells you what you should do, and then you go out in the world, hustle and grind, and figure out how to do it. Simple as that. But that's life. You can't pay your way up; you have to work your way up. So if you're not willing to grind to make it happen for you, then you're wasting your time with the film industry anyway. So no, I don’t think Career on Fire is a scam, but it might not be exactly what you’re looking for either. But these are my experiences from the short time I was there. What’s right for the goose isn’t necessarily good for the gander, so even though it didn't work out for me, it might be perfect for you. Just decide if this type of program “fits” your expectations before paying a car payment per month to Mrs. Urban.

Reader's, Share Your Opinion

Do you think Friends in Film is a scam program?

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Me as an Extra posting with Tristan Wilds

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My First PA Job - Me Assisting with a Jib

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Would I Join the Program Again?

Knowing what I know now, would I go back and join the program again after the free “Career on Fire” training? Yeah, I would because Janet showed me a direction that I can take to make it to the top that I had never considered before. And for that, I’m forever thankful. Would I do the whole 8 months? Err...I’ll pass on that. Here’s why.

In the Yammer group, there was this one guy who had come to the end of his 8 months there. He discussed all the great things that he had done over the course of the 8 months. But by the end of the program, his gigs had dried up, his connects weren’t coming through the way he had expected, and to cut a long story short, he was at a low point--which Janet teaches you, low points will come and low points are expected. However, I looked at his situation and realized that while Janet’s program will open your eyes and give you the confidence that you need to tackle the film industry by the horns, there are still no guarantees, even after sticking it out to the very end. But you do get a money-back guarantee for the first two weeks, so keep this in mind

So yeah, I would do the first two months, maybe first three months of the program, and that’s enough for me. I will continue my film industry career using the experiences that I’ve garnered so far. And for now gals and girls, in the words of the director: “That’s a wrap!”

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    • Christine Joy 2 months ago

      Thank you!

    • Ashlee 7 weeks ago

      Great article! Very helpful, thank you :)

    • Amber Uriel 6 weeks ago

      This was very helpful, thank you for this article.

    • Elizabeth H. 5 weeks ago

      Thank you for your super informative and well-written article, so helpful! Good luck with your career, I wish you the best!

    • WriterJackson 5 weeks ago

      saw the Facebook ads myself and had my friend who is an in demand director check it out. He told me to avoid her like the plague and I quote "no one should have to pay a dime to learn this industry". I did her free program anyway just to see what she was offering and learned pretty quickly through her dancing video conferences and constant name dropping and hinting that the information would be little if any at all. She's supplementing her income, simple as that. And the fact that they just dropped you like dead weight says a lot. Keep your money guys.

    • jessicabsmith profile image
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      Jessica Barrow 5 weeks ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Glad you found it helpful! Very welcome :)

    • jessicabsmith profile image
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      Jessica Barrow 5 weeks ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Glad you found it helpful! Very welcome :)

    • jessicabsmith profile image
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      Jessica Barrow 5 weeks ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Glad you found it helpful, and thank you for your well-wishes. Same to you!

    • jessicabsmith profile image
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      Jessica Barrow 5 weeks ago from Spring Lake, NC

      WriterJackson, thanks for sharing your insight! This is great information for everyone considering joining because it helps you to make a well-informed decision. Thanks for commenting!

    • Natalia 2 weeks ago

      Wow thank you so much, you could mentor people yourself !

      That answered all the questions I had!

      Best

    • jessicabsmith profile image
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      Jessica Barrow 2 weeks ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Thanks Natalia! I'm glad you found it helpful, and I appreciate your kind words. I hope one day I will get to mentor people in the acting industry. That would be awesome!

    • Joy Cooper 12 days ago

      This is an amazing article Jessica! My family is from North Carolina. It's a small town called Wadesboro, so small that just as you described, you have to give the neighboring big city for people to know where it is; for us it Charlotte lol. I am currently in San Diego California and had recently come across Janet's program on Facebook.

      I had a few questions but you answered them completely, thank you. You are a phenomenal writer and I would like to check out your books. You are a very authentic, fun, life-loving, inspiring person which I really appreciate, and whenever I'm visiting family I would love to come check out one of your plays. Good luck to you and your family and all of your endeavors!

    • Janet Urban 7 days ago

      Hello Jessica Barrow! You are a phenomenal writer Jessica Barrow! Overall, I think you did a really good job on this analysis. ;-)

      Since you quit early, you didn't get into the meat of the program. Maybe come back and do this thing to a T?! Confidence building is only 5% of it, which is very important too, of course. Like you can't have conversations with Producers that get you anywhere unless you have the goods, through set experience and internal confidence.

      It's the methods that I used and put together for the last 20 years, that gets us work (the advantage). If you want to take up where you left off, you are welcome! ;-) You got in at a good price. It's higher now because we are getting our people into the industry for a few thousand and film schools are $100,000 (and debt for 20 years) and do not get people into the business working.

      Have you seen these pages lately?

      https://www.friendsinfilm.com/post-from-into-the-i...

      https://www.friendsinfilm.com/case-studies/

      Yes, this program is my life's mission and how I spend all my time when I'm not on set. ;-)

      I love these pics of you on set, it's super cool to see you doing your thing! Shoot me an email sometime! ;-)

    • jessicabsmith profile image
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      Jessica Barrow 7 days ago from Spring Lake, NC

      @JoyCooper, thanks for your kind words! Glad you find the article helpful. Also, I'm moving away form theater now to focus solely on film, so I'm not in any plays as of now. But I still appreciate your support!

    • jessicabsmith profile image
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      Jessica Barrow 7 days ago from Spring Lake, NC

      @JanetUrban, Hi Janet!!! I'm so glad you posted to this article. Thanks for your kind words :) . Also, you make a very valid point. I did not finish the program. I stopped about 3 months in, so I have a limited perspective of the program, and that's something potential mentorees should definitely take into account when deciding to join the program or not. Also, thanks for sharing those links, which are great resources as well. You commenting on this article is giving readers another perspective, which I love! When making any informed decision, it's important to fully educate yourself so that you can decide what's best for you. Thanks for your comment.

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