Director/Producer Assistant

Jimmy in Saigon

Los Angeles, CA

The LA-based documentary Jimmy in Saigon (, see below for fuller description) seeks a part-time assistant to the Director/Producer with experience in independent documentary filmmaking. This person should be organized, have experience in documentary filmmaking, post-production, and/or archiving, and be able to work independently between weekly meetings with director Peter McDowell. Primary responsibilities will include watching, transcribing and logging interview footage and helping with organizational needs, such as archive and database management. Additional tasks could include composing email or newsletter updates, and journalistic and historic research. The assistant should be able to work both remotely and on-site with Peter in the Silverlake and Echo Park areas of LA.


Director Peter McDowell is an arts administrator with 25 years of experience in the field and also the director of two short Super-8 films featured in San Francisco’s Frameline festival. If interested, please submit a resume and a brief statement introducing yourself, telling us why you are interested in role, and how you would be a good fit to [email protected]. We hope to get back to all interested candidates promptly.


This is a part-time, paid position of $15/hour, up to 25 hours each month.


Jimmy in Saigon, a documentary by Peter McDowell, centers around Jimmy McDowell, Peter’s eldest brother, who died at age 24 in 1972 as an American civilian in Saigon, Vietnam after serving a tour of duty in the same place. The film reconstructs Jimmy's life and legacy through the memories and heartbreak of those who knew him and through the over 200 letters that Jimmy wrote. By  retracing Jimmy’s footsteps throughout his short life, filmmaker Peter McDowell gets to know his brother who died when Peter was only 5 years old. Peter and Jimmy were both born and raised in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.


Though Jimmy in Saigon deals with a death that happened nearly 50 years ago, it revolves around a number of culturally relevant themes, ranging from memory, loss, trauma and grief to identity and self-discovery. While certainly relevant, these themes are evergreen ones: they have remained important and significant throughout time. Even still, these themes seem more pertinent now that ever.

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