Hader's aspirations of becoming a filmmaker eventually led him to drop out of college and move to Los Angeles in 1999. His parents were supportive of his decision to move, and Hader used the money they had originally saved for his college education to cover his living expenses when he arrived in Los Angeles. He found work as a production assistant (PA) while scouring the back pages of The Hollywood Reporter, and he hoped to advance far enough to become an assistant director. He spent much of his young adulthood "lonely and underemployed," filling large amounts of spare time with movie marathons. He regularly worked 18-hour days as a PA, having little time to pursue his creative ambitions. He worked as a PA on the DVD Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy; the feature films James Dean, Spider-Man, and Collateral Damage; as well as a post-production assistant on VH1 television's The Surreal Life. Hader briefly worked as a PA and stage manager on Playboy TV's Night Calls; but quit, as he feared it would disappoint his parents. He eventually quit being a PA altogether after a bad experience shooting The Scorpion King.