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May 2, 2017

Talent Week April 17th-21st

By Sabrina Malekzadah

Talent week ran from April 17th to the 21st. Here are some of the highlights of the week starting out with Breaking into Writing with Tim Boyle (The Big Band Theory), Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip), Alex Litvak (The Three Musketeers), Erica Shelton Rodish (Being Mary Jane), and Aaron Thomas (Dumar). Here are a few tips the writers shared in the panel. Tracy Oliver advised, “Writing a pilot demonstrates the world, character development, and storytelling. But writing a spec shows you can adapt to a show’s tone and character’s voice.” In addition to this, Aaron Thomas reminded students to “Have a finger on the pulse, read a lot, and know what’s out there.”

On Tuesday, the panelists of Breaking into Hollywood shared tips and advice on how to network and find work. The panelists included entertainment coach Carole Kirschner (Director of CBS Diversity Writers Program and WGA showrunner training program) and Wendy Kram (Media Consultant and Producer on WK Productions and Owner of LA FOR HIRE). Kirschner advised students that when networking, “Don’t mention their blockbusters, instead acknowledge their little Indi passion project that nobody knows about. They will remember you for that.”

Wednesday was filled with career talk as Vicky Story, Vice President of the Story Co. talked about how to manage your finances as you break into the entertainment industry. In response to budgeting a film she said, “When it comes to filmmaking, sometimes you just have to be unorthodox and creative.” However, she concluded the panel with a piece of advice students don’t always hear, “Manage the personal side and manage the passion project, don’t just do things for the money and do not loose your passion.”

Later in the week, Paradigm talent agency presented a company overview focusing on interning and jobs with Ben Scott (Vice President of HR and Administration) and recruiter Amelia Draizin. Scott emphasized that “[Paradigm] has been in the business for 25 years with their focus on putting the artist first.” Furthermore, Draizin advised students what Paradigm looks for in a résumé, “We want someone who can show their passion through their résumé and relevant work experience. Volunteer work shows that you are going out of your way to be involved in the industry.”

Shortly after Paradigm, Crackle and Sony Pictures Television discussed creating content and the rise of digital media. The panelists included John Orlando (Senior Vice President of Programming and Head of Content at Crackle) and Courtney Yago (Manager of Digital Development and Production at Sony Pictures). Yago guided students to “Consider both sides, creative and executive, there’s greatness in both. It’s a collaborative process.”

The week closed with a company presentation from IMAX with panelists Arbi Derzakharian (Director of post-production), Tad Marburg (Vice President of Post-Production), and Nim Ornillo (Manager of Digital Cinema). When informing students of the company, Ornillo explained, “[IMAX] takes care of the product, working closely with filmmakers, directors, cinematographers, and post-production houses.”