Tell us what you're currently doing and what's involved with the position.
I'm a Producer at CollegeHumor, but I like to keep myself busy so in addition to my "day job", I also write and produce short films and web series, and produce and co-host a podcast called Rough Stuff, where we talk to comedians about their most embarrassing moments from childhood.
I produce Branded content for CollegeHumor, so in addition to a lot of the tasks that you would expect from a producer (Budgeting, finding crew and cast, finding locations, etc.), I also do a lot of client management which basically involves being a liaison between the client and production to make sure everyone is on the same page and getting what they want out of a video.
Can you share your path since graduation that lead you to your current gig?
I did my DiLA internship and part of my co-op with CollegeHumor in 2013. Because I was with the company for so long I was able to make good connections to the Producers there. When I went back to Drexel and it was time for me to graduate and move back to LA, I emailed a couple of the Producers that I was going to be back in town for good and would be available for working, with the hopes that I would at least be able to get some freelance PA gigs. One of those Producers happened to be starting a new job as Head of Video Production for Cracked.com, and was looking to expand the production team, so with a bit of good luck I was able to get a job right out of school.
I PA'd there for a while and since it was a small team looking to grow I was able to work my way up, and become a Producer and Writer for the site. When Cracked eventually shut down video operations in early 2018, I had built enough experience to be a freelance Producer. I used my connections and some of the momentum from the Cracked fan base to launch my podcast on a Network run by a couple ex-coworkers, made some short films for some friends in the comedy community and Drexel, and did some producing for other Digital companies, one of them being CollegeHumor, who became a frequent enough client of mine that I ended up taking a full time position.
What are the key skills required to handle your job?
Being a good communicator is key for a Producer. A set works best when everyone knows what is going on and why. You need everyone on your team to be on the same page. When communication breaks down that's when you start having problems. Also, it sounds simple but just being a pleasant person to work with. There are a million people fighting for your gig, and the thing that will get you hired time and time again is being a person who people want to/like to have around. Especially as a Producer, I need to have a strong list of crew and cast members I can call on to come work with me and knowing how to talk to people while managing them is how you build that list.
Are you working with other Drexel alumni? How has that network paid off for you?
Yes! I Produced a short film called Mania for Justin Cirulli, and have a Production Company called Bad Collab with Johno Faherty that we use to produce shorts and web series. Especially when I first graduated and moved to L.A it was great and very comforting to know people who were excited to make stuff, and knew you and your work so we could hit the ground running right away with projects, and not fall into the slump that can happen when you get out of college and no longer have deadlines. It's great to have people around that keep you hungry and motivated.
As an alumni yourself, have you had an opportunity to work with or hire any current Drexel students? What was that experience like?
Also, Yes! I'm lucky as a Producer that part of my job is choosing a lot of the people I work with. I've hired alum on sets for positions ranging from PA to AC to Production Coordinators. I also had the pleasure of being able to work with some current students who were interning in LA on a short I produced over the summer (shout out to Alyssa Harden and Nick Edinger). I love working with Drexel students, you always want to work with people you trust so it's comforting to work with people who have a similar background when it comes to filming.
How did Drexel prepare you for getting to this point in your career?
I got to where I am because of the co-op program. I had never been on a set before that and having that hands on experience was invaluable. I had never considered becoming Producer before that. I was a screenwriting major, and although I still write, the co-op program opened my eyes to another world and another way into the industry. There's also a level of professionalism that Drexel prepares you for that I don't think a lot of other films schools do. I came out of Drexel prepared for the real world in a way that a lot of my peers who went to other schools didn't seem to be. It helped me bring that level of professionalism to everything I worked on no matter the scale of the project.
What advice would like to go back and give your undergraduate self?
Branch out and try to learn a little bit of everything. You never know what skill is going to help you and what you're going to end up taking an interest in.