If you’re a student hoping to work in the entertainment industry someday, there are a couple of words that just don’t seem to leave you alone: “experience” and “networking.” These words will loom over your head; every advisor, professor, and professional you meet will emphasize their importance. And during every spiel you hear, you’re going to be thinking to yourself “man, I just want to make movies and stuff!”
But then you get to L.A., and you get it.
Coming out here and working in the industry has done more to help me understand how this business works than any class ever could have shown me. Before coming out here, making a movie, to me, meant filming some actors reading lines from a script (you know, with some lights and makeup thrown in and whatnot). Now, I’ve seen firsthand how ideas are developed, how stories are sold, how teams are built, and how bargains are made. I have learned so much from this experience, and now see how important networking is in this crazy, relationship-based industry.
Sure, my fantasy of randomly running into Leo DiCaprio and him inviting me back to his place for some beers and football hasn’t come true (yet), but being out here has completely reinforced why I chose to pursue a career in entertainment media, and given me so much more confidence as I begin preparing to enter the industry after graduation.