2016 JLLB LUNAFEST® Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series – Jacqueline Carroll Interviewed by Elizabeth McCann

In connection with our 5th Annual LUNAFEST Film Festival event, which took place earlier this month, the Junior League of Long Beach (JLLB) has created the LUNAFEST Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series. It features interviews pairing JLLB members making a difference in the Long Beach community with women making a difference in the entertainment industry.

Follow updates to the Q & A Interview Series campaign and find out about new JLLB activities at twitter.com/JL_LongBeach. For more information about the traveling LUNAFEST Film Festival, which highlights women filmmakers and their short films, visithttps://www.jllb.org/support/lunafest/.

 For our seventh and last interview in the series, JLLB President Elizabeth McCann will be interviewing Jacqueline Carroll, who is the Head of Sales at Thunder Studios here in Long Beach.

 Elizabeth, who is a second generation native of Long Beach, joined the Junior League of Long Beach in 2009 to reengage in community involvement after years of leadership in other service organizations in Long Beach. One of a number of highlights in Elizabeth’s league career has been her Advocacy work on JLLB’s Public Affairs Committee — specifically, serving as both Junior and Senior Delegates for the Junior League of California’s State Public Affairs Committee (CalSPAC). Her other key roles in JLLB have included working in the Fund Development areas for the league and holding the Board of Directors position of Treasurer in a prior year to her current position as President.

 Outside of the league, Elizabeth is a Nonprofit Fundraising Leader who works with organizations in the Southern California area. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and American Studies and her Master of Public Administration degrees from the University of Southern California.

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 Photo caption, from left: Elizabeth and Jacqueline both participated in a video shoot to discuss these questions on camera last month at Thunder Studios.

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 Elizabeth McCann (EM): What was your first job in the entertainment industry?

Jacqueline Carroll (JC): My first job in the industry was at Creative Artists Agency (CAA). I worked there for about five years and I decided to take a different route. I realized that I wasn’t going to be an agent – I just didn’t have it in me – so I started looking around and a friend told me about Thunder Studios.

 EM: What does your typical day look like?

 JC: A typical day for me here starts off with lots of emails, which are mostly inquires from clients who are looking for production space, or from clients who are already in on a project. It’s not just sales – I do a lot of operations as well. We’re kind of a small team here at Thunder and we all wear many hats.

 EM: What are some of your favorite projects here at the Studios?

 JC: I would say Nine Eleven is a favorite project that we just started filming last month. It’s our first co-production as a studio and it stars Charlie Sheen, Whoopi Goldberg, Luis Guzman, Wood Harris, and Olga Fonda. We have branched out to do our own thing, and to take control of our destiny, as the CEO says.

 EM: How has the studio grown over the years?

 JC: It became Thunder Studios in 2013. Previously, it was a third-party rental company and we were only renting out to production companies that had jobs. When Rodric David took over, he decided to branch off in a couple of different directions. We started our own production company in-house to take advantage of the fact that we have this huge studio and now we are also bidding jobs to clients and creative agencies.

 In addition, we launched a digital media platform and are getting more involved in digital content, with two stages that are dedicated to YouTube creators. So if you sign up with our multi-channel network (MCN), then you’re able to come in and take advantage of all of the resources that our facility has to offer.

 EM: What are the key aspects of your job that you enjoy the most?

JC: I just love working with different people, whether they’re with our own in-house production company or with a third party. It’s also that I like being part of something major. I didn’t really have an appreciation for commercials until I started working here and didn’t see all of the work that went into them before they were made: You have about seven days to make 30 seconds of television and a brand has probably given you $1 million to $2 million for it, so it has to be great.

EM: What qualities do you attribute to your success?

 JC: I would say that I’m diligent and relentless. And I’m also a master networker – I can’t stress that enough. It’s getting out there and meeting people, and always being gracious and cordial and keeping those opportunities open.  I think that’s very important for anything you’re going to do, especially in entertainment.  I think this is one of the key components that makes me good at what I do.

EM: Who would you say has inspired you the most?

JC: My grandmother, who was a professor at USC for four years, was a huge inspiration to me. In entertainment though, it’s really anybody who goes after what they want. And if they don’t give up, and they do it in a positive way, then that’s an inspiration to me.

EM: What words of advice would you give to women who want to work in the industry or do what you do?

JC: We’re at this threshold where we’re about to enter into a different way of life, so for women, there is still a bit of a battle. But it’s being relentless. You have to believe in yourself, and rely on yourself, and know that the things that you have to offer up are worthy and valuable. If you believe in what you’re doing, then I don’t think anything can stop you – I think it’s mostly relying on who you are and not giving up.

Find out more about Jacqueline Carroll below.

http://www.thunderstudios.com/

https://www.youtube.com/user/ThunderStudiosInc

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4917224/?ref_=nv_sr_1


This interview was edited by Lynda Miller, Public Relations Chair of the Junior League of Long Beach. She transferred from the Los Angeles league to Long Beach in 2012 to continue working in the community after a career change. When she’s not doing JLLB activities, Lynda is a PR, Sales & Fundraising Consultant who specializes in helping companies gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.https://www.linkedin.com/in/lyndamiller1

2016 JLLB LUNAFEST® Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series

2016 JLLB LUNAFEST® Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series – Jann Goldsby Interviewed by Janice Merriweather

In connection with our 5th Annual LUNAFEST Film Festival event, which took place earlier this month, the Junior League of Long Beach (JLLB) has created the LUNAFEST Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series. It features interviews pairing JLLB members making a difference in the Long Beach community with women making a difference in the entertainment industry.

 Follow the Q & A Interview Series at twitter.com/JL_LongBeach to find out when the next interview will be posted. For more information about the traveling LUNAFEST Film Festival, which highlights women filmmakers and their short films, visitwww.jllb.org/lunafest.

 For our sixth interview in the series, JLLB Sustainer Janice Merriweather will be interviewing Jann Goldsby, who is an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter working on the set of the TV show Switched at Birth.

 Janice joined the Junior League of Long Beach in 1988 when she was encouraged to do so by a Past President of the Junior League of Los Angeles. “She explained to me the Junior League’s mission as a training organization that helps develop the potential of women. Thus, after training and working on various projects and fundraisers in the league, a member would have exceptional skills to take that training out into the community and make a difference where she saw a need,” said Janice, who herself became a President of JLLB and served in this position during the 1995 – 1996 year.

 After nearly three decades of service in the league, she is still active as a Sustainer. Janice’s numerous accomplishments with JLLB include her role as co-chair of the organization’s 80th Anniversary Celebration Committee, which raised $30,000 for The Children’s Dental Clinic, the Junior League of Long Beach’s first project after its founding in 1931. Janice also produced a historical video that gives viewers a comprehensive overview of JLLB’s contributions to the community over the years.https://www.jllb.org/about/our-history/

 Janice is a recently retired General Manager/Executor for an aviation pioneer and cattle rancher with offices in Long Beach and Beverly Hills. She has served for several years on Casa Youth Shelter’s Board and as a Board Trustee member in Los Alamitos; as a member of Phoenix, a support group for the Long Beach Museum of Art; and as a member of The Links of Orange County, an international, non-profit organization of women committed to educational and civic programs. She has also served as a member and mentor in Cameo, an auxiliary of the Assistance League of Long Beach.

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Caption for photo above: From left, Janice and Jann also discussed these interview questions on camera during a video shoot held last month at Thunder Studios in Long Beach.

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 Janice Merriweather (JM): What is your current job/title and what was your first job in the entertainment industry?

Jann Goldsby (JG): My current job title is American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter on the set of the TV show Switched At Birth (SAB). My first theatrical interpreting experience came from ASL interpreting off-Broadway shows in New York City.

JM: What does your typical day look like?

JG: A typical day at Switched at Birth or any other film/TV production usually starts with the make-up and hair people.  At SAB, while in the make-up trailer, I will often run lines with the actor until he or she is called to set for rehearsal where at that time I will often speak the actor’s lines for the director…who is hearing and does not know the language. I will often cue the actor during the actual filming and interpret when the director has specific notes to give. I am also there to facilitate the social banter on the set as well. 

JM: What are the key aspects of your job and the qualities that you believe make you successful?

JG: Whenever possible, I will leave any questions regarding Deaf culture and language up to the actor to give a response.  When anybody on the set wants to know a sign I will direct them to the actor.  There is often a “family” feeling on the set after many months and years, and so I will often answer some questions regarding culture and language when it is necessary or the actor isn’t available at that moment, but it’s always in an effort to create more awareness and sensitivity to the Deaf community. This job requires having no ego. I’m just there to facilitate conversation and make it go as smoothly as possible.

JM: What is your favorite part of the job?

JG: My favorite part of the job is…just being there (smile). I love the creative aspect of the atmosphere. Also, if I’m there, then it means that an actor who is deaf has work!  And while forming friendships is a wonderful by-product of my work, again, it means there is a production that has been willing to showcase an actor who is deaf

JM: Who or what inspires you?

JG: In my particular job I am mostly inspired by the actor who is deaf.  I am always fascinated to see how they will interpret the script and thus their character.  And when I am witness to a hearing director who has never worked with an actor who is deaf before and has himself or herself become more aware and inspired from it, that is also very gratifying.

 JM: What advice would you give to women who want to work in the industry or do what you do?

JG: My advice to anybody who wants to be an ASL interpreter on a set is to leave your ego at the door!  The job is in no way about “you.”  The interpreter is an extra body on an already crowded set so to be able to deftly navigate yourself well on said set is a plus!

Find out more about Jann Goldsby below.

https://twitter.com/goldsbylocks

This interview was edited by Lynda Miller, Public Relations Chair of the Junior League of Long Beach. She transferred from the Los Angeles league to Long Beach in 2012 to continue doing community work after a career change. When she’s not doing JLLB activities, Lynda is a PR, Sales & Fundraising Consultant who specializes in helping companies gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. https://www.linkedin.com/in/lyndamiller1

2016 JLLB LUNAFEST® Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series – Noela Hueso

2016 JLLB LUNAFEST® Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series – Noela Hueso Interviewed by Paula Barrow

 In connection with our 5th Annual LUNAFEST Film Festival event, which took place over the weekend, the Junior League of Long Beach (JLLB) has created the LUNAFEST Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series. It features interviews pairing JLLB members making a difference in the Long Beach community with women making a difference in the entertainment industry.

 Follow the Q & A Interview Series at twitter.com/JL_LongBeach to find out when the next interviews will be posted. For more information about the traveling  LUNAFEST Film Festival, which highlights women filmmakers and their short films, visitwww.jllb.org/lunafest.

 For our fifth interview in the series, JLLB Advocacy Chair Paula Barrow will be talking with Noela Hueso, who is the author of theThe Art of The Croods, a beautiful hardcover book which showcases the conceptual art from the 2013 DreamWorks Animation filmThe Croods. She is also the Media Relations Manager for the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

 As Chair of the Advocacy Committee, Paula works to inform, educate and motivate the league on advocacy and public policy issues in the Long Beach community. Her JLLB work extends to engaging with Long Beach city officials to inform and grow their connections with the league. She also interacts with the delegates of JLLB’s California State of Public Affairs Committee (CalSPAC) to connect their advocacy work at the state level to the organization’s issue-based work at the local level. Paula joined the league in 2003 to learn more about her community and make friends with other women who shared the same goal of making positive changes in their communities. In June she will take on the role of Community Vice President as a member of the JLLB Board of Directors for the 2016 – 2017 year.

 In the spirit of the league as a training organization, Paula has taken the skills that she’s learned here to benefit other community organizations and efforts, including positions as the Chair of the Homeless Services Advisory Committee, Board of Directors for the Long Beach Continuum of Care, and Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee for the Young Women’s Empowerment Conference hosted by U.S. Congressman Alan Lowenthal (47th District).

 It turns out that Paula and Noela went to school together at San Diego High, also known as the Old Grey Castle. Go Cavers!

 Paula Barrow (PB): What is your current job/title and what was your first job in the entertainment industry?

 Noela Hueso (NH): My current title is Media Relations Manager at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. I’ve been there for almost three years. My previous permanent position was as a senior editor at The Hollywood Reporter, where I worked for 16 years. In between those two jobs, I wrote a book for DreamWorks Animation, The Art of The Croods, which showcased the fabulous conceptual art that the talented artists at DreamWorks Animation created when they brainstormed what their 2013 film, The Croods, would ultimately look like. The book also delved into the process of how the film was made.

 My first entertainment industry job was as a junior publicist for a boutique public relations agency but it was at The Hollywood Reporter, the job that followed, where I learned the ins and outs of the business. I started as an editorial assistant and worked my way up the ranks, assuming various titles through the years including copy editor, research editor, associate editor and finally senior editor.

 PB: What is your favorite part of the job?

 NH: When I was at The Hollywood Reporter, I dealt with people who were already successful in their careers, whether they were actors, directors, producers or cinematographers, just to name a few. My favorite part of my current job is seeing and working with Hollywood’s future trailblazers today, at the start of their careers.

 PB: What are the key aspects of your job and the qualities that are key to being successful in it?

 NH: I straddle two worlds in my current job: Editing and publicity. On the one hand, I write articles and newsletters and on the other, I facilitate interviews and get press for our school, faculty and students who are doing amazing things. Both jobs require an attention to detail as well as an ability to think creatively and to produce results. Great writing and communication skills are a must, too!

 PB: What advice would you give to women who want to work in the entertainment industry or do what you do?

 NH: Don’t get too comfortable in one place. You can grow much more as a person and in your career by being flexible and willing to take on new challenges in different environments. Go do the thing you think you cannot do. We limit ourselves because of fear — of the unknown, of financial instability, whatever. Get rid of those fears! Take a leap of faith. You will rise to the occasion; you will succeed.

 For years, I had wanted to write a book but always said, “Someday.” I was really good at procrastinating. With two children at home and a full-time job, I rationalized that there wasn’t enough time but I think, deep down, there was a fear of failure. Then, when I was laid off from The Hollywood Reporter after 16 years, the opportunity to write The Art of the Croods landed in my lap, for which I will be forever grateful. It came at an opportune time but also fulfilled a longtime creative goal. I could have said no to the project — it was detailed and involved — but instead I embraced the challenge and it ended up being a great success. Now I plan on writing another book!

 PB: Who or what inspires you creatively?

 NH: Not surprisingly, I am inspired by people who are adventurous, whether physically or mentally. They’re not afraid to go out on a limb to accomplish great things. They’re not afraid of failure. They know that there is no such thing as failure, really, just lessons learned.

Find out more about Noela Hueso below.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Croods-Noela-Hueso/dp/1781164118

http://www.tft.ucla.edu/

This interview was edited by Lynda Miller, Public Relations Chair of the Junior League of Long Beach, who also had the pleasure of working with Noela for many years at The Hollywood Reporter. She transferred from the Los Angeles league to Long Beach in 2012 to continue doing community work after a career change. https://www.jllb.org/ama/orig/News/JLLB-LBHTTF_Guide_Press_Release1.pdf

When she’s not doing JLLB activities, Lynda is a PR, Sales & Fundraising Consultant who specializes in helping companies gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.  https://www.jllb.org/?nd=February_2016

2016 JLLB LUNAFEST® Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series

2016 JLLB LUNAFEST® Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series – Tasha Day Interviewed by Ashleigh Ruhl

 In honor of our upcoming April 10th LUNAFEST event, a film festival highlighting women filmmakers, the Junior League of Long Beach (JLLB) has created the LUNAFEST Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series. It features interviews pairing JLLB members making a difference in the Long Beach community with women making a difference in the entertainment industry.

 Follow the Q & A Interview Series at twitter.com/JL_LongBeach to find out when the next interviews will be posted. For more information about LUNAFEST, visit www.jllb.org/lunafest.

 For our fourth interview, JLLB Community Vice President Ashleigh Ruhl will be interviewing Tasha Day, Long Beach Film Commissioner and Manager of the Long Beach Special Events & Filming Office.

 Ashleigh is going into her fifth year in the league, spending the majority of her time focused on JLLB’s Kids in the Kitchen and other Community Impact programs; she is currently the Community Vice President on the Board of Directors and is looking forward to serving again next year as Executive Secretary. Ashleigh is a fifth-generation Colorado native who joined JLLB as a way to make friends in a new town.

 Outside of the league, Ashleigh has worked for more than a decade as a professional journalist, writer and social media manager, with her work published by Gazette Newspapers (or the Grunion Gazette), The Press-Telegram, City News Service, Long Beach Business Journal, Rocky Mountain News, and various other mediums online and in print.

 Serving for more than five years as the Editor of the Grunion Gazette, she got to know Long Beach very well, and is passionate about community journalism and educating residents about the issues impacting them in their own backyard.

 In one of her stories relating to the topic of filming in the city, Ashleigh wrote: “Long Beach boasts a history on the big screen that includes films such as Anchorman, Anger Management, Iron Man, Lethal Weapon, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Transformers and many others that have temporarily turned parts of Long Beach into San Diego or even Shanghai.”

 She has had the pleasure of interviewing Tasha Day before, for multiple articles about filming and special events in Long Beach, and Ashleigh was allowed special access to the filming of an episode of Dexter on one occasion. She has witnessed Day’s professionalism and the heavy workload carried by Day’s department, “which does great work to bring entertainment, notoriety and revenue to the city.”  Ashleigh believes Day is a real mover and shaker in the city, and is delighted that the league is highlighting this extraordinary woman.

 Ashleigh Ruhl (AR): What is your current job/title (along with top projects in your career) and what was your first job in the entertainment industry?

 Tasha Day (TD): My current job title is Manager of the Long Beach Special Events & Filming Office. I have worked on several filming projects including NCIS: LA, Iron Man, Transformers, Scorpion, Rush Hour series, NCIS, The Fosters, Straight Outta Compton, Live by Night, Animal Kingdom, Lethal Weapon series, and many more. My first job in the industry was as a Clerk Typist for the Special Events and Filming Office while I was attending college.

 AR: What does your typical day look like?

 TD: No two days are alike. Each day is different and exciting. I am always working on new filmings and events throughout the city.

 AR: What are three key aspects of your job and what are three qualities that are key to being successful in it?

  TD: I would say the key aspects of my job are creating relationships, scouting new locations, and coordinating logistics. The three qualities that are key to being successful are patience, understanding, and flexibility.  

  AR: What is your favorite part of the job?

 TD: Seeing the end product. Knowing that you have worked on something that has or will become successful.

 AR: Who or what inspires you?

 TD: My co-workers! Their constant support helps makes everyday a good day!

 AR: What advice would you give to women who want to work in the industry or do what you do?

 TD: I would say you need to have a strong personality. Set your goals and go after those goals. Don’t stop until you have achieved them!

 Find out more about Tasha Day below.

 http://www.filmlongbeach.com/

http://www.filmcalifornia.com/longbeach.html

This interview was edited by Lynda Miller, Public Relations Chair of the Junior League of Long Beach. She transferred from the Los Angeles league to Long Beach in 2012 to continue doing community work after a career change.https://www.jllb.org/ama/orig/News/JLLB-LBHTTF_Guide_Press_Release1.pdf

 When she’s not doing JLLB activities, Lynda is a PR, Sales & Fundraising Consultant who specializes in helping companies gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.  https://www.jllb.org/?nd=February_2016

2016 JLLB LUNAFEST® Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series – Anna Schumacher Interviewed by Alex Weiss

2016 JLLB LUNAFEST® Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series – Anna Schumacher Interviewed by Alex Weiss

 In honor of the upcoming April 10th LUNAFEST event, a film festival highlighting women filmmakers, the Junior League of Long Beach (JLLB) has created the LUNAFEST Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series. It will feature interviews pairing JLLB members making a difference in the Long Beach community with women making a difference in the industry.

 Follow the Q & A Interview Series at twitter.com/JL_LongBeach to find out when the next interviews will be posted. For more information about LUNAFEST, visit www.jllb.org/lunafest.

 For our third interview, JLLB Vice President of Fund Development Alex Weiss will be interviewing filmmaker Anna Schumacher, who directed, wrote and appeared as an actress in Finding June, which will be screened at LUNAFEST. The short fiction film explores communication’s role in understanding one another through the eyes of a deaf women who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer.

 Anna will be participating in the Q & A filmmakers’ panel taking place directly after the screening. The panel will be moderated by JLLB President-Elect Virginia Zart.

 Alex joined the Junior League of Long Beach in 2010 and for the past six years has had roles including Chair of Community Impact Programs, Vice President overseeing Community Programs and Advocacy, and now most recently, Vice President of Fund Development. Alex has always known that an innate part of herself has the need to give back to the community to make a difference and foster change. Professionally, Alex is the Corporate & Community Partnerships Manager for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and leads fundraising and corporate support for the western United States.

 Alex Weiss (AW): What is your current job/title (along with top projects in your career) and what was your first job in the entertainment industry?

Anna Schumacher (AS): Technically, I’m an American Sign Language interpreter by day, and an artist by night. I came to L.A. at the encouragement of a Deaf Studies teacher of mine from Berkeley City College to connect with Deaf West Theatre. At Deaf West I worked with the production team and quickly became immersed in the community. As I settled into L.A., I found more and more work as an interpreter, learning as I went and loving the language more and more. Through this I met an actor on the television show Switched at Birth, which became my Hollywood industry gig. As an artistic ensemble member of the theater and art production company cARTel: Collaborative Arts LA, I was also spreading my wings from theater actor to director, writer, and even clowning. I did my first film in the spring of 2013, about a year after I moved to L.A.

 AW: What does your typical day look like?

AS: It varies, though it certainly always starts with walking three whiny puppies earlier than I’d like! Freelance interpreting means on any given day I could be working in a school, court, or doctors’ office. This work takes me all over town with all kinds of folks. I make time every day to connect with me, via yoga and writing. I have an almost daily habit of reviewing previous writing exercises to re-write and re-imagine. My favorite days are when production is imminent and I’m in producer mode, tying up loose ends by scouting, making shot lists, and getting notes from those I send my work to.

 AW: What are three key aspects of your job (e.g., producing, developing relationships) and what are three qualities that are key to being successful in it (e.g., persistence, flexibility)? 

 AS: For this question I’ll call my job filmmaking as it’s a piece of what makes me tick. Three aspects of this work are candor, tenacity, belief. The people who succeed respect the time and talents of their team and believe in the work being made, full stop. They aren’t above sending email after email asking for help when they need it.

 AW: What is your favorite part of the job?

AS: Watching a project you love take tangible shape is humbling and empowering — two of the best feelings there are.

 AW: Who or what inspires you creatively?

 AS: I think a lot in pictures. An example I often use: sometimes I’m out and maybe it’s raining. I’ve forgotten a jacket so I’m feeling bemused, and then I see a woman at a bus stop with a plastic bag full of socks and a cat on a neon green leash. (I live in Hollywood!) What a scene. So I think, whose socks are those? Who is this woman? Who walks their cat anyway? And then my mind goes. Like the non-Spanish speaker watching a telenovela, I begin to imagine the life I’m seeing. It’s so cool to know that I can literally look at the world around me, pause longer than most do, and be inspired to write a scene, a life, a story.

 AW: What advice would you give to women who want to work in the industry or do what you do?

AS: Please do what moves you, and be kind while you do it, but without apology. As women we are conditioned to say sorry, or even to question ourselves and our ability. People will push back, they’ll require more from you. It can feel bleak out there, but I believe that if you embrace your true self, you can be a formidable player and make your mark. Or to say it another way, and to paraphrase fellow filmmaker Meg Smaker: Regardless of anatomy, if you’re embracing your femme self, you’re being a badass extraordinaire.

Find out more about Anna Schumacher below.

http://www.lunafest.org/the-films/details/finding-june

This interview was edited by Rachael Rifkin, a Public Relations member of the Junior League of Long Beach. She has been in the league since January of 2012 because she believes in positive community programs. When she’s not doing JLLB activities, she’s a ghostwriter/personal historian who blogs about the traits we inherit and the qualities we find only in ourselves.

2016 JLLB LUNAFEST® Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series: Sarah Feeley

Interviewed by Summer Smith

In honor of the upcoming April 10th LUNAFEST event, a film festival highlighting women filmmakers, the Junior League of Long Beach (JLLB) has created the LUNAFEST Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series. It features interviews pairing JLLB members making a difference in the Long Beach community with women making a difference in the industry.

Follow the Q & A Interview Series at twitter.com/JL_LongBeach to find out when the next interviews will be posted. For more information about LUNAFEST, visitwww.jllb.org/lunafest.

 For our second interview, JLLB member and LUNAFEST Event Chair-Elect Summer Smith will be interviewing Sarah Feeley, director and producer of Raising Ryland, a documentary that will be screened at the 2016 JLLB LUNAFEST Film Festival. The film takes an intimate look inside the transgender experience as lived by a 6-year-old boy and his loving parents. Sarah will be participating in the Q & A filmmakers’ panel taking place directly after the screening. The panel will be moderated by JLLB President-Elect Virginia Zart.

 Sarah Feeley is also the creator and executive producer of My Side of the Sky, a breakout Hulu Spotlight series, and has worked on the Corpse Bride, PBS’ documentary series This Emotional Life, the documentary TV series The Freedom Files, the movie Warcase, and a variety of commercials. In addition, she writes for film, television, and advertising.

 Summer Smith joined JLLB in 2013, ready to roll up her sleeves with other committed and caring women, and eager to take advantage of the leadership development opportunities the league has to offer. Summer’s day job is in non-profit fundraising and administration for an outpatient behavioral health care provider, servicing foster care youth in Long Beach and surrounding areas.

 Summer Smith (SS): What is your current job/title (along with top projects in your career) and what was your first job in the entertainment industry?

 Sarah Feeley (SF): Filmmaker. Top Projects: Raising Ryland, My Side of the Sky, Iraq for Sale, and Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride. My first job in the entertainment industry was a paid internship at Hanna-Barbera.

 SS: What does your typical day look like?

 SF: It depends on the day. Every day is a little bit different. I could have an early call time and be on set or in the field. I could be losing track of time writing, editing, or creating. I could be in back-to-back meetings trying to sell a project. I could be leading my team through a difficult production or creative challenge. I could be managing the health of my business.

 SS: What are three key aspects of your job (e.g., producing, developing relationships) and what are three qualities that are key to being successful in it (e.g., persistence, flexibility)? 

 SF: Three key aspects of my job are creativity, abstract thinking and connecting-the-dots. Three qualities that are key to being successful in the entertainment business are drive, resilience, and optimism.

 SS: What is your favorite part of the job?

 SF: I have two favorite parts of the job. The first is getting the greenlight, and the second is seeing the impact my work has on audiences. All the parts in between are exhilarating, excruciating and wonderful, often at the same time.

 SS: Who or what inspires you creatively?

 SF: I recharge every week by getting out on a trail and reconnecting with nature, myself and the love of my life. I am blown away by the staggering beauty of this planet and amazed at the sights I can see by exerting some effort. Our hikes are an excuse to daydream for hours on end. They are also a lot like the entertainment business. Each project is a slow, hard climb that takes a lot out of you. But, the payoff can be beautiful and that makes it all worth it.

 SS: What advice would you give to women who want to work in the industry or do what you do?

 SF: Dream big and go for it! Keep an open mind. Stay curious. Work hard. Have integrity. Ask for help. Help other women. The pay gap, opportunity gap and power gap are real. Become aware of the explicit and implicit biases that are holding you and all women back and change the system. Be bold. Be brave. Be yourself.

 Find out more about Sarah Feeley below.

 Company website: www.milemarkerentertainment.comFilm website: http://www.raisingryland.com

Follow Sarah on Twitter: @Sarah_Feeley

This interview was edited by Rachael Rifkin, a Public Relations member of the Junior League of Long Beach. She has been in the league since January of 2012 because she believes in positive community programs. When she’s not doing JLLB activities, she’s a ghostwriter/personal historian who blogs about the traits we inherit and the qualities we find only in ourselves.

2016 JLLB LUNAFEST® Women in Entertainment

2016 JLLB LUNAFEST® Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series: Karen Foster Interviewed by Ashley Hopkins

 In honor of our upcoming April 10th LUNAFEST event, a film festival highlighting women filmmakers, the Junior League of Long Beach (JLLB) has created the LUNAFEST Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series. It will feature interviews pairing JLLB members making a difference in the Long Beach community with women making a difference in the industry.

Follow the Q & A Interview Series at twitter.com/JL_LongBeach to find out when the next interviews will be posted. For more information about LUNAFEST, visit www.jllb.org/lunafest.

For our first interview, JLLB member and LUNAFEST Event Chair Ashley Hopkins (for the second year) will be interviewing Karen Foster, a producer at DreamWorks Animation and her husband’s aunt.

 Ashley is in her third active year in the league. She joined JLLB to serve her community in a meaningful way alongside other passionate, community-minded women. Outside of the league, she works as an executive assistant at a financial services firm.

 Karen Foster is a DreamWorks Animation producer who works on animated features, theme park rides, and live entertainment. She has over 16 years of experience in feature animation production and development. She started her career in theater, both as a behind-the-scenes person and an actress.

 Ashley Hopkins (AH): What was your first job in the entertainment industry?

 Karen Foster (KF): My first job in animation was as a development executive at Walt Disney Feature Animation. I had been working at a nonprofit theater that supported the development of new plays and the careers of the playwrights who wrote them. It was a fabulous organization, but funded by octogenarians. I knew that the theater’s lifespan was only as long as the funders’ lifespans, so I started fishing around for work. I told my friends that I needed a new profession, but didn’t know what it was. I hoped they would tell me. Sure enough, a few months later, a friend recommended the position at Disney. After five months of interviewing, I got the job.

 AH: What does your typical day look like?

KF: The nice thing about my job is there is no typical day. But in general, my days include a series of meetings with either artists and directors, or production people and executives. I am either reviewing scripts, recording actors, sitting in the edit bay reviewing footage and artist’s work, or sitting with production managers, accountants and production executives reviewing schedules, production strategies and budgets. If I am working on a theme park installation, I’m on site. But mostly I am at the studio where most of our animation is produced.

 AH: What are three key aspects of your job (e.g., producing, developing relationships), and what kind of qualities will help you succeed in those areas?

 KF: All of the aspects of my job are producing, but three key aspects are creative review, budgeting and personnel management. Keys to being successful in those areas are imagination, resourcefulness, patience and empathy.

 AH: What is your favorite part of the job?

 KF: I have lots of favorite parts. I work with amazing people, who are both talented and fun. I am challenged on a daily basis in many ways. I am always growing, using my natural creative skills and gaining new skills that are less natural for me. I feel incredibly lucky to have found such a demanding and rewarding profession.

AH: Who or what inspires you creatively?

 KF: I get a lot of inspiration from my colleagues. But the challenge of any given task is also inspiring, especially when it really is challenging. What is more exciting than creatively tackling the impossible and succeeding?

AH: What advice would you give to women who want to work in the industry or do what you do?

 KF: I have been fortunate to work at a company with many women in leadership roles. As a result, I may have had less barriers to success than women elsewhere. So, I am grateful for that.

 The advice I would give women is the same advice I would give anyone seeking work in the industry: follow your passion. Don’t let anything stop you from pursuing your dream. Don’t listen to people who tell you how hard it is. Sure, it may be hard, but some people break through. The only people who make it into the industry are the people who try to make it in the industry. That is the first step. After that, I would recommend relentless effort. Make calls, ask for informational interviews, do your own projects.

 The industry is rapidly changing. The methods of delivering entertainment are radically different than when I was growing up. The DVD market is dying and young men aren’t driving movie ticket sales anymore, they are playing video games. Young people looking to break into the industry should study the entertainment habits and appetites of their peers. That is the future market. Figure out the market and how to satisfy that market, and you will have a leg up on the people keeping their eyes on the past.

 Find out more about Karen Foster below.

http://www.dreamworks.com

https://www.shreksadventure.com/london/

http://www.dubaiparksandresorts.com  (Dubai Parks has a DreamWorks section in their Motiongate Park)

This interview was edited by Rachael Rifkin, a Public Relations member of the Junior League of Long Beach. She has been in the league since January of 2012 because she believes in positive community programs. When she’s not doing JLLB activities, she’s a ghostwriter/personal historian who blogs about the traits we inherit and the qualities we find only in ourselves.