Career Week 2011 offered a roster of events aimed at helping students plan for their professions post-Emerson. This year’s program included discussions with professional writers on working in the publishing industry and with film producers on breaking into the entertainment industry, as well as sessions on internships, personal branding, graduate school, and professional portfolios.
Rudolf Scalese ’93 spoke to students about working in the film industry in Los Angeles at an event Tuesday night in the Bordy Theater. Scalese, vice president of production and development at NALA Films, said he took part in Emerson’s Los Angeles program his senior year. He interned at New Line Cinema and has worked in Los Angeles ever since. Scalese landed his first job as a production assistant on a horror film when he set up a meeting with the senior vice president of production at New Line and explained to her his lifelong passion for horror film.
He laid out the politics of the film industry, including the fact that Emerson degrees are highly regarded by many. Scalese said there are numerous spots for aspiring film students as long as they actively seek out those opportunities and use their connections. “You are the next generation in the arts; you will have your voices heard. You just have to set those goals and go for it.”
At another event at the Bordy on Wednesday night, a panel of six writing professionals talked about the not-so-straight paths writers often take in their careers. The group included editors from The Improper Bostonian and magazine publisher Madavor Media, and a novelist.
The panelists emphasized the importance of hard work and flexibility in the writing and publishing industry. “It’s great to learn not just what you want to do, but other things, because they can lead to opportunities that segue into doing what you love,” Andrea Martucci, managing editor of Ploughshares said. Writers, editors, and publishers usually take jobs they hadn’t foreseen themselves ending up with, she noted.
Lise Haines, Emerson Writing, Literature and Publishing writer-in-residence and novelist, explained that authors who want to get published have to be entrepreneurs as well as writers to get their books out into the world. Karen English, associate editorial director at The Pohly Company, offered her advice: “Be as versatile as you can be. Show passion and show you want to learn. You’re never going to be bored in this industry.”