Kaitlin Saltzman '07
What are you doing now?
I'm now the Vice President, Head of Television for Blondie Girl Productions, which is Ashley Tisdale's production company with an overall deal with Warner Horizon (a branch of Warner Bros. TV). We have an office on the Warner Bros. lot, which is pretty amazing; I'm still not over it! Before this, I worked as an NBC Page, and then worked my way up at NBC in Current Programming and at CBS in Comedy and Drama Development.
What did you do after Film Studies at Conn?
I went to grad school at Chapman University in Orange, CA and got my MFA in Film & Television Producing. I can't say grad school is necessarily the best choice after college if you want to go into the film & TV industry (I'd probably recommend working at an agency in the mailroom instead), but I do think it really helped me make the move out to the west coast. LA seemed so big and scary at the time, and I didn't know anyone. Grad school allowed me to form a community first.
How did Film at Conn prepare you for the field?
My filmmaking professor had a huge effect on me. I was still trying to figure out what it was that I actually liked about film. At first, I didn't love movies the way other people did; I never loved theory and I never got that excited to hold a camera. And yet, Professor Tetzlaff still accepted me into the Film Studies world -- actually, he didn't just accept me; he embraced me. He asked me what I wanted to do and why I was there. When I told him I didn't really know, he told me to pay attention to what it was that I had focused on: developing story, securing locations, and hiring other people to do the camera and other production work. He told me I was a producer, and this moment led me to go to grad school and then to figure out the rest of my career.
What were your favorite things about Film at Conn?
The community! I loved working with everyone else and contributing to other peoples' projects while they contributed to mine. To this day, it's one of the things I love best about the industry out in LA; Conn did a great job of emphasizing this very important aspect of entertainment.
What advice would you give people looking for a career in film/TV/entertainment?
A few things! Firstly, network, network, network! This industry is all about who you know. Every job I've ever had here has been a result of somebody recommending me for it. Secondly, make sure you're going after what you want and make sure you're letting people know what you're looking for; but also, don't be annoying about it. Make sure you respect peoples' boundaries and remember that everyone is busy. Finally, don't be afraid to make a big move. If you really want to be in the industry, I highly recommend moving to LA. If it doesn't work out, you can always leave -- but if you don't move out here, you're really limiting your opportunities.variety.com/exec/kaitlin-saltzman/