FROM PATRICK M. WOOD -- FORMER PIPELINE ENTERTAINMENT ASSISTANT TURNED PRODUCER / TALENT MANAGER... AND GRADUATE OF USC FILM SCHOOL
I was fortunate enough to be one of the less than 5% of applicants admitted as a Production major at USC's school of Cinematic Arts and had a wonderful experience. But when I graduated, it became clear that the short films and plays I wrote, directed and produced in college were not going to usher me into an easy Hollywood career.
The first thing I tried to do was manage a live tour for a bunch of comedians--and while I was responsible enough to get something off the ground, no one had taught me about the realities and business side of the industry, so I was eaten alive. After that, I waited tables for a year while I wrote scripts with no budgetary or logistical considerations in mind about how they would actually get made (so they never did).
Like many of my fellow graduates, I thought I was part of a privileged club that good things would just happen to. That couldn't have been further from the truth. When reality hit, and I knew I needed to further my career in some sort of tangible way, I got a job in the industry working as an assistant at Pipeline Entertainment, where I immediately was thrust into the living, breathing, evolving NYC-based entertainment industry with real responsibility and an opportunity to learn, a lot, on the fly.
Dan and the team at Pipeline taught me how to network, close responsible deals, get projects off the ground and make things happen in a scrappy, ambitious way that produced results. Being able to witness and contribute to the process from start to finish--from script development, financing, on-set production, post production and then distribution--was invaluable and gave me an understanding not just of how the business works in the real world, but also the attainable attributes that it took to succeed in it: a strong work ethic, a lot of energy and a smart appetite for risk.
FROM CAITLIN RONAN -- FORMER PIPELINE ASSISTANT TURNED PRODUCER... AND GRADUATE OF FORDHAM FILM SCHOOL
I’m Caitlin Ronan, and I received my bachelor’s degree in Communications and Media Studies with a concentration in film from Fordham University. I loved my classes and professors, but much of my coursework focused heavily on analyzing existing films, rather than the process of creating our own.
While I tried to supplement my education by writing and producing short films and web series with my friends, by the time I graduated I knew little about how an actual film set was run, and even less about the business of getting a film off the ground. I knew I would need practical experience in order to move forward in my career, so I applied for an internship at Pipeline Entertainment and was later hired full-time as an executive assistant.
I learned all about the business side of entertainment as well as the particulars of managing a diverse client roster, and within my first year got a crash course in feature film production as an Associate Producer on Pipeline’s Dementia 13 for NBC Universal. I got to see the project through from start to finish, learning along the way about script development, production, and post production, as well as all the little less-than-glamorous details no one tells you about making a movie, like copyrights and tax incentives.
By the end of the process, I had not only learned all about how a film is produced, but I had gained a film-crew's-worth of connections and a real credit to put on my resume.
Filmmaking is a craft best learned by doing - you’re never going to learn how all the pieces come together and where you fit in the process until you get in there and do it, and I’m glad I got to do it all at Pipeline.
FROM FAITH EMMOLO - JOHNSON, FORMER INTERN / CURRENTLY A WORKING SCREENWRITER
Hi! My name is Faith Emmolo-Johnson and I graduated SUNY Purchase with a BA in Screenwriting and Playwriting.
I paid over $64,000 dollars for my education. While I truly value it, the experience of interning for Pipeline Entertainment was both rewarding and an even greater learning experience. It was a pivotal stepping stone for me. Interning taught me a lot about the ins and outs of production. It helped me make vital connections that led me to my current full time job. I was even afforded my first real, paid writing job - a feature length adaptation of an original manuscript.
Working for Pipeline in this sense was a very personal experience, even more so than the internship. While writing the adaptation I went over several drafts with Dan De Filippo who taught me more about what industry professionals want and expect to see in good screenplays than four years at my undergraduate school. He, and the rest of the team at Pipeline, valued me for the things I already knew and helped elevate the talents they saw within me.