PRODUCER
NZON_NZQT_2015_10_08_C1075_5506.jpg

BLOG

Blog

Posts tagged NYU
The Troupe - Advanced TV Pilot Shoot

This Fall I executive produced one of two NYU Advanced TV pilots, The Troupe. This was the first year that the Advanced TV class received funding from the Will and Jada Pinkett Smith Foundation. $10,000 for each of the two pilots. While that may sound like a lot, the reality is that after accounting for locations, food, and transportation, this is an extremely tight budget to make a 30 minute pilot with an on-screen troupe of 30 plus, set in a post-apocalyptic landscape.

When it came time for the administration to select which two pilots that would be made, they were very hesitant about The Troupe. It seemed as though the sheer scale of the script might make it too difficult to pull off. On Harry Winer’s request, I wrote an email to the administration outlining creative solutions we could use to tackle the biggest challenges, and asking for them to trust that we students could rise to the challenge.

I am very happy that the administration took the risk to fund The Troupe, allowing us to take on an ambitious script. It was clear from the start that Harry believed that we were capable of pulling it off. It has been a huge logistical challenge not just to create as realistic a “post-apocalyptic” look as possible, but to do so while making sure the on-screen relationships feel real. As a group, we were eager to take on the challenge and prove ourselves capable.

This has been the most memorable and fulfilling set I’ve worked on at NYU. As one would expect, plenty has gone wrong. We had to recast a main character overnight after they booked a gig in LA, when we had already filmed some of their scenes. It hailed overnight while we were filming and camping in the woods, destroying much of the set we needed to shoot on the next day. One of our crew-members even broke her nose at the end of our last day of shooting outdoors. Thankfully, she’s since recovered and even came back to set the next weekend to be part of the team for our last day of filming.

All of the challenges we faced were tremendous reminders that this was a learning environment, where it’s OK to make mistakes. Every obstacle forced us to find a creative solution that ended up improving some aspect of the final product. The mistakes I made on this production ended up being great opportunities for me to learn and grow as a producer. It was a great experience not only to bond with the cast and crew as we weathered the challenges together, but to see my peers grow and improve each day in their respective fields. I am very proud of what we accomplished.

A Semester Abroad in Sydney

I spent this past semester studying abroad in NYU Sydney, taking part in Tisch's Producing and Screenwriting program. Throughout the semester, I was lucky enough to meet some amazing people, travel around Australia and to New Zealand, and learn about the Australian film industry and (sorry, you knew it was coming) myself.

Below is a collection of photos, videos, and stories that sum up my experience in Australia and New Zealand.

NEW ZEALAND

 Royal National Park

TASMANIA

 

CAIRNS

INTERNSHIP - SCREEN NSW

I interned at Screen NSW, the government screen agency for New South Wales. I worked with the Production Attraction and Incentives Team, which attracts runaway productions from the U.S. and China to come film in NSW. I learned a lot about location scouting, government incentives, film contracts, budgeting, and financing.

One of my supervisors (another American, from Texas) was nice enough to invite me to her home for a Thanksgiving dinner. It was great to eat turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie at a time when I was feeling especially homesick. The Screen NSW team made me feel at home, and even provided me opportunities to tour Fox Studios where they were starting to build sets for the upcoming Alien: Covenant, and visit the set of Mel Gibson's upcoming drama, Hacksaw Ridge .

PARTING THOUGHTS

One of the highlights was the coffee. Australia has great coffee culture, so you're always surrounded by great cafes for a flat white. However, the sizes are smaller, and their iced coffee almost always have ice cream in them. 

I was surprised that vegemite grew on me. That is, by the end of my trip, I opted (once or twice) to take my morning toast with a thick spread of butter and a very thin spread of vegemite. I found it to be not as absolutely disgusting as it smells, looks, and tastes initially. 

One of the hardest parts was having patience crossing the street. Sydney is built for cars, rather than New York which is a pedestrian city. Having to wait at every "don't walk" sign through more than one traffic light cycle was one of the most infuriating experiences to all of use used to crossing whenever in New York. It sincerely tested our patience. A friend even got a $100+ fine for jaywalking on her way to school. 

Of course there were the expected differences in culture. NYU put us up in Haymarket, Sydney's Chinatown, so we were surrounded by a pretty diverse crowd, but in general, Australia is a very white country. And their relations with the indigenous peoples is pretty far behind America's still problematic relationship with our native peoples. 

It was also extremely hard to find good Mexican food. Mostly because there are very few Mexican immigrants living in Sydney. The first thing I did when I got home was have a burrito.  

Over the course of the semester I did so many things I had never done before: I skydived, bungee jumped, scuba dived, cliff jumped, kayaked through fiords, road tripped, drove on the left side of the road, went clubbing, avoided Starbucks, visited a major film set and studio! Plus I got some school work done!