Film & TV networking mixer, March 26, 3-5pm, Winship Ballroom, DUC.
The mixer was heated up when I arrived there 3:45 pm. I joined the circle of professionals from Turner Classic Movies. I talked to Emory alumna Stina Chyn, who currently manages imagery for FilmStruck, a streaming video service managed by TCM. When I confessed that I follow FilmStruck and TCM on Instagram, Ms. Chyn opened up to me about her day-to-day work. “We try to use images to attract the public’s interest in classical movies,” said Ms. Chyn. This reminds me of how people consume visual arts more than they consume written arts nowadays, and how people start to consume images and short videos online more than full movies in the theater in recent years. FilmStruck’s Instagram account occasionally posts a poster or a classical movie scene given a modern twist combined with temping words. I asked Ms. Chyn what skills that she learned in college were actually contributing to her current job, she replied that she picked up things here and there besides the Photoshop basics she had mastered in college. “Always ask people what else you can do for them.” Well said. Having worked onset at a 3D advertisement company last summer, I got a taste of that. Clearly different apartments are in charge of distinct divisions in film industry, and picking up something new as you go is the only way to stay competitive.
As a pre-law student with a Film major background, I headed to the networking with hope that I could meet someone working on entertainment law. Fortunately I found Danielle Nicholson, head of games licensing partnerships at Cartoon Network Digital. Her daily chores entail reaching out to professionals, working with licensing lawyers and negotiating contracts. She claimed that she used to avoid talking to the pizza delivery man before college. “As they say, fake it till you make it,” she said, “My job is to convince excellent lawyers that they want to work with me. The most easy way to start a conversation is complimenting the other.” Since she currently works for a video game company, I asked if the industry is dominantly male. She laughed: “ALL of them are males.” Whenever she attends a networking event, over 90% of the professionals in the room are men, most of them 30 years older than her. Ms. Nicholson winked and said women as the precious few in the field can actually hold leverage when negotiating with men. Women can be the most intimating ones to argue with. She explained the difference between copyright law and licensing law for me. I asked the same question I had for Ms. Chyn. She said the college education laid solid ground for her professional writing. When I asked if she saw Georgia as the new headquarter of US entertainment industry because of low tax rate, she laughed again: “Have you heard of y’allywood? Anyways, life is so relaxed and everyone is almost too nice here, compared to L.A..”