Checking In…

23 12 2009

Hey everyone! How’s your winter break going so far? Good I hope.

I’m currently at home with my parents and I thought I would let you know that I too, am following the advice I posted on my blog. In case you guys may have thought that what I posted was just for the sake of posting, it was not. I have been abiding to the post about surviving home this week and I plan to continue following that post and others for a while.

I’m in the process of redoing my bedroom by making it more grown up and I’ve been helping out around the house. Most importantly, I am showing respect for my parents and avoiding arguments. I am showing my mom that I am independent, I am relying on myself and I am getting my room ready for when I have to live back at home permanently for a while. I am already making it clear to my parents that in a few months, I will be home but it won’t be like high school. My plans are to work, save up and move out. I’m trying to get us all adjusted, prepared and updated now so graduation isn’t such a shock. I feel like following those steps has been a great help already.

Meanwhile, I am also making mental notes of the contacts I have made in the TV and film business and I am thinking about which jobs I plan on applying to. Once I get back to school, my main priority, besides classes, is to work on my demo reel for future employers.

I thought I would share my personal experiences with you and know that I am also following my own advice, day by day.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!!!

(p.s. I will be posting my final TV Production II mini-documentary soon, if it lets me do so…)


An Interview with Adam Chazen

14 12 2009

Me on Web Chat with Adam

Web Chat Snapshot of Adam

Adam at the Grand Canyon!

Adam Chazen was a May 2008 graduate from Rowan and he has been living and working in California for a little while now. He interned at The Onion, was a Production Assistant for Transformers 2 and currently works for Pixomondo in Venice, California. Adam is definitely a man of connections; he has a good network of people to contact and knows how to go about making things happen. That’s the key to success in this business. You can’t afford not to listen to his interview.

My interview with Adam took place through Skype web chat, however, the video could not be recorded. Instead, I collected about 40 minutes of audio and, just as with Tina’s interview, I separated what Adam said into different, condensed segments for you to choose from and listen to as you please.

I hope these three interviews have answered any questions or concerns that you may have had and better prepare you for what lies ahead. Here’s Adam Chazen…

Moving to California:

Time in Between:

The issue of Money:

Places to Live in California:

Work Experience/A Foot in the Door:

It’s all about Connections:

Celebrity Sightings:

Roadtrip Stops:

Jobs from Internships:

Advice for Soon-To-Be Grads:


His mindset at Graduation and Life Post-Grad:

Moving to C.A. vs. Moving from C.A.: (Don’t Burn Bridges!)


Final Project Interview 3 of 3

An Interview with Charles Ackerman

14 12 2009

Charles “Chack” Ackerman was very dedicated to his TV and film studies. President of the Rowan Television Network and a previous intern at NBC Universal, he was always one of the best people to go to in terms of help or advice related to television, film, technology or electronics.

I figured Charles would be a wonderful person to interview. What can I say, he knows his stuff. On top of that, he’s a real friendly guy and a natural leader.

His interview responses may shock you though…

Q & A with Charles:

Q: First off, how is life after college in terms of living back home or finding work?

A: I’m living at home right now with my parents. I work pretty regularly with a wedding company shooting videos and helping out as either a second videographer or an assistant to the photographers, and I also sometimes get calls to work in the electric department with Law and Order: SVU. I’m trying to get out of the world of making my own independent projects for other people for money because it’s been nothing but headaches and I’ve always walked away feeling under-compensated.

Q: Can you explain what the job search is like?

A: I work freelance so nothing is steady but I have been able to avoid working at the mall or something like that. With unemployment near 10%, people with years of experience can’t find jobs, so I’m just happy to have what I have right now. I feel like it’s also a blessing for me right now because I’ve had the opportunity to work in three different sizes of TV/Film careers – big (Law and Order: SVU) , medium (I interned at NBC10), and small (shooting weddings). The problem with this field is that at the big levels nobody likes their job because despite great compensation you work long, hard hours; at medium levels (NBC10) everyone is afraid of losing their jobs because of downsizing due to lost ad revenue or being replaced by new technology; and at small levels you’re poorly compensated and don’t get to do any work that really matters.

Q: Would you go back to NBC10 for a job?

A: Initially I did, but I’m no longer really interested in making a career in Television/Film. While I was there they put in a new control room that reduced the number of people needed to run a show from around 10 to around 2 or 3. Since the economy crashed I’ve spoken to people who work there and they’re all worried about their jobs, even the best and brightest are fearful for their jobs. So in short, no, I want more stability than that. I don’t want to be working somewhere for 10 years and be out of work and have to move to another area of the country or something to fight for a declining number of jobs.

Q: Would you live in New York City?

A: New York City is the greatest city in, and capital of, the world. That said, it’s crowded, polluted, expensive, and a very nice place to visit. I wouldn’t live in NYC because I live close enough to take a bus, but far enough away to enjoy the peace of suburbia. Plus, in Paramus I can go shopping almost as well as I could in the city.

Q: What do you think your next step will be? Will you stay in New Jersey?

A: I’m taking the Florida Teacher Certification Exam this Monday coming up to become certified to teach English for grades 6 to 12. I’m planning on moving to Florida as soon as I get a job in the state. The cost of living is considerably cheaper down there, the pace of life is much more relaxed, and the temperature is always higher. It also helps that in many areas of the state starting teacher income is higher than the average per capita income.

Q: Online I noticed that you have your own website. How did you get your name in the web address? Do you have to pay to use a more advanced web design site? Please, explain.

A:, it costs $10 for a domain that you have to register every year and I think around $8 a month to keep it running. I used WordPress (free) and a template that I modified (also free). It’s very cheap and easy with a little bit of technical knowhow.

Q:If you could go back in time, is there anything you would do differently at Rowan or do that you never got to do during your time there?

A: Nope, I would have just not taken a few courses that were useless and replaced them with literature courses so I could be exempt from taking the FTCE in its entirety and already have my certificate.

Q: What was going through your mind at graduation?

A: “I wish I already had a job lined up!”

Q: Lastly, do you have any advice for soon-to-be TV and film graduates from Rowan University who are nervous about their future and don’t know what to expect?

A: You better really love it and be really good at it. And if you don’t have either a strong connection or a lot of luck, you’re already doomed. I hate to sound pessimistic, but with the number of graduates I’ve seen who’ve gotten a good job right out of college without knowing someone in the business, your odds are probably 50 to 1 or worse.

'09 Grad

Thank you Charles!

Keep in mind everything that Chack has said and stay tuned for Tina and Adam’s interviews coming up next!

Final Project Interview 1 of 3

Final Project Interviews

14 12 2009

Hi everyone! It’s finally that time. I had promised you all interviews for my final project from recent Rowan University graduates and what life has been like for them since graduating from college! I interviewed 3 alumni and in a few moments, you will have the chance to read what they have to say.

All three of them came from Rowan University and majored in television and film but they each took a different path from there. Each one of them has had a different journey and different experiences since graduating. I hope what you are about to read helps prepare you for your own destiny…

Two of them went to California, while one is still in New Jersey; but not for long. Where will you end up?

These three interviews seek to inform you about the journeys of these three grads and provide you with their advice on what you should do next. If you’d like to check out a fourth or fifth interview, and have not done so already, please refer back to the interviews I had earlier in the year with Michelle and Professor Winkler.

Enjoy! I hope their words inspire and enlighten you.

Tina. Charles. Adam.

Final Project Interviews coming up!
1: Charles Interview! (an interview via email)
2: Tina’s Interview! (a phone conversation)
3: Adam’s Interview! (the audio from a web chat)

Count your lucky stars…

12 12 2009

Today I received advice from an unlikely place that related to TV and Film and graduation…my horoscope. I’ll share it with you. Read into it however you wish…

“Don’t let negative thinking get you down — criticism for its own sake is a waste of time. Lack of confidence can slow you down, so believe in yourself even when others don’t. Stay on course with your goals through the currents of self-doubt and ignore the sometimes jealous remarks of others who would like to see you give up.”

Surviving Home

11 12 2009

We have all gotten used to being independent and on our own at college, but what do we do after graduation when we need to move back home? How do we prevent going insane?

Here are some tips:

1. Keep up on chores and they won’t be able to nag you about anything.
2. Be respectful to them and avoid any unnecessary fights or arguments.
3. HAVE A JOB and SAVE UP MONEY! That way, you can move out sooner!
4. Crash at their house, eat there, do laundry there but drive to film shoots as much as possible.
5. Go out with friends and keep your social life alive.
6. Do your own laundry and start cooking your own meals. Prove that you can be independent and they will treat you as that way, or at least, more so than they may otherwise.
7. Be happy you don’t need to pay rent so it is okay to get paid less starting out at the job you really want.
8. Take this time to figure out who you are now and where you’d like to go from here.
9. Don’t get too comfortable being back home. If you do, you may not want to start working, might not care if the job’s a failure because you don’t need to pay bills or you may not be pushed to become a true adult yet. Set a time limit of when you plan on moving out.
10. Get used to paying for yourself for things. Cut yourself off with mom and dad’s money. Use this time to start supporting yourself so you will be better prepared for the future.

Job Advice

11 12 2009

Just a few quotes from Todd Schmidt, NFL Films Senior Producer:

“If you don’t know what you want, you’ll never get to where you want to be. Start where you want to finish and work backwards.”

“Stay positive. Things will work out.”

“Control you; it’s the only thing you can control.”

“Graduates are like cockroaches, they always find a way to slip through the cracks and they don’t give up.”

“Why you? Present the best professional, prepared, responsive version of yourself.”

Todd Schmidt, NFL Films, Senior Producer