68 degrees, silver skies. Raining. Blacked out SUVs and mismatched Ubers rolled into the velvet curbs of The London hotel in West Hollywood. It was the day of Content Industry Connect Los Angeles (CICLA), and executives, partners, and buyers from some of the biggest Los Angeles based network and digital entertainment corporations gathered for this BANFF World Media Festival annual event.
For this $199 ticketed event, industry hopefuls arrived from all position levels of the television, film, and online industry: entry level to executive; start-up to established. After check-ins, cheese platters and coffee, we filed into the Kensington Ballroom for the first event.
The first event was a Q&A panel hosted by Sienna Babb, Scott Hervey, Marc Rosen, Ian Moffitt, and Albert Lai. After they spoke, questions unanswered swarmed in my head. Yeah, everything was great: the content industry was reported as electric and pumping and lucrative as ever – the industry’s great; their careers were obviously great – they were executives! But as a puny ant of a college student, one question burned in my head: how did they get to where they were?
To try and get a real answer, I followed (lol) the speakers after the panel to outside, and caught a few minutes with two of the striking speakers, Marc Rosen and Scott Hervey J.D.
LIMITLESS, CROSSBONES, THE AFTER, FROM DUSK TIL DAWN, ZORRO, SENSE8, X-Files, INTERSTELLAR, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, CONTACT, HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS, HARRY POTTER Franchise, GRAVITY, JUSTICE LEAGUE, MAN OF STEEL, DARK KNIGHT Trilogy.
Any of these sound a little familiar? You themed like 8 of your birthday parties around one? Your cat’s name is actually Hermione? Yeah. They all have one man in common – Marc Rosen. As a gigantic executive and producer in the film and television industry, Rosen has worked with Netflix, Amazon, Dreamworks, Warners Brothers, CBS, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Georgeville Television, HEYDAY FILMS – independent studios, feature films… And when I say “worked with,” I really mean he was senior executive, CEO, or cofounder for most of these. And for those of us still straggling for that unpaid summer internship, Rosen has some golden industry advice.
So, Mr. Rosen, you’re obviously a huge figure in the industry–
Rosen: [Laughs.] No, no look at me! I’m only 5’8”!
Haha, so let’s cut right to it: How did you get into the film and television industry? Did you always know this is where you wanted to end up?
Rosen: Well, you know I was an English major at Princeton. And I minored in Theatre. [He graduated with honors]. I had family working in the film industry, and out of college that’s where started to work.
Mr. Rosen, obviously you do so much. What would you say is one of the things you’re most proud of?
Rosen: Well, I think I’m most known for the LA Office For HEYDAY Films [Rosen was a Senior Executive and founded and ran the Warner Brothers offices] and founding HEYDAY television at Warners Brothers. That was a great experience.
What’s your new big project?
Rosen: The last thing I worked on was a studio, Georgeville Television [Rosen was Co-Founder and CEO]. I resigned as CEO in August. The next thing I’m working on… [laughs] it’s the next thing I’m working on.
Rosen: [smiles, shakes head]. Just more or less of the same thing. [grins].
Fair, fair! So, I know some film major graduates are really worried about what to do after graduation. Do you have any words of advice?
Rosen: You know, create your own job! Shoot a camera. You wan to go into producing? Produce! Shoot a 10-minute creative piece, make it your calling card, make one amazing short. Intern somewhere for free, and prove yourself. You need to intern at production companies. To step foot into the industry, you need to know how it works from the inside.
Great. And one final question – a piece of advice or quote you were given?
Rosen: Your job is to take a no and turn it into a yes on a different day, with different conditions.
For those interested in the connect between the entertainment and legal industry, Scott Hervey is your GUY. Firstly, Hervey is a partner at Weintraub Tobin, a crazy big California law firm that operates in Beverly Hills, Newport Beach, Sacramento, San Diego, and San Francisco. Additionally, Hervey regularly represents television production companies in network negotiations, like The CW, E!, VH1, WGN, CMT, WEtv, TruTV, Discovery, A&E, and FUSE. Hervey also represents YouTube, top digital media content creators, and The Orchard music group.
As if that’s not enough, Hervey has worked with a number of wineries, restaurants and other businesses in the club, bar, and concert venue industries, including the Palms Casino and Resort in Las Vegas, among others.
Also, he’s a professor of entertainment law at UC Davis School of Law and serves on the board of directors of the Hollywood Radio and Television Society.
Not surprisingly, Hervey was featured in Variety’s 2014 Legal Impact Report and was recognized as a 2014 Southern California Super Lawyer by Los Angeles magazine.
Did you know that you had always wanted to work in entertainment law?
Hervey: You know, when I was in law school I thought I wanted to be a litigator. [Chuckles.] I thought it would be fun.
Is there a particular phrase or mantra that propels you forward?
Hervey: There’s a Yiddish word – Get up and Go. It means you’re responsible for making own opportunities, being educated in your field, and [smiles] just doing it.
What was the most surprising experience you had on the job?
Hervey: Surprising experience? I lived in a trailer South Dakota shooting a paper view television show. In entertainment law, you represent creative people. You don’t expect it, but as a lawyer, your clients travel a lot, so you travel a lot. And that’s always a lot of unexpected fun.
Could you give us the little specific into squeezing into the gates?
Hervey: Hmm. There are summer associate programs. On campus interviews go a long, long way.
Last line of advice for up and coming students?
Hervey: Network hard, and don’t give up. [Grins].