By: Sean McNally
Day eight began with a wonderful meeting at ICM with alumnus Bryan Diperstein. We were introduced to ICM, and he took us through a day in the life of an agent. He explained how the agentry industry worked, and how working in the mail room of an agency is one of the greatest ways to kickstart a career in the film or television industry. He explained how a script makes its way from the writer to a production team, and then eventually to audiences. He said the first step is that an agent will send a script to several producers, to see if any are interested. Then, if several are, the studios those producers represent will start a bidding war, which eventually leads to someone buying the script. From there, the agent continually checks in to ensure production is going smoothly, and that the people he represents are involved with the production process. He said it’s a very all-encompassing and time consuming job, and involves both a good business sense, and keen creative instincts.
After our meeting with Bryan, we drove to CBS Television City, where we saw a rehearsal of Real Time With Bill Maher. Dr. Gershon explained that this meeting had been a few years in the making, so we were very fortunate to be the group that finally got to see this. We got to experience the rehearsal from both the perspectives of the control room and the audience. Before Bill Maher himself took the stage, a PA who had studied his comedic timing stood in for him, and told the jokes the way he imagined Bill would. I thought this was a really interesting way to do things. What was perhaps most interesting was the Chyron operator stationed directly to my left, who was constantly changing graphics every few seconds. The equipment she was using wasn’t too different from the Chyron machines we have in the Herbert School of Communication, and I even recognized a few of the commands she was performing on her keyboard.
After that, we got to attend a reception at the DGA for Hofstra alumni living and working in L.A. The prospect of networking in that kind of environment was a little nerve-wracking for me at first, but once I got there I found the experience to actually be rather enjoyable. Everyone there really seemed very friendly and eager to have a conversation. Overall, it was a great experience and certainly helped me get over any anxieties I might have had about networking events.
Tune in tomorrow for our last episode, when we check out ABC and Disney!