Even though I do love to sing (you learn new things about me every day!), I have always been more of a behind the scenes kind of person. At the same time, I have also always been very passionate about the arts. That’s probably why I was so excited to get hired at Walt Disney World right out of college and why I pursued a career in theater when I first moved to New York City.
When I accepted both my previous and current positions, though, I knew that meant letting go of working in a creative field for the time being. Lo and behold, I had been in my current job only a few weeks when I was approached about helping with a very special part of our department: logo usage and location agreements.
And just like that, I’m back in the game.
Over the course of my almost two year here, I’ve been so privileged to be a part of several wonderful productions. And while it may sound glamorous, it’s more often than not it really isn’t.
For example, take last year The Greatest Showman filmed in an NYU-owned building. When I told people that, the most common question was, “Did you meet Hugh Jackman/Zac Efron?” Not at all. I saw Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams… from a distance… while they were shooting. That’s not to say I’m not super proud to have had even the tiniest part in the making of that movie. I definitely cried the first time our building appeared onscreen.
A few months after that, a very large-scale movie (which I can’t name yet, since it’s not out yet) asked to film on some of the university’s rooftops. Not only did I not get to meet any of the movie’s MANY stars, but I didn’t even get to see them! The filming was strictly for plate shots (i.e., images that effects will be added to after-the-fact). Will I still be super stoked when I see the shots onscreen? Absolutely!
Beyond film and television, some spaces are often requested for other events like product launches and fashion-related events. Just a few months ago, Valentino had their Pre-Fall Collection showing at an NYU building. The clothes were works of art, but our team was literally asked to leave the room once the actual event kicked off. I guess we weren’t stylish enough to hang with Anna Wintour and co. 🤷🏻♀️
We just wrapped on another big movie (Nicole Kidman was within reach, people!), which is why this is so fresh on my mind. The point of all this is, making movies is hard! There’s a certain excitement in watching a space transform from project to project, but by the 642nd take of the same walk across the room, it gets tiresome.
At the same time, I have to admit that doing these shoots – even when it amounts to a large-scale babysitting gig that can last 15+ hours in one day – is one of my favorite parts of my job. I’ve learned so much and met so many amazing people (shout out to Academy Award winning Roger Deakins!), and it’s allowed me to keep a hand in this entertainment industry that I love so much.
Jobs are weird like that, huh? You just never know where things will take you so long as you’re open to the possibilities.
Is there anything unexpected about your job? Anything you wish you could do more of? Make it happen!