While impatiently awaiting the start of my UCLA Anderson adventure, I am lucky (or unlucky, if you're my bank account) enough to work in freelance production, so I have been on hiatus (the sexy Hollywood term for unemployed) since the end of pilot season in April.
As someone with a predominantly creative/non-quantitative background, I've dedicated my hiatus to finding opportunities to prep for b-school. When furiously googling "What is finance?" proved an inadequate strategy, I signed up for Anderson's online excel and math classes. I also took a class in Film Financing at UCLA Extension--these evening and weekend classes offer affordable classes in a myriad of subjects; I highly recommend anyone spending the summer in LA or considering business school check out the pre-MBA class offerings.
To fill the rest of my time, I started volunteering, something the unpredictable schedule of TV casting never allowed. I found opportunities on Idealist, Volunteer Match, and by looking on the websites of nonprofits that matched my interests (the Getty Center and Film Independent, for example) and signed up to volunteer at the LA Film Festival. It was a great opportunity to have a behind-the-scenes view of a world-class festival. And because it takes place downtown, it was a great way to get me to cross the 405 (as I only rarely can be coaxed to venture past the westside).
Left: Me outside the "Filmmaker's Lounge"; Top Right: My very official-looking volunteer badge; Bottom Right: Tom Donahue, director of Casting By, introducing the film
Some highlights of the experience were:
1) Seeing the long-awaited Casting By documentary, a subject close to my heart after spending the last three years working for/with the "unsung heroes of filmmaking"
3) Having Ryan Gosling interrupt the Only God Forgives after party to profess his undying love for me. Just kidding! Sadly, R-Gos was unable to attend but I did get to see Nicolas Winding Refn (the director of the film/Drive) while working the reception which is almost as exciting. Almost.
I would highly recommend volunteering with the Festival to anyone interested in working in film/producing, or to anyone who just enjoys film. Just be sure to check the Film Independent website starting in May to sign up!
--Aimee Musil, MBA '15
Follow me on Twitter @BonjourMonAimee