Alternate Entertainment Career Options

Alternate Entertainment Career Options

This semester it’s been interesting to ask Television, Film and Radio grad and undergrad students at Newhouse what their future plans are. Most follow along the same lines of, “I want to write, direct or produce.” With this in my mind as well, I decided to explore other unique and fascinating jobs in this business that also help emotionally connect a story to an audience.

The first one that came to mind was when some grad students got to meet a few local New Yorkers and SU alum for our recent winter session. One guest speaker was from the New York City Mayor’s office. I know what you’re thinking, ‘I don’t want to work in politics’, but hear me out. The film office within there is in charge of clearing all the areas to shoot for anything and everything whether it’s music videos, television or films. The head of the office got to run alongside U2 as they shot one of their music videos on a moving vehicle down through Times Square. That’s a cool memory.


Employees get to check in on productions as well and sometimes, if the production is asking for a lot, you get to meet the A-listers. For instance, in order to get say, Central Park cordoned off for Vanilla Sky, Tom Cruise came and sat in on a meeting. Tom Cruise smiling at you from across the table… what a rough day at work. The City of New York also works with other city governments, so say you need to do a shoot in London, England, they have contacts there that they’ll coordinate along with you so when you get to the UK, you’re okay.

Big Ben from the water

The historical departments at universities, movie and TV studios are other interesting routes to consider. At CBS in Los Angeles, the department of Media Library and Program Archives date back to 1949. The libraries consist of everything including original clips and the elements that make up those clips. It’s an especially popular department around the holidays for classic Christmas specials and the award show season. Mr. Haxby, an employee there, ‘splained that for the “I Love Lucy” Christmas special, CBS “…restored [the] black and white Hi Def transfers.” The colorization is done outside of CBS and returned for air.

For the award shows where vintage clips are needed their motto is, “It’s around here somewhere.”

"You got some splainin' to do" meme

These other avenues of the entertainment industry are important for other reasons that may not be directly linked to one’s job.

One example is back in 2010 when I reached out to Fox because I was trying to find a movie called, “Sons of Courage.” It was filmed in the 1940’s at the Caribou Ranch near Boulder, CO. Caribou was known as a recording studio for rock stars but before that, it had a storied history. This history was personal. My grandfather was in “Sons of Courage” as well as “Arabians in the Rockies” from Warner Brothers that also filmed there. He has seen the Warner Brothers film, but has yet to view “Sons of Courage.”

It would be amazing if he could do so soon as he’s now 86 years young. At the time they were unable to access it, but I’m still trying as there’s nothing quite like seeing your grandfather at age 14 in Technicolor. Clips and movies such as this mean a lot more to a family than just the option to entertain.

Man on horse in old photo

Even with this, all these productions at one point in time had to get approval from one government entity or private citizen or another in order to shoot, therefore creating an amazing story for all of us to see and appreciate today for it’s art, it’s entertainment or one’s family history.

Headshot of man in old photo









Hollie Perry
Hollie Perry is a grad student in the TRF program at Newhouse. After having worked in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles behind the scenes, she traveled the world and got to take the stage in front. She has a love of both, but at her heart is writing and helping others tell their stories. She does this here between papers and well… more papers. She is also a yoga instructor, painter and has a love for comedy, photography and vintage anything.

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