Employer Spotlight: Violet Media

Violet Media is a non-fiction television production company dedicated to fresh, fun ideas and innovative storytelling.  Based in Chicago, Illinois, Violet is uniquely positioned to uncover those one of a kind characters and entertaining dramas that always make for dynamic TV.

Their experienced team of writers, producers, editors and development executives has worked on everything from loud, off the hook anthology shows, to verite docudramas set in some of America’s most dangerous locales. As a group, they are committed to creative thinking, sound development and unparalleled client service, but most of all they’re devoted to enjoying the process of making great TV.  Violet Media clients include A+E Networks. FYI, TLC, OWN, HGTV, and Oxygen.

Violet Media LogoViolet Media is seeking Development & Production interns for fall quarter! You’d be working closely with the development team as they research and generate new ideas, help the production team with general office work and preparation for filming, and be responsible for post-production tasks such as transcribing, time coding, and logging raw footage.

To learn more about/apply for this position, please log into SoConnect! You can search for this position by company (Violet Media) or by ID# (2227).

Fun fact: SoC alum, Jason Bolicki, currently serves as the Executive Producer & Development Consultant at Violet Media!

Employer Spotlight: Adult Swim Games

AS games logo
Robot Unicorn Attack 2, mobile, 2013

Adult Swim Games is the game publishing arm of Adult Swim Digital, which is in turn part of the late-night comedy programming block of the same name, headquartered at the Williams Street facility in the heart of midtown Atlanta. Adult Swim airs every night, seven days a week, and is the home of animated comedy originals, live-action weirdness, and imported action fare. Starting on March 31, Adult Swim will move its start time up one hour to 8 p.m. EST, to thanks in large part to its growing popularity with the key 18-34 demographic.

You might be thinking to yourself, “Isn’t Adult Swim part of Turner Broadcasting, the entertainment and cable news giant owned by the Wall Street behemoth Time Warner? Ugh. This sounds like a bunch of slick corporate hooey.” Don’t scoff, my precocious young Wildcat. Like you, Adult Swim began over a decade ago as the scrappy upstart with something to prove. (However, in our case, we were living in the shadow of our older sibling, Cartoon Network.) Despite Adult Swim’s undeniable success, this outsider ethos continues today – it is forged in our very DNA. As a result, working for Adult Swim is probably the most anti-corporate “corporate” job you are likely to find. Going against the grain permeates everything we do, including games.

BBOD intro
Giant Boulder of Death, mobile, 2013

Adult Swim Games publishes games on the web, on smartphones and tablets, on PCs and Macs, and (very soon) on consoles, too. We do not do any actual development under our own roof. Rather, we partner with developers all over the globe, in places as far-flung as New Zealand and as near-flung as the United States. We are a very small team, with only about 6 dedicated full-time employees managing dozens of projects in various stages of development. Some of our best-known titles include Robot Unicorn Attack, Super House of Dead Ninjas, the Amateur Surgeon series, Giant Boulder of Death, Castle Doombad, and – most recently – the IGF nominated Jazzpunk, currently available on Steam.

As an intern with Adult Swim Games, you will be an integral part of the game development process, from the early pitch phase, to design, prototyping, testing, and publishing. The majority of your duties will be related to QA, or quality assurance, which is where many students find their first foothold in the games industry. Your responsibilities will include testing for bugs, evaluating game balance and difficulty, offering creative feedback when needed, and logging issues for developers. Beyond that, interns are encouraged to be as involved in the process as they so desire. Play game submissions. Pitch your own ideas. Attend boring revenue meetings. IT’S ALL UP TO YOU.

jazzpunk
Jazzpunk, PC/Mac/Linux, 2014

As a producer, I am in charge of maintaining the vision of a game. I work very closely with our project managers, who help make sure all the touchy-feely “maintaining of visions” stuff is done on a schedule and within our allotted budget. Prior to my work with Adult Swim, I was the content designer on Cartoon Network’s first free massively-multiplayer game, FusionFall. Before getting involved in games, I worked in original animation development for MTV Networks. I also spent a number of years as a location scout and manager for independent films in New York. And before that even, I was just like you, wondering what the hell I was going to do with my life.

BCPG title screen
Bionic Chainsaw Pogo Gorilla, web, 2014

When I graduated with my RTVF degree in 1995, I did not find too many industry folks who were willing to offer valuable advice to a young professional just starting out. (Facebook and LinkedIn didn’t exist yet, so I couldn’t stalk them, either.) As a result, I am always eager to offer my perspective and guidance, especially to those willing to sign a liability waiver absolving me of any culpability when things go horribly awry. Northwestern students, of course, get first dibs.

Check out the internship opportunity with Adult Swim on SoConnect.

If you are interested in connecting with Matthew about this internship opportunity or otherwise, email the EPICS Office at epics@northwestern.edu.

Matthew Schwartz graduated Northwestern University in 1995 with a degree in radio-TV-film. He joined Cartoon Network in 2000 as a writer for CartoonNetwork.com and began working exclusively for Adult Swim in 2010. In between, he contributed to entertainment initiatives both large and small, including the launch of a broadband gaming service (Gametap), the creation of animated shorts starring a secret agent feline (Calling Cat-22!) and the penning of “The 50 Worst Things About Video Games” for MAD Magazine. Matthew has been subjected to more Dragonball Z than most other human beings. 

Adult Swim Games on the web:

http://games.adultswim.com/

https://www.facebook.com/adultswimgames

https://twitter.com/adultswimgames

http://steamcommunity.com/groups/adultswimgames

Leadership Journey to Optimus

Interested in a career in Media Production or Post-Production? Apply for the Optimus Leadership Journey! More information is listed on the image below.

By February 14, email epics@northwestern.edu with a resume and brief paragraph letting us know why you want to attend the event and how it will help you with your career goals.

 

Optimus Leadership Journey

Employer Spotlight: Onion News Network – Inside The World’s Most Powerful News Organization

The Onion News Network is the arm of The Onion that is dedicated exclusively to producing video, specializing in short-form web cable news satire. We make it our mission to hold up the mirror to society, to our culture, and to ourselves as humans, and – obviously – to make people laugh along the way.

As a Producer, my job is a facilitator: it is my responsibility to give the talented people that I work with the resources, structure, and support that they need to create the wonderful videos that we put out. Because I am involved in one small way or another in all parts of the process – from writing, to Production, Post-Production, and marketing – it is often my job to balance the reality of the resources we have at our disposal with the creative vision of a given project, and help to come up with solutions that balance out all of the different needs and constraints of that project. We laugh a lot, and we also bang our head against extremely frustrating problems (and then hopefully laugh at that too).

Video production, as is often pointed out, is a hugely collaborative process that relies on hard work from many a great number of people with widely different skill sets and interests. Our work at the Onion News Network is no different, and our process is one that relies heavily on our robust internship program (we offer internships in Writing, Production, and Post-Production).

Our internship program is dear to my heart, because I started as an intern in our Post-Production department almost four years ago.  During my internship, I learned an incredible amount, and was able to work successfully as a freelance editor for about a year because of it, until I was lucky enough to be hired at ONN when a position opened up. My experience is far from unique; many of the current staff members at The Onion were interns at one point, and we work very hard to make sure that our internships are rewarding experiences, whether they lead to a job or not.

We’ve hosted a number of Northwestern students since our creative departments made the move from New York to Chicago last year, and have had a great experience, so we would certainly encourage NU students to continue to apply for our internships. Check out our available internship on SoConnect.

Hey, we all have to start somewhere! Even the President: Obama Undertakes Presidential Internship To Ease Concerns About His Lack Of Experience

Brett Blake is the Producer for the Onion News Network, the video department of The Onion. Prior to working at the Onion, Brett worked as a freelance producer, director, and editor, and co-founded an independent production company with three friends, Bluebeard Productions, which specialized in documentary-style web ads and music videos. Although he was forced to leave behind a prolific career in the service industry to pursue his interest in film and video, most days the trade-off feels worth it.

Employer Spotlight: Bisno Productions

“What’s a Producer?”

Without fail, that’s the question I most often get when I tell someone that I’m a theater producer. The truth is that there is no easy answer because it really depends on who you ask and the project you’re working on.

In my opinion, a producer always looks at the big picture. Ultimately, he/she is responsible for everything, from raising money to making sure the artists’ vision is represented accurately on stage. Being a theater producer is a delicate balancing act, as you need to remain a little detached so you can see when something isn’t working, but at the same time, you should have working relationships with the artists, so when you have constructive feedback, they will respect your opinion.

For the past two years, I have worked as an Associate Producer for Bisno Productions, a commercial producing company headed by Debbie Bisno (NU ’92). We develop and produce dramas, musicals and event theatre on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regionally and on tour. At Bisno Productions, I have worked on shows such as the revival of the musical Annie; the Broadway premiere of Craig Wright’s Grace, starring Paul Rudd, Michael Shannon, Ed Asner and Kate Arrington; and Tony Award-winning smash hit War Horse, (Broadway, Toronto and US tour).

We are a very small office (just me, Debbie and our intern) so I get to do a little bit of everything—every day is completely different! My favorite part of my job is definitely working on new shows. For example, we are currently developing a new musical for younger audiences—Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money— adapted from the book by Christopher Paul Curtis, with music and lyrics by Motown legend Lamont Dozier. We also do a few consulting projects, where we use our expertise to guide a specific project. I enjoy those projects because they give me the opportunity to work with different people and organizations.

Bisno Productions has a pretty robust internship program, and we always have one Producing Intern in the office. Our interns get a real hands-on experience and there is no such thing as a typical day, but some things that our intern might do include: attending readings, reading scripts, researching shows under consideration, and helping with office management. In addition, I always try to match my intern’s interests with possible projects. For example, during our recent run of Grace, we had an intern who was very interested in writing and had a background in journalism so we gave her the opportunity to pitch stories. She ended up writing a profile piece for Michigan Avenue magazine on one of the show’s stars—and NU grad!—Kate Arrington.

We’ve had interns in the past who’ve had quite a lot of theater experience, but we’ve also had interns who were theater fans but had never worked professionally in the field. We do try to find interns who have some administrative experience, but the most important requirement is a passion for theater. We are currently looking for a Summer Intern, log into SoConnect to view/apply for intern. So if you were also wondering, “What is a Producer?” please apply!

BIO

Roberta Pereira has been working with Bisno Productions since 2010. Previously, she was an Associate Producer at Anne Bogart’s SITI Company, Executive Producer of Yale Summer Cabaret (New Haven) and Associate Managing Director for Yale Repertory Theatre/World Performance Project, where she produced a series of international music and theater events. Roberta also produced all the auxiliary events for the 2006 Dublin International Theatre Festival.

As an independent producer, her credits include the Broadway premiere of David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre starring Sir Patrick Stewart and T.R. Knight, Spacebar: A Broadway Play by Kyle Sugarman (Studio 42), USHER (New York International Fringe Festival, Outstanding Musical Award), the production concept of Ainadamar (winner of the Opera America Director-Designer Showcase), and We Declare You A Terrorist (Summer Play Festival). Roberta was also a Producing Consultant for London’s Gate Theatre transfer of The Kreutzer Sonata to LaMama in New York City and for Roller Boogie the Musical at OBERON in Cambridge, MA.

Roberta is Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of nonprofit theater company Studio 42 and a founding ensemble member of Tilted Field. She is also Managing Editor of Dress Circle Publishing, the premier publisher of theater-themed novels. A graduate of Yale School of Drama’s Theater Management program, Roberta is originally from Brazil and currently lives in New York City.

IRTS Multicultural Career Workshop

Now in its 29th year, the IRTS Multicultural Career Workshop is a two-day conference that continues to be singled out by human resource professionals as one of the best places to find skilled students and recent graduates for job and internship opportunities. Attendees will learn about opportunities in digital media, creative production, advertising, research, sales and marketing, while attending a full day of seminars during the Workshop’s first day. Students will then have the chance to meet with human resource professionals from major media companies during the Workshop’s career fair on day two.

Accomplished students from all majors (including math, computer science, business, marketing, communications, etc.) are encouraged to apply. Participants attend workshop events free-of-charge.

2012 IRTS Workshop Application is due Monday October 1, 2012, 5 PM EST

Learn more at: http://irtsfoundation.org/multicultural-career-workship.html.