Ever wonder how to get involved in the media and entertainment industry? Not sure where to start looking? Street sat down with the Undergraduate Media & Entertainment Club (UME) President, Caroline Pitofsky (C '17), to talk about getting into the industry, her experience with the entertainment community at Penn and the movies that everyone should see at least once.
Street: Can you talk a bit about the club and what your role includes?
Caroline Pitofsky: I’m the president of UME and we have a bunch of different committees on the board. We have a film festival every year, which is geared towards highlighting student work and bringing in films from other festivals––just to promote students' art. A lot of the events that we have with Media and Entertainment week and our member events are geared towards exposing Penn students to professionals in media and entertainment because it’s not always so obvious how to actually get into that industry because there’s no OCR process just by the nature of it.
Street: When did you first realize that you wanted to do more than just watch film/TV and actually be a part of the industry?
CP: I don’t think that I could point to one specific moment that made me want to do this, but I would say that by the time I was in sixth grade or some time in middle school—I loved film, I loved TV—but I knew that I actually wanted to be a part of the process and have a role in making a film or TV show. I honestly just can’t see myself doing anything else.
Street: What do you think of the film and entertainment culture at Penn? What do you like and what would you change?
CP: I think once you find the people who are interested in media and entertainment, it is a great group—and a pretty substantial group of people. I think that you definitely need to seek it out for yourself by joining a club or looking into groups, like say UTV if you wanted to get into the creative side, because it’s definitely not something that is very clear where to find those people or that community. But I don’t know, it just happens to be a smaller subset of people at this school. I feel like just from that it seems to be a smaller group of people, but from having Kinoki and UME I do see that there are a lot of people interested, but tend to think there is no clear way to get involved. And there’s so many Penn alums who are doing it!
Street: Favorite movie?
CP: I always say Catch Me If You Can...and then Bridesmaids!
Street: DC or Marvel?
Street: Favorite genre?
CP: As of now I think I would say dramedy, like Orange is the New Black. Dark comedy, maybe.
Street: One pop culture conspiracy theory you’d love to get to the bottom of?
CP: I want to know the whole story between Kanye and Taylor. Like parts of it have been exposed, but I want, like, an unbiased, whole story.
Street: Someone in the industry who inspires you?
CP: Stacey Snider. She’s the chairman of FOX and she went to Penn
Street: One movie that you think everyone needs to watch?
CP: Hmmm… something that everyone should have seen…I’ll say Little Miss Sunshine. It was like kind of Indie, but also had some mainstream success.
Street: Any advice for those looking to get involved with the film and TV industry?
CP: Definitely go to as many meetings as you can for either a UME or a UTV club meeting just so that, even if you don’t end up being interested in that specific club, you’ll find the people that want to be in the business or view it as a passion at least. And your greatest resource is the alumni. They’re really helpful if you can reach them, and it’s kind of a mystery of how to get opportunities without someone to vouch for you.