JHRTS Los Angeles: Meet the new Co-Presidents
The JHRTS is the junior membership division of the HRTS and continues our organization’s bi-coastal tradition of networking and community building by nurturing those young professionals at the assistant through manager levels. I recently had a chance to interview the two rising stars who are the JHRTS Los Angeles Co-Presidents, Amanda Krentzman and Ryan Mickels, both are digital natives and both are young leaders in the industry who have very informative and interesting perspectives.
Q: Can you tell us about your background and what made you want to work in entertainment?
-AMANDA: growing up in Boston, the activity I was most excited about and loved to do most, was watch TV. I went to Wesleyan University and studied Economics there and took a job after school at a boutique Management Consulting Firm in Boston. I loved business strategy, but mostly looked forward to racing home to see a new TV show each night. I came out to LA to pursue making this TV pastime a lucrative job.
-RYAN: I wanted to work in the entertainment industry ever since I figured out how to use my parents’ camcorder. In college, I worked on as many film and commercial sets that I possibly could. I worked in production and loved it, which took me to a job on ITS COMPLICATED working for Nancy Meyers. I went on to work in Talent and later MP Lit for Media Talent Group. I am now working at Entertainment One in the current programming department. The blend of creativity, business and the chance to impact people's lives is what really drew me into entertainment. I love working in a business that turns make believe into reality.
Q: What’s a favorite memory/experience from your time in the industry so far?
-AMANDA: my favorite memory so far is being on the set of The Office and watching Ben Silverman tape his guest star role in this last season.
-RYAN: my favorite memory has to be when eOne threw a party at San Diego Comic-Con for a TV show that I was working on. It was great meeting the hardcore fans. Not only was it fun to celebrate our show, but it was encouraging to see that the viewers love the show just as much as those that work on it.
Q: How did you first get involved with the JHRTS?
-AMANDA: working at WME, I heard about the events and panels and went to every one that I could. Each time I learned something new, met new people and learned more about the entertainment industry as a whole.
-RYAN: I was invited by several friends to attend JHRTS events. When I finally did, I realized that it is not only a resource for networking and information but a great place to meet the good friends that will grow with you in the industry.
Q: What sorts of activities does the JHRTS undertake?
-AMANDA: my favorites are the panels, and roundtable discussions. We also have a great annual holiday party, a mentorship program and some mixers thrown in too.
-RYAN: JHRTS has a plethora of events and activities for our members. The amazing executive board are constantly putting together topical panels, roundtables, mentor opportunities, and mixers at cool locations. JHRTS also allows our members the chance to make a difference in the grander scheme by hosting charity events. Our most popular event is the Christmas party which benefits a charity every year.
Q: How are things coming along with the Los Angeles group?
-AMANDA: things are coming along great! Our leadership last year was incredible and we are hoping to keep up with the number of events and panels and engage our membership even more this year. We have a great philanthropy initiative championed by Amy Coughlin.
-RYAN: we had a great year last year and we are looking to repeat that success this year. Our membership is full of quality people and we have great support from HRTS and the surrounding community. I am very optimistic that this year we can provide more events to help our members take that next step in their careers.
Q: As digital natives, how do you see the next 5-10 years of the industry?
-AMANDA: the only ads I see are the ones I can’t skip at the beginning of digital videos. Our generation prefers having the flexibility to watch TV when they want without interruptions and the mediums that can provide this will win out viewers in the end. Content is truly king as far as I am concerned and I will watch excellent shows no matter where they are. I believe there will be even more digital and TV crossover, integration and change that I currently don’t have the technological expertise to predict!
-RYAN: I definitely think that digital is our generation's platform. We come from very tech savvy childhoods and once digital finds its stride, it will be hard to compete with. TV could benefit from this, as DVR and online availability can help pump viewership by allowing a fan to binge watch content to catch up to a show that all of their friends are talking about. I don't know what future technology will be, but I think it will only help us distribute creative content and storytelling into every day facets of life. I also think that international co-productions are going to become very popular.
Q: Are the viewing habits of today’s kids and teens really that different than Gen-Xers or Boomers?
-AMANDA: the material that kids are exposed to today is different than before and the quantity of programming has increased tremendously. I suspect kids today don’t see the internet, Xbox or TV as all that different from each other, as there are great shows for them on all mediums.
-RYAN: I feel it is all about interactivity and the speed we can get it to them. The Gen-Xers and Boomers tend to gravitate to the procedural aspect of a convenient escape from life. I feel that this upcoming generation will want to be included in the storyline and grassroots aspect of their favorite shows now that social media has given them direct access to be involved in the world.