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They say that in the entertainment business, it’s all about who you know. Whether you’re an established professional or a recent newcomer, we know it’s a challenge to create meaningful relationships in the industry.
We know the importance of creating and maintaining a broad social network. UVA Entertainment L.A. networks all alumni throughout every aspect of the entertainment business at any stage of their career.
We look forward to getting to know all of you!
UVA Entertainment L.A. (UVAELA) cultivates a strong community of professionals seeking to support, collaborate, socialize, and network with other UVA alumni in the entertainment business.
Who We Are
UVAELA is a closely networked alumni group that seeks to establish meaningful relationships and mutual support among UVA alumni working in the entertainment industry.
UVAELA serves the growing presence of UVA alumni in entertainment related fields through:
- Various social activities
- Networking opportunities
- Guest speakers
- Film screenings
- Niche-specific professional groups
The club is made up of entertainment types of all kinds, including but not limited to working and aspiring writers, directors, producers, actors, agents, and entertainment lawyers.
What We Do
UVA Entertainment L.A. provides resources to its members through Education and Social Networking. Education within one’s professional craft and business is paramount to the success in the fields of entertainment.
In addition, we provide guidance and advice about the city of Los Angeles to all those newcomers, including recent graduates!
Support is provided through:
- Career workshops
- An internship program
- Guest speakers/panel discussions.
UVAELA provides social networking through:
- Bar nights
- Industry parties/events
- Special screenings
- Online networking
UVAELA holds a variety of events throughout the year to give the UVA entertainment community an opportunity to:
- Support one another
Below are a sampling of events we hold throughout the year:
Round-tables and breakfasts where you will have access to established alumni and hear about their experiences and suggestions.
Exclusive screenings of films that are followed by a Q & A, as well as a reception and opportunity to meet the filmmakers face to face.
Panels and Networking Events
Our panels and networking events are a great way to learn from successful professionals and get to know others in the entertainment community.
UVAELA facilitates writers groups in the Los Angeles area for television and feature films. Writers groups are limited to UVAELA members and are organized by Valerie Brotski (firstname.lastname@example.org).
UVAELA holds an annual holiday party in conjunction with other UVA Alumni groups in the Los Angeles area. Always a fun event!
- Writers' Groups
Want to join a writers’ group with your fellow ‘Hoos? Look no further.
The UVA Entertainment L.A. Writers’ Groups are nurturing and supportive networks of UVA writers seeking to improve their storytelling skills (for film, television, and fiction writers) and to help others along the way.
Groups are formed based on the number of respondents, writing level, and area of interest. There are a mix of abilities within each group, but with a greater ratio of experienced writers to newbies — one to two (maximum) beginner writers in a group.
Meeting schedules are determined by the group as well as locations, and are held at cafes or members’ homes on a rotating basis. This is not a “hot-seat” critique format, but a relaxed, problem-solving workshop.
Since the group size is limited to six people, those interested in joining a group will need to fill out a short survey and submit a writing sample in order to be considered for placement, subject to space availability.
Once accepted into a group, members will be expected to pay the UVAELA membership dues if they have not done so already.
If you are interested or have any questions about the writing groups, please e-mail: Valerie Brotski (CLAS ’97) at VBrotski@yahoo.com with the subject “UVAELA Writers’ Group.”
- New to Hollywood?
The sooner you can get to L.A. the better, generally speaking, but it depends on a few factors. Early spring though the summer months are good times to move out here.
Pilots staff in the early spring (January-March), and pilots and shows tend to find out whether they’ve been picked up for the fall in mid-May. By September, productions are generally staffed as the year draws to a close, and there won’t be any new shows until after the New Year.
Note: the last two weeks in December are “dark” weeks, meaning most productions shut down for the holidays.
Start making preparations now for a move after graduation, ideally by June, as many shows are starting to staff up for the fall season during the mid-to-late summer.
Try to save money in advance of your move, as you’ll need a car in L.A., car insurance, gas, and money for rent, a security deposit and utilities (and don’t forget about health insurance). Once you’re in L.A., you’ll need time to find a place to live and get yourself set up/familiar with the city.
A word to the wise: don’t move to L.A. unless you are sure this is what you want to do. If you have never been to L.A. plan to visit for a week or so. You might decide you hate it, but then again, you may fall in love with Tinsel Town.
A good website for apartment listings is: www.WestsideRentals.com It’s a subscription service, so I suggest waiting to sign up for it until you know when you want to move, but aside from driving around town and looking for “For Rent” signs, it’s the best way to find a place if you don’t have housing arrangements.
When the time comes, be careful of landlord scams that try to rip you off for double or triple security deposits because you’re from out of state. If you have a friend you can move in with, that will help you immensely with the finances.
Try to take some time driving around town to see which neighborhoods you like, and realize you may not be able to afford that neighborhood. Also check out Craig’s List for apartment listings and roommates wanted ads.
L.A. is notorious for it’s traffic jams and freeways. If you don’t have a GPS or a nifty iPhone, purchase a Thomas Guide for Los Angeles County. You can find them at any bookstore and most convenience stores as well.
Sure you could always try Craig’s List, but wouldn’t it be great to find someone through the UVA network? Try joining our facebook group and see who you can hook up with there!
University of Virginia links:
HOOS IN HOLLYWOOD PAY IT FORWARD
The UVA Entertainment Club of Los Angeles (UVAELA) has launched a new outreach initiative to help UVA students and alumni who want to work in entertainment.
Founded in 2008, UVAELA is unique among the University’s alumni organizations – it is the only one that has a specific professional focus: the entertainment industry.
In show business, it’s all about who you know – or, in the case of the UVA Entertainment Club of Los Angeles, the Hoos you know. “We know it’s a challenge to create meaningful relationships in this business, and we strive to connect students and alumni with Hoos who want to pursue a career here,” said Justin Paxton (CLAS ’10), the President of UVAELA.
“Schools like UCLA, USC, and many others have the benefit of a physical presence in Los Angeles. Their students have the opportunity to network with entertainment professionals every single day,” said Myron Santos (CLAS ’01), editor on CBS’ BIG BROTHER and Co-Chair of Outreach. UVAELA is addressing that imbalance by connecting interested students and alumni with current members.
The process is easy. Alumni can complete a form at http://bit.ly/UVAELAoutreach and select the aspect of the industry about which they would like to know more. Options include acting, screenwriting, producing, motion graphics, video game design, documentary, etc. The request is sent to an UVAELA member in that field, and the conversation starts from there. Current students can connect with the UVA Career Center to find out more about opportunities to connect with the entertainment industry at career.virginia.edu.
“The diverse backgrounds and disciplines of our membership give us an advantage. If I can’t answer a question, I know at least two or three people that could,” said Christine Bachas (CLAS ’95), an Emmy-nominated producer, UVAELA’s Vice-President, and Co-Chair of Outreach. “We know how valuable and important networking is in this industry, and we want to give back. I wouldn’t be where I am today without someone taking the time to give me advice and to introduce me to other people in my field.”
In addition to the outreach initiative, UVAELA host events throughout the year to bring alumni and industry professionals together including a speaker series (most recently with Aynne Kokas, UVA Assistant Professor of Media Studies) and a mixer with Yale in Hollywood, Yale University’s version of UVAELA.
“This is our mission,” says Paxton. “We want to cultivate a strong community of professionals who can support, collaborate, socialize, and network with other UVA alumni in the entertainment business.”
For more information, please contact Danny Housier (CLAS ’01), Senior Associate Director for Alumni and Parent Engagement, at email@example.com or 434-825-5588.