"Industry Spotlight" is our monthly series where we interview professionals from across the entertainment industry about their current jobs and career trajectories. Our hope is that you will learn more about the positions you're already interested in, discover new roles you may not have considered, and utilize the wisdom of those who've paved the way before you to forge your own path for success.
This month, we sat down with Hannah Bergstrom, an Associate Producer on ABC's Fresh Off the Boat.
HOLLYWOOD RESUMES: What is your job and how would describe it one sentence?
HANNAH: As Associate Producer on Fresh Off the Boat, I am responsible for leading our Post Production department through episode prep, shoot, editing, finishing, and delivery.
HR: What is your day-to-day like?
HANNAH: Every day is a little different but I could be prepping episodes with our showrunners and production team, overseeing VFX on set, cutting with the editors in post, giving notes to our colorist, working on the sound design at a mix, or watching episodes that are ready to be delivered for air. We work on multiple episodes at a time, so each day has a few episodes that need something.
HR: What do you like most about your job?
HANNAH: I love that I get to lead a team of artists and create a show that uses comedy to talk about topics like race, immigration, coming out, or simply just being that awkward kid.
HR: How did you get your current job?
HANNAH: I met my boss through a friend I made at a Women in Post brunch group. I’m so grateful that I said yes to that brunch!
HR: What was your first job in Hollywood?
HANNAH: I was a runner for Tony and Ridley Scott’s company Scott Free. I was so lucky to be around Tony Scott, Ridley Scott, and their team. I got to know LA very well by doing runs all over the city, and my connections at Scott Free helped me land my first post production job as a Post PA on Community.
HR: Describe the kind of person who would do well in your position -- what skills would they need?
HANNAH: Someone who is able to juggle being pulled in multiple directions and who has a strong creative and technical background to support their work will do well. A sense of humor also helps make the busy days fly by.
HR: If you don't like ____________, you won't like my job.
HANNAH: Watching an episode over and over again.
HR: What’s something you do in your job that an outsider wouldn’t expect (and maybe you didn’t expect before you took the job!)?
HANNAH: I didn’t expect that Fresh Off the Boat would have as many visual effects shots as it does. In our fantasy sequences, we get to have a lot of fun with VFX. Last year I got to produce a whole video game world based off the Sims video game, and the year before that we got to produce an entirely animated comic book style scene. We’re working on prepping for Season 6 now, and I can’t wait to start working on VFX shots for it.
HR: What’s a mistake you made early on in your career?
HANNAH: I made the mistake of parking in Tony Scott’s parking spot on one of my first days!
HR: If you could give one piece of advice to someone trying to break in/move up in the industry, what would it be?
HANNAH: I always tell people who are trying to break in or move up in the industry to use their position to their advantage. You are new to the job, so you should be curious about the job and curious about everyone around you. Ask good questions at the right time and people will remember you. Make yourself known as being a person that’s helpful, curious, and kind. That will take you very far. Make sure that you are delivering value on a daily basis, and that will make you invaluable.
HR: Thanks, Hannah!