Category: GEMA, GEMA Alumni Spotlight

Title:GEMA Alumni Spotlight – Sarah Collins (C’10), Director, Business & Legal Affairs, Original Series, Netflix

 

In her role, Sarah Collins negotiates above the line talent deals, facilitates overall deals and oversees all manner of day-to-day business and legal affairs issues in connection with the development, production and launch of television series for the Netflix platform.

What was your first “big break”? Or, what is the most significant experience you have had that has made your success possible? 

I must have applied for 100 jobs in the entertainment industry when I first moved to Los Angeles and luckily, got my foot in the door early at a smaller production company/studio. The fact that the company was small meant that I was able to work on many different aspects of production – from business and legal, to production and finance issues. I wouldn’t trade my experience there for the world – I got the chance to understand from the ground up all of the work and people it takes to get a film or television show off the ground and I’ve taken that perspective with me as I’ve moved into different roles.

What is the most challenging part of your job? What is the most rewarding part? 

The things that make this job challenging are what make it most rewarding – every day is different.  Dealing with things that have never come up before is my favorite part of the job as it usually means I get to collaborate with multiple cross-functional partners both internally and externally to problem solve.

What is something current you are working on that you are excited about? 

I’m really looking forward to the upcoming slate of scripted series that our team is working on and am very excited for these shows to be shared with the world.

How is the ever-changing media landscape affecting your industry?

I think the industry is seeing a lot of change right now in general – whether it’s through consolidation of companies, shifting content strategies, more entrants into the streaming market – I’m looking forward to seeing where things end up in the next few years. I think we’re in an exciting stage now where we’re able to hear from more voices and have access to more content from all over the globe than we ever have in the past.

Are there any ways that you feel Georgetown especially prepared you for your career? 

The classroom debates I got to experience and be a part of at Georgetown were unparalleled. Developing the ability to argue one’s point in a room surrounded by talented students and incredible professors is something I’ll always be grateful for.

What is your best advice to those who are starting out in your field? 

Don’t be concerned if you can’t make out a straight line that’s leading you directly to your “dream job” – from what I’ve seen, most people working in the entertainment industry have taken a route that’s at least somewhat circuitous to get to where they are in their careers. Sometimes it’s only in looking back that you can see how each stop along the way has gotten you to where you are.

Best Business Advice Received: 

Share the victories with everyone who as helped along the way. It’s rare that your accomplishments are done completely on your own – find ways to share credit with the people who have helped you to be successful.

Trait You Most Admire in People:

Earnestness

Favorite App, Website, Podcast or Social Platform (other than related to your own company): 

Spotify – I use it every day and listen to everything from podcasts, to music, to audiobooks.

Favorite Georgetown Professor:

Professor Wayne Knoll

Favorite Georgetown Restaurant or Bar:

Cafe Milano – always my favorite spot for special occasions while I was at Georgetown!

Favorite Georgetown Memory: 

The senior ball before graduation – I remember feeling so energized being surrounded by so many people right on the edge of their futures.

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