Jonny Lopez was working at the Boys and Girls Club when he learned of PromaxBDA’s Promo Pathway program. Today, he’s an editor at Warner Bros. Worldwide Television, where he also writes and produces all kinds of marketing material.
Daily Brief Contributor Kareem Taylor had a chat with Lopez to hear more about how he landed his job at Warner Bros., how he got his reel shown at the conference before he had a job, and the biggest piece of advice he has for anyone who wants to do anything.
Listen to this episode of The Daily Brief Podcast to hear all of Taylor’s conversation with Lopez:
DAILY BRIEF: How did you get that job?
LOPEZ: During Promo Pathway, which is the year-long intensive, I met with Warner Bros. executive Chris Green at our portfolio night, which is a night where the program invites industry professionals to come down and review our work. He really liked my stuff, but I think beyond that he really liked me as a person. I remember on our graduation day, I was lucky enough to give a speech and he flagged me down afterwards and said, “You’re a really cool guy and you produce really good work. And I really want you at Warner Bros.” He invited me to apply and within a matter of five or seven days and I was already there.
Did you share your work at the conference as well?
Yes. We had a competition, one of those promo competitions. The prompt was to do a 30- or 60-second spot that described who you are as a person but the only catch was you couldn’t be in it yourself. Your voice, image or likeness couldn’t be in it. You had to promote yourself as if you were a brand. What I did was I took 10 or 15 promos that I was loving at the time, and I pulled them apart and using footage from all of them, I was able to create this brand spot. About not just myself, but the generation of people that I represented. I got second place at the competition, and they showed it on the big screen at the conference; it was really nice. That brought a lot of attention to me which is nice, because, aside from people like yourself, I’m not the most avid talker or networker. It was my way of getting my name out there that encouraged people to come and talk to me because I wasn’t very good at talking to them.
What is it that you do every day at Warner Bros.?
I’m an editor, but I write and produce; they really encourage us to write and produce all of our stuff. And it’s not just promos, but it’s really just a ton of marketing pieces. Whether it be behind the scenes interviews, electronic press kits or pulling aside clips of various shows that are going to go to press. Even sitting down with the graphics department and conceptualizing the look and feel of the spot, and then bringing all those graphics to life with sound. It’s the whole gambit of conceptualizing to finishing promotional materials for all of Warner Bros. content that airs on TV. You have channels that will run The Matrix, Scooby Doo, The Big Bang Theory, Friends, so it’s a lot of content we touch.
What advice would you give to someone preparing to show their work?
Volume. Whatever it is that you want to do, just produce a lot of it. If you want to cut promos, cut promos, a lot, a ton. The 10,000 hours principle. You have to have 10,000 of deliberate practice to become world class in any field. You’ve got to get ahead of those hours. Make good, bad and mediocre stuff. In the program, we were required to cut five promos. I cut 16. It’s just volume, there’s no way to get better at anything other than volume.
Student Night at PromaxBDA Our Conference 2018 is currently open now through May 7. To apply send a resume and sample of your work via email to Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org
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