Nicholas Lombardo was in New Orleans working in film production when the industry hit a downturn. This led Lombardo to make the move to Los Angeles. In a chance encounter, he came across a flier for PromaxBDA’s Promo Pathway program and the rest is history. Today, Lombardo is an associate producer at NBCUniversal where he works on the Dreamworks properties.
Daily Brief contributor Kareem Taylor had a chance to chat with Lombardo on his recent Emmy nomination, how he became valedictorian in Promo Pathway and what advice he has for current and future students.
DAILY BRIEF: You were just nominated for an Emmy. How’d that happen?
LOMBARDO: A little bit of luck, a lot of opportunities with PromaxBDA. I worked on Voltron VR and the nomination is for the Best Use of Media for a TV show. We took the TV show, and we created a narrative experience with interactive elements where you actually get to fly the blue lion and be Lance. Some of the contributions I was able to utilize as I helped cut the promo trailer and work with marketing to get the best stills out there for the store page. When the trailer first came out I said “No, we have to do this, do that.” People looked at me like “What?!” I said “Trust me. I just went to school for this.” We have a very strong team, I want to give a shout to Lalie Fisher, she is the head of our Dreamworks pod, in creating everything Dreamworks.
What is your day to day look like as an Associate Producer?
12 hours, non stop. I’m part of the Dreamworks squad. I came in as a coordinator. One of our senior producers left, so I stepped in, took over a lot of the projects. As soon as you step in, you get meetings after meetings. As a producer, you just have to manage your pipeline, keep things on top to make sure developers hit their milestones. We’re a publisher, so there’s two ways we operate—we either co-publish with a developer or an external publisher buys your IP. So there’s two different ways of managing the pipeline. One is making sure as a licensee you’re keeping everything on brand. And then when you’re a co-publisher, you’re working with publishing, budgets and you have a little bit more say with what’s going on. One game just launched which is Jurassic Live.
How did you get this job?
Right when I graduated from PromaxBDA Promo Pathway, I found myself in an agency called Fuel Industries, and they worked on games. They worked with Warner Bros, and Dreamworks as well. Then I found myself with a temp agency called Executive Temps, they placed me in Dreamworks custom animation. We were a production unit for marketing, creating lower thirds, trailers, for movies coming out of Dreamworks. NBC came in, and we had to reduce our squad and my contract was not renewed. Then there was an opening at the NBC gaming side to be an executive assistant, to the SVP and VP, production and creative. In two weeks, I got promoted to a coordinator, and when a few producers left, I stepped in.
Any advice for someone who wants to do exactly what you do?
Seize the moment on opportunities. A lot of people can be indecisive. Sometimes there’s nothing better that comes and you wait too long. Seize the moment up first, get your foot in the door. Know your strengths. As a producer, you have to have project management skills. But lean on other strengths like creative or production.
You can listen to Taylor’s entire conversation with Lombardo in this episode of The Daily Brief Podcast:
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