As students sit with a pen and paper in hand ready to take notes, guest speaker Adam Krentzman takes hold of the microphone, and is met with attentive eyes from those in attendance.
Krentzman spoke for the Media Arts Speaker Series in the Great Hall on Thursday, Nov 16. to share his knowledge about the entertainment industry.
He was a literary agent for 20 years before becoming a producer. Krentzman said he started working in an agency mailroom, driving around town delivering scripts.
“Working the mailroom at an agency is a very humbling experience,” Krentzman said. “I think it helps shed any attitude you have going in, and I don’t know if it helps my career, but it helps as a human being.”
Krentzman said starting from the bottom and moving his way up helped shape who he is today.
He is a veteran Hollywood agent and film producer with 25 years of experience in the entertainment industry.
Krentzman is best known for producing “Oh My God” (2009), a documentary that explores the question “What is God?” from the point of view of people from all walks of life.
He is also well known for “Elephant Tales” (2006), a family film that follows the journey of two elephant brothers.
Krentzman’s upcoming film projects include “Moonchild” (2017) and “The Domestics” (2018).
Krentzman said he always had the mindset of “acting as if” when approaching the industry.
“If you play the role, that role ends up becoming who you are, and eventually people believe that,” Krentzman said.
Krentzman also advises those trying to break into the industry to keep an open mind and take jobs that put your foot in the door.
“Ride your horse in the direction it’s going,” Krentzman said. “You will find where you need to be, when you need to be there.”
Krentzman said when he started out, he always wanted to direct television commercials, but he made a career as a literary agent, despite facing obstacles.
“Every step of the way, there’s always obstacles, but I like to look at them as detours,” Krentzman said. “I grew up with dyslexia, and I ended up being a very successful literary agent, and in a million years, I would never have thought that.”
“Sometimes the universe or the business directs you in an area that you don’t think is the right way, but it ends up being the right way for you,” Krentzman said.
Angel Jesus Arauz-Diaz, film production major, said he thought the speaker was genuine in his message.
“Adam Krentzman is coming from a good place,” Arouz-Diaz said. “He wants to inform everyone in the room and he really hopes people strive to do what they want to achieve.”
Arouz-Diaz said Krentzman’s experience in the field inspires him to stay motivated.
“I’m interested in film production, so hearing him talk about the industry makes it feel much more attainable,” Arouz-Diaz said. “It’’s one thing to study it and hope for it, but it’s another thing to hear somebody in that line of work speak about it with passion and care.”
Krentzman addressed an issue that plagues the entertainment industry. He spoke about piracy and how it hurts the hair and makeup people, gaufers and those that are making a living and losing a portion of their prospective income to pirating sites.
“Piracy is the largest threat to the music, feature film and television business right now, and students are the influencers today,” Krentzman said. “Talking about piracy to students will help influence culture and create awareness to help spread the message until it changes.”
He shared his tips on being successful by providing a PowerPoint presentation that provided “Krentzman’s 12 Keys to Success.”
Student Crystal Dozier said she appreciated Krentzman’s advice.
“His 12 steps for success was literally amazing,” Dozier said. “I wanted to learn what I didn’t know before, and I definitely did that tonight.”
Krentzman said his objective tonight was to provide students with valuable information.
“I want them to know the various jobs available in the industry, expectations and want them to walk away not being afraid to work outside their comfort zone,” Krentzman said. “Failure is okay, It’s just another door to success.”
Krentzman said he always wanted to play a role in the film industry.
“Over the course of 25 years, in one way or another I’ve impacted hundreds of people,” Krentzman said. “There are many areas that anybody in this business has touched and ultimately impacted in some way, whether that is being a representative or putting together movies that put a smile someone’s face.”