When Loren Bouchard mentions his job to a small crowd of high school students, their applause is thunderous. He’s the creator of Bob’s Burgers, Fox’s hit animated series about a family that runs a hamburger restaurant. On a Wednesday afternoon in Playa Vista, Bouchard is sitting on a panel of film and television professionals explaining their jobs and how they got them to the handful of teens who are part of this summer’s Film2Future program. He dropped out of high school, he tells them, and was working as a bartender when he ran into an old teacher who offered him a job at his new company. “I was lost and I got really lucky,” says Bouchard. Through that job, he worked on the early-’90s cult TV series Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist. Then he kept working on different shows through different networks until Bob’s Burgers became a reality.
Throughout this panel session, the students hear not just from the hit TV series creator but from people who work behind the scenes, in areas such as development and marketing. They’re learning that there’s more to entertainment than writing, directing and acting, and that there are job opportunities to suit their myriad talents.
It may seem like kids in Los Angeles have a leg up on the competition for Hollywood jobs, but that’s not the case. The road to any kind of film career may be filled with obstacles. How do you make connections when you can’t afford to be an intern? How do you build a portfolio or reel when you don’t have computer access? If the steps needed to break into entertainment aren’t accessible, how can you even try to climb toward the summit?
“Hollywood, let’s be honest, is a system for wealthy white kids,” Rachel Miller, founder of Film2Future, says by phone prior to the start of the summer session. “If there’s no pipeline, there’s no way in.”
Miller grew up in Los Angeles and fell for film as a teenager. “It changed my life,” she says. Ultimately, she became a founding partner at the management/production company Haven Entertainment. One of the goals of the nonprofit Film2Future is to take a proactive approach to combating Hollywood’s frequently reported diversity problem with an intensive summer program for local youth.
Read the rest of THIS PROGRAM IS CREATING A PIPELINE TO HOLLYWOOD FOR KIDS WHO AREN’T RICH AND WHITE via the LA Weekly website.