Name: Tara Reid
Title: Associate Producer
Company: Entertainment Weekly
Location: New York, NY
Tara Reid is a 24-year-old creative who hopes to take her passion for performing and activism and infuse them into her video producing career. If Tara is not producing content for EW.com, you can find her in acting classes, dance classes at Broadway Bodies, or enjoying a nice doughnut at a coffee shop. In her undergraduate career at Rutgers, Tara found fulfillment on leadership boards as a Media Manager for both The Livingston Theater Company and Rutgers NO MORE, a campaign dedicated to raising awareness for survivors of sexual violence. Tara has been in front of the camera, and behind it. She has been on the stage, and has directed it. By understanding every facet of the production process Tara has successfully molded herself into a dynamic, versatile and empathetic member of the entertainment industry.
Responsible for producing interviewing, and editing for online video content for Entertainment Weekly. Coordinates directly with the Senior Producer and assists in the creation of compelling video content for ew.com and its social media platforms. Responsibilities will include producing, interviewing, and editing content and overseeing productions from concept to delivery. In addition to production, this role will be responsible for managing media, from ingest through publication, and archiving assets footage. Must have broad-based production background and a passion for innovative video storytelling.
Wake up at 7:00 AM
I’ll be honest — I do not like waking up. I enjoy sleeping and I enjoy it A LOT. As a result, my mornings are usually rushed. I try to have my outfit picked out from the night before, as well as my lunch packed. In the morning I wake up, brush my teeth, get dressed, grab a granola bar and a banana and I’m out to door. On the train you can find me reading a book, listening to the New York Times’ The Daily podcast, or listening to Cardi B to get me amped for the day.
Leave for work at 7:45 AM
I first have to get to the Branch Brook Park Light Rail station which is about 7 minutes away from my apartment in Belleville, NJ where I live with my mom. Sometimes my mom is able to drive me there and sometimes I take an Uber/Lyft. I take the lightrail to Newark Penn Station where I get on the PATH train to the World Trade Center. Once I get to the Oculus I’m about a 3 minute walk through Brookfield Place mall to get to my desk. The commute is pretty great and only takes about an hour door-to-door.
Arrive to work at 8:45 AM
My office is super modern and sleek-looking. The colors are very bright white and silver everywhere. (This task is making me realize I have very few photos of the inside of my office, but I’ve attached one photo of what I see outside the window of my office and one photo of a hallway where there was advertising for a documentary about pigs, lol)
I’m the first of my team to get in the office and start the day. I work the 9-5 shift, one team member works 10-6 and another works 12-8. We also have two team members working in LA (my boss is one of them) and we usually don’t hear from them until about noon, eastern standard time. I start my day by checking my emails and Slack messages. My boss always sends out a “game plan” email from the night before so that we know exactly what we should be doing in the morning when we can’t contact her.
One morning I was tasked with finding old, archived footage of past shoots we had done to give to a Meredith Corp. employee who was making a sizzle reel to showcase all the videos that brands under Meredith Corp. produce. This employee reached out to all of Meredith’s brands: Entertainment Weekly (my team), People magazine, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, etc. to get video that best showcases what they produced in the last year.
My job was to go back and find all the footage my boss requested. This task was daunting because we have a lot of footage and we are currently in the process of working out the best way to archive our footage.
I ran into a few problems while finding old footage, but I eventually was able to locate it and give the editor the appropriate directions to find it on his end. I also had to make a clean export of the videos he was asking for. A clean export is a video that does not have music or graphics attached to it. It is clean and basically makes it easier for a new person to manipulate the footage without any hassle.
Once all my emails are answered and I get smaller tasks out of the way, I can go back to whatever my big edit of the day is. I am working on an edit from a video I produced of the cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 11. This was a really big shoot to produce as I had to get 15 drag queens on camera at the same time. The edit is proving to be even more challenging as there were 5 different camera angles for this shoot. I’m editing the 45 minute shoot down to 3 different videos using Adobe Premiere Pro.
Although this is a lot of material to work with, it is SO entertaining listening to the queens joke with each other and just look absolutely gorgeous on camera. It always crack me up how I can scroll through footage and laugh at a joke a person made and then when I scroll back over it a second time, I’ll still laugh at the same joke a person made no matter how many times I hear it while editing.
A lot of my job consists of communicating with EW writers and EW social team to get links to articles, or social posts, that went live with the videos we made embedded in them. It’s important the video team gets these links so that we know where our videos live and we can then track them. I also like getting the article links and social links so I can send them to a talent’s rep to show them the finished product of a shoot they joined us for. For example I recently produced and interviewed for a shoot with the actors in the live action Kim Possible movie. Our posts went live on the date the movie premiered and I was able to email the rep with the links and wish them a happy premiere day!
Organization is SUPER important as a producer. Knowing exactly where our videos live at all times is key. There will always be random instances where someone is asking me for a video to use and if I’m able to find it quickly, it makes everyone’s job easier and makes the whole producing process more efficient.
I try the best I can to eat lunch away from desk, but sometimes it’s just not possible. When I can step away, I try to take a walk or a least sit somewhere different in my office for about 20 minutes so I can eat in peace! (Photo of a my desk showing how hydrated I am, lol. Plus pictures hanging that make me happy! Super important to make your desk feel homey!)
But after lunch I get right back to it. In the afternoon is usually when more meetings pick up. I had a meeting for a shoot I was producing to go over the logistics with the EW writer who would be interviewing the talent, the studio manager, and another producer. We coordinated what cameras we would be using, got approval on our ideas for the shoot, and sorted out what props we would need to get for the shoot.
My role as a producer on a shoot is to book our studio and communicate the style we would like the video to be shot in. I also must communicate with the talent and their team to see what time and day works best for them to come in. I must put in a security request to our lobby to ensure they know when the guests are coming. I must communicate with our video ingesting team to ensure that the footage from the shoot gets ingested into the correct location so that EW video team employees can find it. A lot of producing is making sure everyone is on the same page and knows exactly what is going on.
Meeting with the video team and social team. We like to meet at least once a week in person/ over the phone for those in LA to discuss which videos performed best on our social platforms. This information is good for the video team to know so that we can plan accordingly the next time we have a shoot. EW’s audience is partial to nostalgia and classic films. Our audience also loves hearing personal anecdotes from celebrities. The social team encourages us to keep these things in mind when we produce future shoots.
I LOVE hearing about the data behind our videos. How many people watched a video, who was the demographic that watched it, why posting at a certain time made one video perform better than another. It is all extremely interesting to me.
Continue to address concerns via email and Slack messages. Continue editing my video project for that day. Hopefully get up and make myself a cup of green tea 🙂
Sometime when I’m away from my desk for too long I get a bit anxious that I’m missing too many emails, or haven’t gotten far enough along on my edit. Tea usually calms me down!
Hopefully have an edit done to send to my team for approval. We all pitch in to check over each other’s work. I’ll have a few teammates watch the video I made of RuPaul’s Drag Race and listen to their feedback and suggestions. I’ll get going on those revisions and then export another cut. Once I have the final version I’ll upload the video to our media player where I can fill in metadata like a headline, description,tags associated to the video. After that it’s time to send the video to EW’s digital team, writers, social team so that they know the video exists and is ready to be shared online just in time for the premiere of season 11!
It always feels great to wrap up a project right before I’m about to head out for the day!
Twice a week I’ve been attending acting classes with a coach named Anthony Abeson. I go to class on Monday’s and Wednesday’s from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM. It gets a little hectic to try to make it from my office downtown to the studio in midtown in under 30 minutes, but I’ve been making it work! I love going to these classes because acting is a huge passion of mine and I never want to stop nurturing that passion/craft.
Working fulltime in a creative career is wonderful, but I feel as thought no matter how happy and fulfilled your job makes you, a person will always have a side hustle/ side passion. This is definitely the case for me. I love producing, but I also love acting so so so much. I never want to give up either crafts and I hope to continue pursuing both.
After class I’m commuting home. I’m usually exhausted and listening to a podcast with my eyes closed. A few favorite night time podcasts for me have been: On Being, or Behind the Bastards. These are longform podcasts and for some reason I enjoy listening to long conversations at night, but in the morning I like concise, and narratively edited podcasts.
On late night commutes like these I am dreaming about food and my bed.
Once I get home I usually heat up some leftovers for dinner. Hop in the shower and then get to bed. But not before spraying some lavender essential oils on my pillows! I love lavender because it’s calming and I believe it makes my night’s sleep a lot better.
I love going to bed early. Did I mention I love sleeping?
Asleep by 10:00 PM
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