Cinema Production Grad Brianna Wuenschel '20 Lands Job on Netflix's Hustle Alumni Profile
Meet Brianna Wuenschel '20
- Cinema Production
- College Activities
- Honors Program
- Pittsburgh, Pa.
- High School
- Peters Township High School
- Now Living In
- Philadelphia, Pa.
- Hobbies & Interests
- Listening to records and podcasts, watching YouTube, thrift shopping, reading
"I knew that I would have a lot of opportunities in film experience choosing a school in Pittsburgh. The program's immediate immersion in filmmaking was so different from other schools. From the first year you are already creating your own films and this was very important to me in choosing a school."
How did you land your recent job on the Netflix movie Hustle?
I applied to a job listed on the Greater Philadelphia Film Office website that didn’t share many details about the position. When I got asked to interview, I learned that it was a Happy Madison Productions filming in the city in need of an office assistant for their newly established 2nd unit in the locations department.
Tell us more about your key responsibilities in that role.
In my interview, I was told that I would be the “right arm” to the 2nd unit assistant locations manager, Kait McAlister. Everyday — whether I was working from home, the office or set — I was completing tasks to assist Kait with the daily workflow.
I made phone calls, sent emails to location owners/vendors to complete agreement, release and payment forms, while being the direct contact for vendors/owners on-and-off set.
A great portion of the 2nd unit locations were part of a Philadelphia travel montage, which meant that many of the famous sites needed to be secured to either photograph or film during the last month of shooting. I contacted the owners of these locations to inquire about our crew filming and made agreements on compensation fees.
Lastly, a major responsibility was securing parking spaces for the crew, cast, background and trucks for on-location days (50-70 parking spaces for shoot days in the city area).
Why did you choose Point Park’s cinema production program?
I knew that I would have a lot of opportunities in film experience choosing a school in Pittsburgh. The program's immediate immersion in filmmaking was so different from other schools. From the first year you are already creating your own films and this was very important to me in choosing a school.
In what ways did your Point Park experience prepare you for this role?
A major part of my Point Park experience that prepared me for my job on Hustle, and what won the employers over in the interview, was the Set Production Assistant (PA) Workshop class I took with Kaleigh Fitzgerald. To have a class where we learned exactly what would be expected of us as a set and office PA was very important, and really made me stand out in an interview. The set PA simulation days in this class made me aware of how a set really runs and let me make mistakes before working on a real set.
Why would you recommend Point Park’s cinema program to a prospective student?
The real-world experience that I gained during all four years at Point Park has made me feel so ahead of the curve in the industry. I had the resources to find jobs that gave me hands-on experience.
Graduating in 2020 was a challenge and hurdle to what I thought my career would look like out of school. And even with landing such an amazing opportunity on this Netflix production, there have been many moments of disappointment on not finding jobs for periods at a time. An important part of this industry is trusting that opportunities will come and making sure that you are willing to take a chance.