Image Credit: Natasha Rabin
Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisha Yakub Sevanian.
Lisha, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started out in the entertainment business as a child actor, at the age of 5! I did mostly commercial and print modeling work up until college. As a student at USC, I was able to study dramatic arts and economics. I also started to produce content (shout out to Trojan Vision!) and intern for production companies. The experiences that I had at USC really opened me up to the world of producing and I fell totally in love with it. After graduating from USC, I worked at Sony Pictures and Ramo Law PC. I got a broad survey of how the studios operated and how independent films were made and sold.
In 2009, I took a break from the entertainment industry and went to law school in New York at Hofstra Law School. I mostly focused on intellectual property and international law. I passed the NY bar exam in 2012, but my love for producing didn’t fade away. So I took a big risk and moved back to Los Angeles to pursue producing film & television! I started a literary management practice with Discover Management and had a roster of writer & director clients along with a slate of films to produce. In 2015 I produced two feature films and transitioned away from literary management. In 2017 I launched Calgrove Media, to focus on building a slate of sophisticated family adventure content.
Has it been a smooth road?
Any career in the entertainment industry has its fair share of ups and downs. It takes a lot of patience to have a long career. I’ve experienced lots of deals falling through or projects not being what they seemed to be. A lot of time can be spent on a project that never gets made, and that’s totally normal.
Sometimes you get really attached to a particular project, but for various reasons have to move on. That can be the hardest part. I always find though, that the most growth in my producing career actually comes when a project doesn’t move forward because it really challenges me to rework the process.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Calgrove Media is one of a handful of companies that specializes in making content for families to enjoy together. Our motto is “Find the Wonder.” Every project that we touch has to insight a sense of wonderment and imagination in the viewer. It’s really a call to action to look for the extraordinary in the world around us. We are currently developing The Popchuck Chronicles into a feature film franchise. It’s a Canadian novel series by Paul Toffanello and is best described as Harry Potter meets The Goonies. There’s a huge Canadian following behind the series and we are excited to bring it to the rest of the world!
We are also building a community around our content. In March of 2018, we launched the Calgrove Media Mobile App. This App lets users become a Calgrove Media Insider. We are letting our Insiders tell us how to make our next project. It also brings them inside our process with exclusive behind-the-scenes and sneak peeks along the way. This user-participation has been really fun to develop and it gives people, of all ages, a very unique level of exposure to our movie-making process. It has been amazing for me to open up my process to users all over the world and let them share in my journey as a content producer. Crafting story and then bringing it to life is my job, it never gets boring and it’s always a new adventure.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles is definitely that best place for Calgrove Media. It’s such a hub for film and tv that there’s really no other place to grow. I have a few colleagues that started their careers in Toronto, Canada or New York City. Those are also really great cities for entertainment, but I always get feedback that there is a growth threshold.
Eventually, you have to move to Los Angeles and build your network of contacts. The one disadvantage of producing content in Los Angeles is the general competition for locations and financing. More local grants and tax incentives, that really cater to the independent producer would be fantastic.
- The Calgrove Media App is Free.
- Available on the Apple App Store
- Get it on Google Play
- Website: www.calgrovemedia.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/calgrovemedia
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/calgrovemedia
- App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/calgrove-media/id1331341671?mt=8
- Other: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.app.calgrovemedia