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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Studio 22 hosts Emily Gerson Saines as a muse for creative film production

Illustration by Mary Randolph
Northwestern alum Emily Gerson Saines (Communication ‘86) is a manager and Emmy-nominated producer who funds the Max Saines Grant in honor of her son Max.

Emmy Award-winning producer Emily Gerson Saines (Communication ‘86) imparted wisdom and inspiration to aspiring student producers and screenwriters in Q&A form at a Studio 22 Zoom event Wednesday evening.

Communication sophomore and Studio 22 Industry Co-Chair Ananya Paul spearheaded the event for the student-run film production company. Paul said she was especially thrilled to host Saines considering she hopes to work as a manager and producer.

“(The event) was a great way to get to know someone who’s working in the industry and who had a similar path as we are starting on,” Paul said.

Saines is the owner of Brookside Talent Management, a talent management company with clients including Ansel Elgort, Sebastian Stan and Cynthia Nixon. She also funds the Max Saines Grant, which awards student screenplays in honor of her late son Max, who graduated from NU in 2013 and died in 2019.

At the event, Saines acknowledged the “purple mafia” in the film industry, emphasizing how significant talent comes from NU. Saines added that this facilitates an environment where opportunities are available for alumni in the industry.

“Someone’s going to work at an agency,” Saines said. “Someone’s going to work at a management company. Someone’s going to be a writer’s assistant.”. “You become each other’s networking source.”

Saines attributed the prevalence of the “purple mafia” in Hollywood as a combination of NU’s film education and the caliber of its extracurriculars.

Communication senior and Industry Co-Chair Minh Bùi said the network is relieving as an upcoming graduate planning to enter the industry.

“(The future) is an anxiety-inducing thing, and it’s reassuring to see people who have made it and to see the possibilities for yourself,” Bùi said.

Saines also highlighted the sheer amount of jobs within film, which she saw firsthand visiting Skywalker Ranch in the Bay Area.

She said an entire section of the studio concentrated on producing sound for animated movies and feature films using miscellaneous objects, whether it was scraping sand or banging on a dish pan.

“Everyone’s path is all over the place,” Saines said. “There’s just so many kinds of jobs in this business.”

Studio 22 adviser Spencer Parsons, who led the Q&A, allowed attendees to ask questions at the end of the event. Members asked questions varying from the growing precedence of AI to Saines’ typical day-to-day life.

When listing the logistics of her day, Saines said her managing tasks can be strenuous..

“You are going to have to check your phone,” Saines said. “You’re going to have to look at your emails. This job is not a job, it’s a lifestyle.”

Despite this, Saines said she can’t see herself in a different line of work.

Studio 22 aims to host at least two events per quarter, whether crafted workshops or more keynote speakers who, like Saines, are eager to support young people, Bùi said.

Email: [email protected]
X: @betsy_lecy

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