Meet Adrian, a creative producer focused on storytelling through emerging technologies. Adrian currently works at ViacomCBS focusing on the production of apps, prototypes, and experiences using various technologies. Adrian found his way to kids media by way of film school and non-profit work.
How did you get interested in children’s media?
I went to film school and wanted to break into the film industry, but after working on commercial shoots & reality shows for a few years after college, I was ready to give up on that goal. I started working at non-profits and found my way to DonorsChoose.org, where I got to work with teachers and students and saw all the ways they use media in classrooms. I was fortunate enough to meet a few amazing people in the children’s media industry (including former CMA president Sarah Wallendjack) around that time who ignited a new passion – and 7 years later, I’m still here!
What are you most proud of in your journey so far?
I’m proud of the people I’ve worked with along the way who have grown into a new generation of producers, executives, writers, artists, etc. When you’re working as an assistant on a show that gets canceled, it’s easy to see that as a negative. But some of those moments have really shaped my career and given me focus. I’m proud that the vast majority of the people I’ve worked with have persevered through hardship and are still in the industry.
What advice for your fellow CMAers do you have?
Learn from each other as you’re surrounded by people who have done incredible things! The ones who speak at events are just the tip of the iceberg. In my 4 years volunteering with CMA, the people I’ve met here are still some of my closest work friends. It’s an awesome community.
If you could be one character from kids media who would you be and why?
Gir from Invader Zim. If the world is doomed, I’m going to be the one singing in a dog onesie with my tongue out as we speed toward a black hole!
What do you find most challenging about children’s media?
It’s hard for me to work on projects that are overtly directed at one gender. I grew up wanting to play with Barbies and braid unicorn hair, but knew that these were “girl” things and felt some sense of shame about it. Times have changed and kids are able to choose their toys and content more freely, but the shows and movies that dominate major networks are still largely gendered – and some are more gendered than what I remember watching growing up.
What about most rewarding?
I get to work on things that millions of kids will watch, play, or experience, and those things may have some meaningful impact on their lives. In my current role at Nickelodeon / ViacomCBS, we’re thinking and prototyping for a future where kids and parents can play and learn together in really cool ways. I literally play AR & VR games every day, and get paid for it. It doesn’t get much better than that!
If you weren’t in children’s media, what would you be doing?
Glassblowing! It’s a hobby that has been slowly creeping into a dedicated pursuit. I take commissions! 🙂