Can you tell us your role and summarize your day-to-day responsibilities?
I am the Director of Franchise Content and Strategy within the Lucasfilm Story Group. At the center of my job is my partnership with my boss, vice president James Waugh. Working closely with the live-action team and business leads, we oversee content strategy for our franchise platforms like video games, publishing, consumer products, parks & resorts, ILMxLAB, and more. We look at the breadth of our storytelling platforms and think about how we can line up all the different narratives to make a singular Star Wars creative statement at any given moment.
That encompasses many different areas of the company!
It does! In total though there are three core pillars to my day job. The franchise content strategy is just the first one. The second pillar is something I partner on with another creative executive, Lauren Olsen. We liaise with the live-action & animation development and production teams to stay on top of their creative work, and help codify and share that foundational creative information with our franchise partners. For example, we build narrative overviews, pitch kits, asset menus, and more to present creative information that drives support for that content across marketing, consumer products, and more.
The third pillar is more traditional creative development. Specifically, I help oversee our full video game slate for the franchise story team guiding the construction of both Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Naturally, I don’t do this alone, multiple members of the Story Group work with me in this space, and we interact every day with the great Producers and creative talent on the Lucasfilm Games team.
Could you discuss your professional background? Was there anything specific to your experience that prepared you to take on your job today?
I have a degree in film and media studies with a concentration in post-production, so for a long time I wanted to be an editor. That’s how I often thought about story construction, in the sense of taking different pieces and building it into a coherent story. After graduation though, I changed paths and found my way into marketing, at first in real estate as a temp role but ultimately making my way into entertainment. I worked at TV Land as a freelance Marketing Coordinator, and got to meet Betty White on her show Hot in Cleveland, a highlight of my career!
I then moved to Nickelodeon where I worked on lots of great shows (including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Legend of Korra) and helped organize efforts for the entire network at San Diego and New York Comic-Con. It was in that role where I was exposed to the full pipeline of content creation, distribution, and support: how shows are made, how they get programmed, how you support them and bring them to events, and how you think about franchise extensions and consumer products.
After three years at Nickelodeon, I made the decision to move to San Francisco and worked briefly for Google as a Partner Brand Manager on Chrome OS. But after realizing that the tech industry wasn’t quite right for me, I was able to return to entertainment and find a new role at Lucasfilm in marketing before I ultimately joined the Story Group.