Peter Jaysen is a 1989 alumnus in Communication Studies and English. Currently, he is a Film and Television Producer at Veritas Entertainment in Los Angeles. Peter has twenty-five years of experience creating and monetizing content for film, television, digital, and branded entertainment. As an Emmy nominated producer, director, and media executive, Peter has supervised projects from concept through distribution including financing, budgeting, staffing, writing, casting, production, marketing, brand integration, public relations, and sales.
In addition to developing and producing programming for traditional distribution channels, Peter also created and executed multi-platform content strategies for brands like Pepsi, Mt. Dew, and Playboy in partnership with FBC, A&E Networks, Warner Brothers, ITV Studios, 51 Minds, Amazon Studios, Legendary TV, Green Hat Productions, and Machine Zone (Game of War).
Communication Studies:Tell us a bit about the path you took to get where you are.
Peter Jaysen: I wish I could say it was clear and concise path to becoming a film and television producer…but it wasn’t. The path I took was to continually work on projects that allowed me to grow as a storyteller in a variety of genres (Live Sports, news magazines, documentary, talk, half-hour comedy, science fiction, done hour drama etc..) and media (film and television).
CS: When did you know what field you wanted to go into? What experiences led you there?
PJ: My father began taking me to see classic movies like CASABLANCA, THE QUIET MAN, HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY, WEST SIDE STORY etc. when I was very young. I always knew I wanted to be in the entertainment industry…it just took me a while to figure out the best role for me to excel in a very competitive industry.
CS: What UM classes or extracurricular activities did you find particularly helpful in your job field?
PJ: Public Speaking and English classes; I would read and read and read all of the classics that Hollywood continues to try to adapt/rip off for film and television.
CS: Describe a day-in-the-life at work.
PJ: The theme of each day is always about pitching, pitching and more pitching…Keeping the trains moving on the projects we have set up, in production, and/or post-production….and finishing the day by reading as much new material as possible.
CS: What is one of the most valuable lessons you have learned from your job?
PJ: I think the most valuable lesson I learned is to make sure you are passionate about whatever you pursue in your career. If you like what you are doing day to day, it will help you be more successful with everything! Also, pursuing a career in film and/or television is like running a marathon race…it takes persistence, endurance, and patience.
CS: What is your favorite UM memory?
PJ: My favorite UM memory is really all four years in Ann Arbor…I loved every moment…but if I had to pick one memory it would be standing the 50 yard line in the Big House after the entire stadium rushed the field after John Kolesar caught the game winning touchdown to beat Ohio State!
CS: Provide some advice for students working towards internships and full-time opportunities in the communications field.
PJ: My advice for any internship and job is to LISTEN AND LEARN…and only offer your opinion when asked for it! Go Blue!
Peter will be speaking at the Entertainment Media Career Forum Friday 11/13 10am-3pm.