El Tavarez on How to Break into the Film Industry

El Tavarez, an alumna of Woodbury University’s Film Production program (class of 2023), shares her transformative journey through college and breaking into the film industry. 

Originally from Florida, El moved to California following her acceptance to Woodbury University. With aspirations of being at the epicenter of the entertainment media capital of the world, she was eager to work on major movie sets. At Woodbury, she found more than just an education. She discovered a supportive community that played a pivotal role in her personal and professional development.  

“What I loved most about Woodbury,” El reflects, “was the chance it gave me to explore different avenues in the film industry. It was about finding where I fit best in the vast landscape of media and entertainment.” 

Woodbury’s commitment to practical experience is evident in its internship requirement. This ensures that all students gain valuable industry exposure before graduation. The university assists students in securing internships with seasoned professionals through its dedicated career services center 

El’s first significant opportunity was a studio internship at Di Bonaventura Pictures Inc., a subsidiary of Paramount Pictures. Notably, this opportunity came through a recommendation from a Woodbury senior who had previously interned there. 

“Woodbury’s tight-knit community fosters a unique environment where everyone genuinely roots for your success. Compared to some other larger schools that are more cutthroat…my wins were really everyone’s wins,” El shares. 

group of people pointing at two individuals in the center. Left person in center is El Tavarez they are leaning against a brown box that says "Heather."

Her journey continued as an intern at United Talent Agency, where she learned about the world of talent management. Thanks to a recommendation from George Larkin, chair of the filmmaking department, she secured one of only ten spots available to over a thousand applicants.  

“The supportive network at Woodbury, where everyone is eager to vouch for each other, has opened numerous doors for me,” says El. 

Throughout her multiple internships, El explored various roles within the film industry, gaining insights into the numerous career paths available beyond directing and camera work. Ultimately, her interests gravitated towards the business side of production, a field she found both intriguing and rewarding. 

Today, El works as an Executive Assistant to the CEO at Inspire Entertainment Co.. She credits this role to her extensive internship experience. “I entered this position with a level of industry knowledge that usually takes years to build post-graduation,” she explains. This head start allowed her to secure a role typically requiring 2-3 years of experience. 

El is particularly grateful for the support from George Larkin, whose dedication to student success is unmatched. “George is a prime example of faculty commitment at Woodbury. His support and willingness to help students is invaluable as we navigate through college and into our careers,” she adds.  

El’s story is a testament to the power of a nurturing academic environment and proactive career preparation. At Woodbury, it’s not just about the education received—it’s about the doors that open as a result. 

Translate »