Elena DeLuccia G'17

June 29, 2018

“Newhouse has an amazing reputation for being one of the best schools for any communications, especially TV and film. Also, the program was only one year—I was ready to learn as much as possible then get out into the world!”

A photo of Elena DeLuccia
Elena DeLuccia G'17

Elena DeLuccia graduated from the television, radio and film master’s program in 2017 and is currently working as the production secretary on "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." She also works with Daniel Hank as his assistant.

How did you obtain your current position, and what positions did you hold before it?

I got this position through a couple of people: Daniel Hank mainly (who I met through Syracuse professor Chase Clifford) and my friend and production coordinator Amry Landsberg. Before this I was, and still am, Daniel Hank’s assistant. Even if I’m working another job, I continue to be his assistant because we really enjoy working together. We just finished Lorne Michael’s pilot for Comedy Central that just got picked up for series "The Other Two", as well as the New York Unit for the film "Uncle Drew" and the Showtime series "Patrick Melrose."

What are your job responsibilities?

I make sure that the production runs smoothly along with our production coordinator. I open and manage accounts with vendors, ensuring department needs are met, I work with accounting to make purchases and rentals that we need, hire supplementary crew, and make sure filing and organizing in the office is kept up. 

How do you feel Newhouse prepared you for your current job?

I feel like Newhouse helped me learn to be professional in a sense through pro-seminar with the strict rules about being on time as well as learning the notion that this career is a marathon, not a sprint. I learned most of my skills that assist me in this position through Chase Clifford and being her IA (instructional associate) for Production Management. She helped me to be incredibly organized and efficient. I also learned how to really analyze a script and how to do script treatment through Evan Smith. I read scripts for Dan Hank constantly, and it helps to know what to look for and how to pitch him the story within them.

Why did you select Newhouse for graduate studies?

Newhouse has an amazing reputation for being one of the best schools for any communications, especially TV and film. I also knew that Newhouse had an amazing network, and the program was only one year—I was ready to learn as much as possible then get out into the world! Newhouse made that possible.

What was unique about your graduate program?

The ability to construct it into what you wanted it to be. My path focused on a producing track, while others were able to work on becoming DPs, managers, writers, etc. based on their choice of classes. It’s wonderful in that way.

Describe your most valuable/significant experience at Newhouse.

The most valuable experience I had at Newhouse was the opportunity of being an Instructional Associate. I loved all of the classes I had and I loved the responsibility, especially since I do want to teach sometime down the road. I learned more from the professors I worked for because of the relationships we had and the openness of being able to ask questions all the time. 

How did the Newhouse Career Center Development center aid you? What internships or volunteer opportunities did you do while at Newhouse?

They did! They really helped me with my résumé and building connections throughout New York City, which is where I wanted to end up. I didn’t intern while I was at Newhouse, but the opportunity to meet people through Newhouse professors and the development center were pivotal in starting my career.

What advice do you have for current or incoming students? Any classes or professors that you recommend?

Build relationships, not networks. Not everyone is there to get you a job, and it’s easy to tell when that’s all someone wants from you. Don’t burn bridges, and find people that have the same outlook as you! As for classes, Production Management with Chase Clifford for sure. Even if you don’t want to be a UPM, it’s incredibly important to understand how the production process really works. She’ll be the one to teach it. Television Sitcom with Evan Smith really gives a great snapshot of what it’s like to produce a great sitcom—including building the set!

Also, I wanted to include a special thank you to Michael Schoonmaker. I wouldn’t be anywhere without his help and his patience with my frantic phone calls after graduation.