Elena DeLuccia G'17

December 14, 2018

“Don’t ever think that you’re above something or someone, whether it’s making or buying a cup of coffee for someone or doing a menial task. Treat everything with equal importance.”

Elena DeLuccia G'17
Elena DeLuccia G'17

Elena DeLuccia graduated from Newhouse in 2017 with her master’s in television, radio, and film. Since then, DeLuccia has worked on a number of productions including "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," "This is Us," and "Uncle Drew." She is currently the assistant production coordinator on Wyatt Cenac’s "Problem Areas" on HBO. While at Newhouse, DeLuccia served as an instructional assistant while honing her craft on the creative and producing sides of productions.

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

I started as a producer’s assistant right out of school for Daniel Hank, who I still work for, and then moved to production secretary. This past June I was lucky enough to join the union as an assistant production coordinator.

What’s an average day like for you on the job? Take us through it.

If I’m on a scripted show, my days are usually 12 hours. People are typically surprised by this, but we fill every single second! If I’m on a documentary-style job, like I am now, it’s more like ten hours. I usually spend the day ensuring arrangements are taken care of for our cast and crew that are travelling that week. This includes booking flights, hotels and cars if needed, and sending all of the travelers and our executives details of each trip. I also keep track of any insurance issues with the production (loss and damage, workers’ compensation, etc.), booking rental vehicles and equipment and delegating responsibilities to two production assistants. Not to mention the really fun parts of the job, like planning wrap parties!

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

Newhouse prepared me in specific ways—working as part of a team is one of the most important things you can learn for a career in production. The same goes for creatives, executives and really any aspect of your career. I also think punctuality and professionalism are things Newhouse emphasized that have helped me greatly in my work so far.

Did Newhouse open your eyes to new professions or aspect of your field you may have not considered when applying?

It opened my eyes to a more creative outlook on my career. I had always thought that I needed to be in production management, and that I had found my calling in organizational production. I think that Newhouse opened my eyes to creative producing and harnessing that side of myself through writing classes and the encouragement of my professors. Even though I’m currently in a production management track, I intend on moving towards more creative work later in my career.

What are some obstacles or misconceptions about your field that students ought to be aware of?

I think that a lot of students aren’t aware of the structure of a production—for example, confusion on what specific positions do or positions they don’t yet know about (i.e. what the assistant director does versus the 2nd assistant director and 2nd 2nd assistant director, and so on). These roles also vary depending on the structure of the production (scripted versus documentary). This includes how a production office hierarchy works and knowing which departments do what.

What moments in your career have been most exciting or defining thus far?

Having the opportunity to work on "This Is Us" and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" were really amazing, and I had so much fun on both of them. A couple of big moments for me were seeing my name in credits on the big screen for the first time (in "Uncle Drew") and getting into the Union as an Assistant Production Coordinator. I’m incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such amazing members of the industry that have helped me get to where I am, especially Dan Hank and Amry Landsberg. It’s been a really exciting year!

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

I would love to pass on a few things that I learned in and out of Newhouse:

  • Take all the classes you can, including weekend seminars and mini-courses. Try to absorb everything!
  • Don’t let people tell you that you can’t do something. Prove them wrong and do it better than anyone else could. This includes schoolwork! Know that assignments matter and talk to your professors.
  • Build relationships with alumni; never ask for a job. Get to know them. Buy them a cup of coffee. This can go such a long way.
  • Take Production Management with Chase Clifford to learn how a production works and listen to Michael Schoonmaker. Just trust me on these.
  • Don’t ever think that you’re above something or someone, whether it’s making or buying a cup of coffee for someone or doing a menial task. Treat everything with equal importance.
  • Be kind to everyone! It’s so much easier than being unkind or difficult.

You can follow Elena on Twitter, Instagram, and IMDB. Check out her work on Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas.

This is an update to a previous profile completed earlier this year.