For anyone trying to break into the production side of the film industry, Kate Eisemann ’79 is the perfect person to talk to. She has had many different roles on movie and television sets, from production assistant to assistant director. She is the founder of The Locations, a business that helps crews find the perfect spot to film their productions. Her work can be seen in movies such as Bourne Legacy and Sex and the City 2, as well as many television commercials.
Eisemann has always enjoyed photography, but her love of the television and movie businesses really took off once she started studying communication at the University of Hartford. One day, she overheard a professor talking about a promotional shoot at a local television station. She immediately asked to be involved and got a job as a production assistant. She was hooked.
“I just thought it was the greatest thing ever,” Eisemann explains. “I realized I could never work in a regular office and I really never have.”
Eisemann says people of all different personalities can find a role in the film industry because the jobs are so varied. But she warns the business is very grueling and that anyone interested in a production job must be willing to start at the bottom.
“My standard advice, that I don’t think has ever changed, is if you have any connection whatsoever, however distant, use that connection,” Eisemann urges. “Offer to work for free for a day. Offer to intern. Each department requires that you first act as an apprentice.”
When she is not scouting or managing film locations, Eisemann indulges her first love—photography. She shoots everything from weddings to corporate portraits. Earlier this year, her career took an unexpected turn. She was working in her photography studio when her cat Jasmine kept sitting on her scanner. Suddenly inspired, Eisemann pushed the button and ‘catscan’ was born. The photo earned her the grand prize in the Fairfield Museum’s 2015 IMAGES Juried Photography show. It also secured her an exhibition spot at the Southport Gallery in Southport, Conn. The exhibition, titled "Cat Bellies & Portraits” also featured her photographs of world leaders, including Nelson Mandela.
Fans of Eisemann’s photos can expect to see more. As she explains on her website, “I started shooting pictures as a kid because I thought it was cool. And I still do!”