Meet Isabella Mastrodicasa, Tv & Film Coordinator / Producer with Heroes and Villains Entertainment
Tell us about how you chose your career/business and what your responsibilities include?
I feel that my career actually chose me. I grew up in a family of lawyers and doctors dreaming of making movies in Hollywood. My town had 7000 inhabitants and was on the mountains in a medieval area an hour north of Rome, in Italy. My parents always wanted me to follow their steps, therefore at 18 I moved to Milan where I earned a bachelor and master degree in Law with focus on International and Public Institutions. However, the more I got older, the more my American dream became bigger, and stronger, and powerful, therefore after I graduated I packed my suitcase and moved to Los Angeles trusting my gut that that would have turned out to be the best decision I ever made. After studying Business and Management of Entertainment at UCLA, I started working for a talent agency as an assistant, I worked for a prestigious production company, and then transitioned in management and production where I now coordinate the film and TV business of an entertainment company, and where I am involved in producing as well.
Tell us about the company you work for?
The company I work for was funded 11 years ago by former ICM employees who had a vision for their own business. Over time they expanded and ended up representing over 150 extremely talented writers and directors that create content for all the major platforms: film, tv, digital, comics, and video games. We represent clients that are working on some of the most successful and acclaimed TV shows such as 13 Reasons Why and Dear White People for Netflix, The Handmade’s Tale for Hulu, Cloak and Dagger and Jessica Jones for Marvel, Million Little Things for ABC, and The Expanse for Amazon. On the feature side, we represent strong and powerful rising stars such as Rosalind Ross, Marissa Jo Cerar, Lauren Miller-Rogen, Jade Barlett, alongside veterans such as Mike Markowitz and David McKenna.
What are some of the most fulfilling projects you have been involved with so far?
I have been very excited to be part of the process that got some of our clients staffed on my favorite TV shows, and see their names on the screen made me very proud. I have also been happy to be able to contribute first hand by closing deals for our clients with Italian producers and financiers, and to bring IPs and new clients on board.
Are there any people in your field you would like to meet and/or work with and have not yet had the opportunity?
I would love to get to work with Italian writers and directors that have made a name for themselves in Hollywood, like Matteo Garrone, Stefano Sollima, and Luca Guadagnino. I would love to also work with talents like Alejandro Inarritu or Guillermo Del Toro, Oprah Winfrey, and Meryl Streep.
What are some of your favorite ways to network?
I like to meet people face-to-face for a brunch or for a glass of wine after a long day of work, and to pick their brains on new ways to work together, get to know their stories and their ambitions, strengths and weaknesses. When there is someone that I would really like to meet I also just send them an email asking to get coffee, and most of the times they respond positively and are excited to meet me as well.
Do you have a mentor – if so how did you choose one another?
I haven’t had many mentors, but the people that I found on my path that were willing to share some of their knowledge were great. The very first person I met when I moved here was a manager and she helped me get into the right path from the very beginning, becoming also one of my best friends. Some of my bosses and coworkers have also been nice enough to take time to explain how to proceed when I was very green and inexperienced, instead of just watching me drown. I’ve listened and I’ve learned, and I feel very blessed.
What have you learned from your mentor? What do you hope to learn?
To look at the bigger picture, and to handle patiently and wisely my frustrations when I can’t achieve results in the short term. To move onward putting my best work into anything I do, from a photocopy to closing a deal, and to run my own race.
What’s been the most surprising thing that has happened to you so far in your career?
There is a quote from Steve Jobs that I always keep in mind: ‘you can’t connect the dots looking forward, only looking backwards’. A lot of things that did not make sense to me or that I thought were really unlucky events in my life and in my career, turned out to actually be for the best. You just need to trust your gut and intuition.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I love to dance. It can be a salsa club, a tango class, or just music in my living room with my best friends. I like to move, to sing even if my voice is terrible, to jump on my bed with my dog while I repeat the chorus of some inspiring song, or even just to relax on my couch and listen to classic music while I unwire and process my feelings and my thoughts.
Any parting advice for someone who would like to follow in your footsteps?
Work really hard, educate yourself as much as you can, and never let anyone tell you you can’t do something. The only obstacle between you and your dreams, is you.
What’s the best way for the readers of WE Magazine for Women to connect with you?
WEBSITE URL www.heroesandvillains-ent.com