Like many of the Loyola Marymount University students seated in front of her, Route One Entertainment's Sophia Dilley once questioned how she'd find her way in the film industry.
"My whole start was interning," said Dilley, a 2010 LMU alumna who is vice president of development and production for the L.A.-based entertainment finance company. "I didn't really know where it was going to take me. I knew I wanted to be in it. I knew ultimately I wanted to produce and direct."
Her remarks about starting at the ground level working for director Peter Berg came during a recent panel discussion focused on helping students navigate the entertainment industry. "Breaking into the Business LIVE" – hosted by digital news organization TheWrap in conjunction with LMU's School of Film and Television – took place Feb. 2 at IMAX Entertainment's Playa Vista offices, and was followed by a screening of the award-winning film "La La Land."
Joining Dilley on the panel was Tim Staples, the CEO of Shareability, an Internet media company; Greg Foster, the CEO of IMAX Entertainment; and Rich Gelfond, the CEO of IMAX Corp.
The event's host, TheWrap's CEO Sharon Waxman, introduced the panelists and asked them about their experience in the industry. LMU students were then invited to ask their own questions of the professionals.
Staples, who made the switch from writing to entrepreneurship, spoke to the aspiring entrepreneurs in the room: "Having creative talent is great, but if you can't sell that talent, you're literally in the back room.
"The big lesson for me early on is learn how to sell yourself... so you can get in the front room," he said.