While actors, directors, writers and producers are the most visible talent in the entertainment industry, it's the rarely seen creatives that Marjorie Galas '89 shines a light on as Editor of 411 Publishing, a division of Variety.
411 Publishing is a production services resource centered on "below-the-line" industry professionals including film editors, script supervisors, sound engineers, make-up artists, camera operators and art directors, among myriad others. In this role, Galas is responsible for researching, editing and verifying the accuracy of all content on Variety 411's websites, LA411.com and NewYork411.com, which feature one-stop directories for all areas of production, from crew members and post-production services to car services and caterers. In addition to the content on the websites, she manages the production of Variety 411's printed directories, which are often referred to as "the bible" among Los Angeles industry professionals.
In collaboration with the Producers Guild of America and Entertainment Partners, Galas also created Variety 411's ongoing webinar series that offers information on how to maximize production incentives and other location benefits. Galas selects the topics, obtains the panelists and secures locations, equipment and vendors for the webinars, which have been featured at Sundance and other film festivals.
Galas also heads up the 411 eNewsletter, a monthly publication for industry members.
"The newsletter is really the thing that I'm most proud of," Galas said. "I really want people to learn more about their trades, and I've learned a lot from each person I've interviewed."
While the newsletter's previous editor mainly featured people from 411's directories, Galas has reached out to professionals at the top of their realms. The most recent issue (January 2014) includes interviews with Phedon Papamichael, the director of photography for the critically-acclaimed 2013 film "Nebraska," as well as "The Descendants," "Walk the Line," "Sideways," "America's Sweethearts" and "While You Were Sleeping." Other recent interviews have included the production team of "Saving Mr. Banks"; writer/producer Robert Kirkman (AMC's "The Walking Dead); and "Dallas Buyers Club" production designer John Paino.
The success of the newsletter is especially surprising to Galas, whose inauspicious foray into journalism began as a communication minor at Emmanuel College.
"I would have to do these interviews for class and I was so shy that I sometimes made up people and quotes and passed it in," she admits.
Galas also manages the Los Angeles-based staff and oversees all of Variety 411's marketing, including social media.
Before moving to California in 2006, Galas worked as a senior researcher and trainer at Hachette Book Group USA and as a volunteer coordinator and edit tutor at Boston Neighborhood Network, while also working on local film projects. Wanting to become more involved in the film industry, the Dartmouth, Mass., native moved to the West Coast and began a temporary position on Variety's sales team. Within a few months, she was hired full time and took on the role of Sales Coordinator and Variety Screening Series Coordinator for the 2007 awards season. She served as the Marketing Manager for 411 Publishing before being promoted to Editor in early 2013.
"I'm happy I was able to grow and maneuver through the company," Galas said. "I didn't anticipate this career, but I've worked really hard and I'm proud of where I am now."
The position also comes with some perks-Galas often receives credentials to work the press room at award shows, including the Oscars, Golden Globes and Emmys.
"A lot of press people don't love going to these events, but I think it's fun," she said. "I get to wear a gown and recognize the hard work of the creative people without who the movies wouldn't have the same impact."
She has also had the opportunity to participate in Hollywood Habitat for Humanity, to which actors, screenwriters, musicians, athletes and studio executives have volunteered to build homes for those in need since 2000.
In the future, Galas hopes to reinvigorate some of the creative aspects of her life, which she began as an art major at Emmanuel.
"One of my goals is to work on an animation project," she said. "Through the Colleges of the Fenway consortium, I took a class on animation at MassArt and I really enjoyed it. I've never been able to really explore it, but I still aspire to."
Though she has achieved much in California, she still sees Massachusetts as home, and hopes to return to Emmanuel for her 25th reunion this summer.
"Going to college is a big part of becoming an adult," she said. "My studies, the people I met and my classmates at Emmanuel all contributed to who I am today."