In June, the team Carr works with was honored with an Emmy at the 40th Daytime Emmy Awards for their work on Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, which airs Saturday mornings on the Food Network. Carr is the senior vice president of production for Ellen Rakieten Entertainment, a partner of Relativity Television in California, which is responsible for the production of the show.
“It’s something everyone aspires to achieve,” said Carr, who graduated from UW Oshkosh in 2001 with a degree in radio-TV-film and dreams of making it big in the television industry. “To be a part of a team that is accomplishing something, producing a respected program, that’s awesome. An Emmy is one of those accomplishments that validate what you are working on.”
In Carr’s day-to-day role, he’s responsible for logistics. He helps producers stay on track, works with networks and makes sure each production stays under budget. Beyond Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, Carr also works on shows such as Lifetime’s Teen Trouble; in the past he’s worked on A&E’s Hideous Houses and Fashion Mob on Style. Early in his career, he got his start on a variety of shows, including Fear Factor and Wipeout.
Carr attributes some of his young successes to an internship he accepted while he was still attending UW Oshkosh. After his sophomore year of college, he traveled to the Los Angeles-area for a highly regarded internship sponsored by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Since 1993, eight other UWO students have taken part in the same internship, including two current students this summer.
“I really did the internship as an intro to LA. Then I figured I’d have time to think about if I should move there,” Carr said.
Sure enough, after graduating from UW Oshkosh, Carr packed his bags and headed blindly to LA. He’s been there ever since, now with his wife (also a UW Oshkosh alumna; she was named an Outstanding Young Alumni in 2006) and little boy. During his years working on productions and living in the greater Los Angeles area, Carr also has had the pleasure of running into many other UW Oshkosh alumni, which he said is a warm welcome because he loved his program and the people so much.
“Brad has been really instrumental in keeping RTF LA alumni together,” said Christine Gantner, alumni director at UW Oshkosh.
Now, Carr is part of a group of UW Oshkosh alumni who are hoping to start an alumni chapter in Los Angeles, something Gantner is excited about. An alumni event and reception will be held Aug. 8 and will give alumni and friends who live and work in the LA area a chance to meet and connect.
“It’s a group of us who would love to see a presence of our University out there,” Carr said on a recent trip back to Oshkosh, his hometown.
“As an alumnus, you want to give back … maybe through mentoring someone or hosting an internship,” Carr said. “We’re hopeful to build a community so we all know what the needs are. As alumni, I hope we can see how we can fit into that.”
Carr said, in general, he hopes to get a better grasp on what UW Oshkosh students are doing and is optimistic that in the future he could help by connecting with students or alumni who travel to the area for internships or jobs, like he did.
“By the nature of the industry, freelance work is using each other. You have to be able to pick up the phone and get work,” he said. “So why not use our network of simply being from the same place.”
Kevin Wehrenberg is, likewise, paying it forward from L.A.
“Our little RTF school – which is not NYU, AFI or another big film school — is placing a lot of people in these internships,” said Wehrenberg ’93, co-executive producer of ABC’s Wipeout (Lock and Key Productions, Inc.) and a UW Oshkosh alumnus who got his foothold in Los Angeles 20 years ago through the same internship opportunity propelling students today.
“At one time, I had 11 Oshkosh alumni working on my show,” Wehrenberg said. “I feel like Oshkosh is on the cusp of being similar to schools like Ithaca and Emerson and other RTF schools that do whole semesters in LA... Almost every interim break now, we’ve hosted two to three interns from Oshkosh. Some have come back and worked for us… To do an internship like that and then to move to LA and have a job — that’s not that common.”
Carr said in many ways the UW Oshkosh alumni who live in his area already are connecting but he would like the connections to be formalized with an alumni chapter.
“We find ourselves getting together to watch Packers games, to do barbecues. Because we’re all away from home, a lot of us have sort of adopted each other, like our own little family,” he said.