University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumnus Brad Carr ’01, of Los Angeles, is key to the production of many of these television shows that keep Americans hooked on great reality TV, making him one of five 2014 Outstanding Young Alumni Award winners.
As an undergraduate at UW Oshkosh, Carr was involved with activities and organizations that correlated with his radio-TV-film major. He served as president of the National Broadcasting Society, director of Titan TV news and producer of This Week.
Carr also was responsible for launching the annual A-T Telethon, which raised thousands of dollars to help combat Ataxia-Telangiectasia, a terminal childhood illness. The telethon even received a substantial donation from Hollywood actor Ben Affleck.
“It was a team effort that combined the efforts of students and faculty from the radio-TV-film department and other organizations, such as fraternities and sororities,” Carr said.
After graduation, Carr moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in television production.
“I started at the bottom as a production assistant on Judging Amy,” Carr said. “I then moved into reality production on Fear Factor and Wipeout, where I worked with fellow alumnus Kevin Wehrenberg for many years.”
After moving from a production manager to a line producer, Carr had the opportunity to be a production executive for Ellen Rakieten Entertainment, a start-up production company. As the senior vice president of production, he oversees television series, pilots and presentations that are produced for many networks, including A&E, History, Lifetime, Food Network, MTV and Oxygen.
Hayley Lozitsky, the vice president of the original series at SPIKE, worked with Carr at Ellen Rakieten Entertainment and remembers the hard work Carr put in to make it a successful production company.
“As the senior vice president of development, my job was to work very closely with Brad, and I learned a tremendous amount from him about the production side of reality TV,” Lozitsky said. “Brad is one of the most hard-working and dedicated people I have ever worked with.”
Together, Lozitsky and Carr produced and sold more than 30 productions at a number of high-end cable networks, such as Lifetime and ABC Family. “I was lucky enough to call Brad my colleague, but more importantly I get to call him my friend, which I plan to do for the rest of our lives,” she said.
Head of post production at Relativity Television, Scott Schwartz also is proud to have had the opportunity to work with Carr. “He’s a clear example of a successful graduate to come out of the University,” Schwartz said. “Brad is hard-working, dedicated and an extremely talented television production executive.”
In addition to having a successful professional career, Carr also has used his production talents in humanitarian efforts. In 2009, with the help of his wife and former Outstanding Young Alumni Award winner Deborah Nelson, he produced the documentary FEAT: 63 Marathons in 63 Days.
“The film chronicles one man’s coast-to-coast quest to run 63 marathons in 63 consecutive days while pushing a jogging stroller,” Douglas Heil said. “Endurance runner Timothy Borland seeks to raise awareness and research funds for kids battling Ataxia-Telangiectasia… The film introduces audiences to three A-T families who have children at various stages of the disease.”
Carr’s documentary won the Audience Award at the 2009 Bearfest-Big Bear Lake International Film Festival, as well as the International Humanitarian Award at the 2009 Rhode Island International Film Festival.
While the productions may be big and the spotlight bright, Carr still recalls his time at UW Oshkosh and returns to enjoy the warmth of Midwestern hospitality as a much-needed break from the hustle-and-bustle of L.A.
“Everyone is always SO friendly,” Carr said. “If you lived in LA for more than 10 years and dropped into campus, you’d understand the warm feeling.”
Carr and nine other award winners will be recognized at the Alumni Award Celebration on Friday, Oct. 17, during Homecoming Weekend. For more information about the alumni awards dinner, please contact the Alumni Relations office at (920) 424-3449 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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