Next up in our new series of profiles spotlighting some of our extraordinarily talented WFTV members is Creative Executive and Entertainment Consultant Stacey Carr, based in London.
Stacey coaches producers, production companies, talent and brands through the creative process of preparing their projects for the partnership and pitch phase, as well as with overall entertainment industry navigation. Additionally, she works as an Exec-for-Hire and includes TBNx, Zig Zag Productions, and TIME Studios as past clients. Working alongside the Independent Film Trust, she also played an integral role as a US consultant and liaison for the most recent Creative Corridor initiative, an immersive transatlantic program for US and UK-based writers of colour.
Prior to going independent and moving from Los Angeles to London, she served as the Senior Director of Unscripted Development at Nickelodeon where she developed and oversaw a variety of projects, including series and specials like Unleashed, Top Elf, and the Emmy-Nominated Kid of the Year. She also served as Director of Original Unscripted Development at Endemol Shine North America, and prior to that, four years in Programming and Development for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. She played an integral role in the development of several of the network’s original series.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your career journey. Did you always want to work in the film and television industry?
I always loved entertainment and knew I wanted to work in it from age 12. I grew up in a small town in Nevada and thought the only way to work in the industry was as an actress! I pursued that for a bit including starting as a theatre major at my college in Los Angeles. I ended up switching to Sociology and worked with at-risk youth for a few years, doing background extra work on the side.
In 2007, I took an Entertainment Careers seminar and quickly sparked to Unscripted. I eventually met an Unscripted Producer and I learned how to develop shows and started building a network. I went back and forth working for production companies and networks and eventually started rising the exec ranks at my dream company OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, and eventually Endemol Shine North America and Nickelodeon.
After many years of research, I took a leap on my dream of moving to London in 2021 and started consulting. I now work with creatives who need guidance with the next steps of their projects and with overall industry navigation. I also help companies start new divisions, advise on development slates (particularly if they want to pitch to or develop for the US), curate diversity initiatives, and moderate and speak on industry panels.
Q: What do you love about working in the industry?
I love everything having to do with people! I love collaborating on projects, discussing creative ideas, and offering encouragement. It’s so much fun falling in love with certain demographics and leaning into developing content that really sees and serves them. Having worked primarily in Unscripted, it’s wonderful to work in a genre where everyone is welcome and people from all types of backgrounds can tell their story. Representation is hugely important, and we have an opportunity to make a powerful impact.
I love being in community with other professionals and spending time together at events, exchanging ideas and celebrating. Entertainment is such an influential medium and it’s great to work with people who are all excited about working on something special. Also, it’s just a lot of fun! I’ve always enjoyed entertainment as a consumer and I’m lucky to also be able to work in it.
Q: What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given?
To always remain curious and as for developing content (or any program, event, etc.) specifically, always be clear on the intention.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
I’ve had to deal with difficult dynamics with bosses and not always having the guidance and mentorship I’d hope to in order to develop stronger confidence. I’ve dealt with being the wrong person at the wrong company but still trying to make it work. There have also been a handful of times in my career where I’ve had to take a risk and leave a job without another one lined up because it meant I’d have more freedom and peace.
My current challenge is establishing myself in the UK after having had a successful career for many years in the states. I wasn’t necessarily trying to duplicate my life in LA, but there are less opportunities to be a network exec (commissioner) here, which is a role I do very well in, so I’ve had to work hard to brand myself in a way that still utilizes those key skillsets and strengths. It’s exhilarating but extremely challenging to establish a professional profile in a new country and while many people have been dismissive, more have been open. London is my new home, and my life is amazing here. I am very positive about the future!
Q: What’s next for you?
I’m keen to get as much UK experience as possible, working on compelling content, and doing my part to encourage up and coming creatives and helping companies grow. I love consulting, but I’m open to the right roles at companies with shared values. I continue to be curious about the unique ways I can be a bridge between the US and UK markets, and I also want to find more opportunities to speak and use my communication skills. This is the year to use my voice to make an impact!