Interview with Mr. Andrew Tight: Life Facts and Advice!
By: Kate Kitchin
An assignment I was given for one of my classes was to interview someone that has already seen success in a career path that I am interested in following. Andrew Tight is the CEO and co-founder of Katch, a new company that is making waves in the entertainment industry with its Katch Media Genome. He has spent 10 years working in this industry, most of it as a movie producer for Lionsgate Entertainment. When I decided I wanted to interview Mr. Tight for this assignment, I assumed it would be a valuable and engaging experience. However, I did not truly know how inspiring his story would be.
I first asked him about how he decided on his current career path. He told me how he had always wanted to pursue a career in film but had no idea of how to actually do it. He said he wasn’t a “creative genius,” so he felt that writing, acting, and other more creative careers weren’t things he would be able to do. But when going through his toolbox of traits, i.e., being very motivational and a great leader, he found a job that checked all the right boxes for him. So he was able to enter the industry as a producer.
As a college student studying cinema, I asked about his college experience attending UC Davis and if he felt as though what he learned there has been beneficial to his career. He began with the short answer: “yes, it did” but he did note that he could have done without it. He explained how, regardless of what you study, skills such as learning how to work in teams and handle deadlines are developed in the school environment. Not only that, but he was able to make and build connections with others. And some of those connections helped him later in life. He also pointed out how studying a specific craft such as cinema will give me the knowledge needed for my future career. So, for me, being enrolled in a university offers a multitude of benefits.
Andrew’s answer to my third question was incredibly interesting. I asked if he would tell me about his first job in the industry and how he got it. He told me how, during the summer between his senior year of high school and his freshman year of college, he heard about a film that was being shot near where he lived. He ended up finding the producer and simply asking if he could work on the set for free. The producer said yes. And so he worked as a PA on the film that summer. It was a very valuable experience for him that taught him all about the inner workings of a film set and helped him to form great relationships and connections. After the shoot, he went back to college and continued on with his life, not seeing or speaking to anyone from the shoot for years. Then, seven years after the completion of the filming, that same producer he had found randomly on the street reached out to him. He reached out to offer him the position of head executive at Lionsgate. The key takeaway was simple: seize every opportunity. Also, it’s important to put yourself out there and not wait around for things to fall into your lap.
This story struck me as deeply inspiring and made me think about the “Yes” philosophy. Saying yes to something you might not normally say yes to can enrich your life experience. Andrew taught me that sometimes working for free is worth it if you are doing what you love.
It was fun listening to his answer to my fourth question about his experience being a producer for numerous movies. He confided that he never really saw himself getting into animation. But when he was offered to take a job on an animated project, he accepted. This was him following the principle of “taking any job you can get.” And he ended up really loving it! He shared details about how these experiences working on films forced him to deeply understand how movies are made; he gained insight into many aspects from storyboarding, scheduling with agents, organizing voice recording, and more. It was enjoyable for me to listen to him recount these times, not only because of the insight I gained into movie production but also because I have a great personal interest in animation. Tight is a wonderful storyteller and a joy to listen to.
Now knowing about his past, I was curious to know how he ended up co-founding Katch, a data analytics company. He simply stated that he saw a problem in the industry that he needed to fix. So, being a motivated self-starter, he started Katch as a side project. It consumed more and more of his time until he realized that he wanted to go all the way with it. So he made a gamble; he and his fellow co-founders set up a meeting to pitch the concept to Nolan Gasser, previously the chief musicologist for Pandora Media, and gave his resignation notice to Lionsgate a week before the meeting. He was all in, and it worked out in his favor. Hearing this story, I immediately admired him for following his passions, even when it was risky. I aspire to be like him; able to work as hard and believe in myself as much as he does. A person like him could do absolutely anything they set their mind to.
To conclude the interview, I asked if he had any final advice for me and others interested in following a similar career path. The main point he made sure to emphasize was that the best way to get to where you want to be is to work really, really hard. Being a reliable and hardworking individual can take you extremely far in any path you choose.
I enjoyed my time conversing with Andrew. It was very compassionate of him to allow me to conduct this interview despite his busy schedule. He treated the meeting more like a conversation than an interview, which made the experience more informal and comfortable. He began by asking me about my life and my goals for the future, and it was kind that he was interested in what I had to say. He is a wonderful conversationalist and has led a very interesting life. I am glad I was able to have had this opportunity. It was a pleasure to learn from him, and I’m sure that his story is far from over.