Katch University recently welcomed LA-based writer and director, Rachel Wolf, in a company-wide Zoom call. Currently represented by Redefine Entertainment, she has two shows in development at major studios and is working on her debut feature film, which she wrote and will direct. Wolf spoke about her college experience and her time writing her first TV pilot, while giving our interns some advice on how to make valuable connections within the entertainment industry.
Originally interested in becoming a novelist, Wolf decided to take a more practical career path as a management consultant. However, while pursuing her MBA at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, scheduling forced her into an ultimatum: either attend a business class or be part of a writers’ room. Wolf chose the latter, further cementing her passion for writing, and subsequently, moved to LA to pursue working in the film industry after graduating.
Prior to writing her first script, Wolf worked two assisting jobs in television, allowing her time to hone in her craft. “I spent my first years out of school teaching myself how to write for the screen,” she added. She eventually quit her assistant jobs to write her first pilot about two siblings who own an AI company in Silicon Valley. The pilot would eventually be put on the Hollywood Black List and later picked up by Esmail Corporation. Wolf made sure to note that such events were possible due to connections made from college years to her gigs in LA.
Along with providing insight on her career path, Wolf emphasized the importance of networking. While school networks and industry organizations can be a good start, she stressed that “shallow connections don’t work very well. People that you’ve spent significant amounts of time with are the ones that will help you in the beginning of your career.” Wolf further recounted on her first job opportunities, which came from friends in her writers’ groups. “Look for people on your level that you can befriend,” she stated. “You don’t need connections, you need fans. Find people that will love your work.”
Wolf concluded the Zoom on a final note, harkening back to her discussion of networking: “Good people will introduce you to good people,” she said. “Forming those deep connections is important. Make sure you have enough good people, so you can stop taking calls from the people who don’t believe in you.”