Women can do anything — but not everything. As the largest online career community for women, we at Fairygodboss realize that balance is a myth, and that picking what to prioritize when everything feels important on a day-to-day basis isn't always easy. In the #MakingTime series, women share with us how, for one day, they chose to spend their most precious resource: time.
Who: Sarah Bernard
What: Co-CEO and Founder, BoBCat Studios, a multi-platform production company
Where: Los Angeles
My cat, Bud Light, punches me in the face, per usual. She’s ready for the day. I try to ignore her. (I’ve now publicly admitted that I have a cat).
Snooze. (Feeling a little guilty, now).
Snooze. Ok, I’m up. (As you can see, I’m no Mark Wahlberg). Quick check of my email in bed for anything time sensitive. Generally, the only things that need a pre-coffee response are production-related items, questions from east coast TV networks, or if I want to get folks on the team started on something. Otherwise, I just like getting a quick sense of what’s come in overnight so I don’t feel behind by the time I get to the office. We don’t have any development shoots for the next few days, so email is light. Next, I’m onto a quick news fix… mostly national, political, entertainment trade, and tech. My bet is I’m scanning sites for about half an hour, then I feel ready to get going.
After two cups of coffee and a shower, I’m generally out the door by now and starting a longer-than-I’d-like commute to Burbank from the westside. I’ve tried a bunch of things to make this drive productive, but I don’t love making work calls from the car, so I’ve turned windshield time into personal time. I used to live in NY and DC, so I tend to call east coast friends and family, and I’m now a big podcast listener. (Current rotation: The Daily, Pod Save America, Recode Media, Freakonomics Radio, RadioLab, Slow Burn, Where Should We Begin, and Missing Richard Simmons).
I’m (hopefully) in the office by now, and while I don’t really have a “typical” day, BoBCat makes unscripted programming (think everything from feature docs and follow-docs to short form and branded content), so my time is primarily spent around the business of developing, selling, and producing… and general corporate stuff. But we’re a new and growing company, so it’s more often a lot of troubleshooting and whack-a-mole than I’d normally admit. Fortunately, I have two incredible partners, so we share the load – they lead the creative; I take the strategy and operations side. But we all do a little of everything.
Pictured: BoBCat Co-founders Jeff Conroy, Thom Beers, and Sarah Bernard.
Onto a weekly call with our communications agency, High10 Media. This week’s agenda includes the rollout of a History Channel series about family farms airing in 2019, some press inquiries for our cast, the upcoming premier of our documentary on ski filmmaker Warren Miller, and an update on our development slate.
I’m the deal lead at the office, so I spend a bunch of time on agreements with independent producers and networks. This morning, I’m trying to move forward shopping agreements with four producers, secure a talent hold agreement, and review a development offer from a cable network. Some of it is simply getting comments off of my plate and onto our lawyer’s.
Now, a status call with our agent at WME. For these, we’re running through our development pipeline and where each project stands in terms of its readiness for market, sales strategy, network targets, and if we’ve been out pitching it, market feedback.
A quick punch-up to a show concept that we owe to a network tomorrow. (I wasn’t kidding that we all do a little of everything, and I like writing).
Internal rough cut screening of episode 7 for our farm series. We brought in lunch. (I’m not a huge out-of-the-office lunch fan in LA, as it takes so long to drive everywhere and disrupts the day, so I try to stack business meals at breakfast or drinks/dinner).
By now, I’m squeezing in some of the smaller to-do’s on my list, returning calls and emails before I have to head out with my partners to do a pitch.
In the car.
Nobody likes a late afternoon meeting to pitch a show, but sometimes you have to take what you can get. For this meeting with a streaming network, we’re showing two concepts.
It doesn’t make much sense to head back to the office at this point, so I squeeze in a drink with an industry colleague near the network. (Much of LA is about navigating traffic patterns).
I’m part of the Los Angeles Chapter of The Awesome Foundation, and we’ve got a meeting tonight in Koreatown. (The Awesome Foundation is a global network of self-organizing chapters that award $1,000 micro-grants to cool projects). Our chapter supports LA-centric projects, and we’ve funded everything from public swings and school supplies, to a program that converts unused college meal points to food for the homeless. After some food, drinks, friendly catch-up, and a vote on a grantee, we’re done for the night.
I’m home by now and will do an end of day email check, screen anything I need to see before tomorrow, and jot down any new to-dos. More tomorrow!
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