Recently the School of Visual Arts Film & Animation Alumni Blog published a feature on House of Nod Producer Bennett Elliott.
School of Visual Arts Alumni Bennett Elliott has been incredibly busy since graduating five years ago. She’s co-founded a production studio with fellow SVA alum, working full time as head of production at a digital production company, traveled around the world, and… won an Emmy!
I was a sophomore in Ralph Toporoff’s class when I learned the word for what I wanted to do for the rest of my life: produce. Finally, there was a job that meant, “solve the unsolvable”.
Obviously in this field, no two days are ever the same. At the start of every day, there are already a million fires to put out, vendors to negotiate with, creative to nail down, budgets to review. I’m the co-founder of House of Nod, a production company created with a slew of SVA alums, most notably co-founder and Writer/Director/DP, Robert Kolodny.
I’m able to travel around the country and the world, making gorgeous content that’s fun, engaging, and viral. I’ve been backstage at Fashion Week, raced speedboats on the canals in Amsterdam for the Netherlands Board of Tourism, driven under snowy Midwestern skies, and drunk countless cups of coffee in towns and places that I’d never been before. I have staffed a department with extremely talented coordinators, APs, and producers I’ve worked with in the past, ensuring a constant stream of inspiration and mentorship. This management experience has been especially valuable.
At House of Nod, I work with an incredibly talented group of SVA alums who continue to blow me away with both their skill and imagination. Last year, we shot footage that ended up being in the Superbowl, had our first short screened at the Cannes Film Festival, and were also awarded New York Emmy® Awards for our work on a NYC-based cooking show, titled “Frankie Cooks”. We’re currently in development on our first feature.
Since I’ve graduated, I’ve survived countless internships in both film and television, cleared pop songs for features when there was no money to be found, booked interviews with hard to reach celebrities, hustled thousands of dollars of gear across the Canadian border, worked with amputee orphans in Haiti, and wrangled exotic animals.
My years at SVA opened doors that would have otherwise taken years to unlock – starting when my thesis, Dot, got a 2010 Dusty! The study abroad program, the almost unlimited access to gear and studios, and the teachers who pushed us way beyond what we ever thought we were capable of, are the reasons why I’ve been able to succeed.
Many thanks and love to the faculty, alumni, and students at SVA who contributed to where I am today – with a very special shout out to the frequently pestered, never acknowledged crew in the Production Office, for constantly granting me the chance to extend a checkout or return for a curious DP.