Alumni Podcasts

About the Project

During the Summer of 2022, rising senior Film Studies and Business Honors Dual-Major, Benjamin Asciutto designed an independent research project through the Office of Undergraduate Research's Summer Undergraduate Research Award. Building off a final project he completed in Television Analysis, Ben pitched the idea of developing a podcast series where he interviewed Pitt alumni working in various fields in the media industry to demystify how to transition from college to a media career. He used his experience with the Pitt in LA Study Away Program to interview several Pitt alumni working professionally in LA for this podcast series titled: Pitt in Hollywood. Ben's main goal was to show Pitt students that a career in the entertainment industry is possible by hearing the interesting stories of how Pitt alumni worked their way to having successful careers in Hollywood.

Read more about Ben's experiences here and listen to the podcasts below: 

Pitt in Hollywood, Podcast #1 - John Paul Horstmann | Pitt '02 | Editor, Producer, Filmmaker

Ben's guest for the first episode of the podcast series is John Paul Horstmann, a graduate of Pitt’s Class of 2002. JP is a very talented editor, producer, and filmmaker working in Los Angeles. At Pitt, he founded the first student television station, UPTV, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary. He is also Billie Eilish’s top choice editor for her music videos as well as the Director of Tribeca Film Festival’s Official Selection: Bodyslam: Revenge of the Banana! More recently, he served as editor for Machine Gun Kelly’s newest documentary, Life in Pink, as well for the new Ana De Armas movie, Blonde, about Marilyn Monroe.  Stream this podcast interview here: John Paul Horstmann podcast

Pitt in Hollywood, Podcast #2 – Jon Hill & Nate Cornett | Pitt '04 & ‘05 | Fox Digital Sports Producer & Cinematographer

Jon Hill is a talented Fox Sports Digital Senior Producer of Creative Video and Cinematography and Nate Cornett is a skillful camera operator and cinematographer for projects as large as Borat’s Sequel, Saturday Night Live, and HBO’s The Rehearsal. Jon and Nate recently wrapped their co-project indie feature film titled Above the Clouds which is a story personal to Jon as he transitions back to his life in Los Angeles after the sudden passing of his father. Jon wrote the screenplay and Nate served as his Director of Photography for the film with Pitt as the origin of it all. Stream this podcast here: Jon Hill and Nate Cornett podcast

Pitt in Hollywood, Podcast #3 – Sara Klein Pitt ’15 Director of Marketing and Digital Strategy for Syndication Studios

Ben’s guest, for the third episode of this podcast series, is Pitt alumna Sara Klein, a graduate of Pitt’s Class of 2015. Sara had an expansive and impressive extracurricular involvement during her time at Pitt which made her a great candidate for the renowned NBCUniversal Page Program. After being accepted into the program right after Pitt, she then worked her way up the ladder at NBCUniversal to her current role as a successful Director of Marketing and Digital Strategy for Syndication Studios. Sara, however, is not in LA, but in the Big Apple: New York City. Stream the podcast here: Sara Klein podcast 

Pitt in Hollywood, Podcast #4 – Kelechi Urama | Pitt '17 | Television Writer

Ben’s guest, for the fourth episode of this podcast series, is Pitt alumna Kelechi Urama, a graduate of Pitt’s Class of 2017. Kelechi is a story editor on the SYFY series Resident Alien. Kelechi was also a staff writer on Season Two of Run the World on Starz and optioned her original pilot I Need Black Friends to Andy Samberg’s Party Over Here and CBS Studios which focuses on a young Black woman in Pittsburgh who sets out to find Black friends. Kelechi is originally from Maryland and currently resides in Los Angeles. Stream the podcast here:  Kelechi Urama Podcast

Pitt in Hollywood Podcast #5: Doug Crise | Pitt '83 | Oscar-Nominated Film Editor

Ben’s guest, for the fifth episode of this podcast series, is Pitt alum Doug Crise, a graduate of Pitt’s Class of 1983. Doug is an Oscar-nominated motion picture film editor for movies as large as Birdman, Babel, Spring Breakers, television shows like Hulu’s Dopesick and iconic music videos for global pop artists like Rihanna. Doug hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and currently resides in Los Angeles. Stream the podcast here: Doug Crise Podcast 

Hayley Grgurich | Pitt '09 | Writer’s Assistant

Ben’s guest, for the sixth episode of this podcast series, is Pitt alumna Hayley Grgurich, a graduate of Pitt’s Class of 2009. Hayley is an up-and-coming Hollywood writer climbing the ladder as an writer’s assistant in Los Angeles. Hayley provides an amazing perspective of someone just beginning to make waves in the industry and what you can do early on to make the most out of your experiences as an assistant. Stream the podcast here: Hayley Grgurich podcast