- Presented by DEFINITION 6

2 Minutes With ... Andrea Allen, VP, Head of Production, at DEFINITION 6

On her work for CBS Sports, being a good listener and all things Harry Potter

Andrea Allen is vice president, head of production at DEFINITION 6, working in the New York office. Andrea brings decades of experience in the television industry. As a seasoned producer, she has worked with CBS Sports, NBC Universal, Oxygen, Discovery, ESPN and many more.

With DEFINITION 6, Andrea works on live-action productions, including broadcast promotion and marketing, commercials and short-form content. She enjoys collaborating with clients from the initial phone call to the final frame, making sure each project comes to life beautifully.

Andrea has been awarded three Telly Awards, the A&E Women in Television Award and has been nominated for an Emmy for her work with History.

We spent two minutes with Andrea to learn more about her background, her creative inspirations and recent work she's admired.

Andrea, tell us ...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up in Hicksville, Long Island. The youngest of five children, my mom was a widow at an early age and continued my father's business. It ran out of my house for many years and really shaped the way I thought about work, life and family. I am married to Donald Carman and have two adult sons—who are out of the house but never too far away! We live in Malverne, Long Island, and summer in Ocean Beach, Fire Island.

How you first realized you were creative.

More than being creative, I learned that I could entertain people by playing the piano. When I was 5 years old, I won the NYSMA piano competition for playing a classical waltz, "Fascination." Since then, I think one of my most creative abilities is getting people together to laugh, sing and interact. Who knew that would lead me to be a producer?!

A person you idolized creatively early on.

My sisters Karen and Donna. They were both music teachers and would always encourage music and laughter.

On a celebrity level, I've always loved Cher. I thought she had super cool fashion, especially in her Bob Mackie designs.

A moment from high school or college that changed your life.

It's somewhat of a long story, but I graduated high school in December of my senior year to go to college. I would go to St. John's University by day and then back to Hicksville High School for cheerleading at night. It was crazy to be in two worlds as a 16-year-old.

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

Lady Gaga… the best of both worlds. Who else can wear a meat dress?

A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.

Anything by James Cameron… the magnitude of production is very inspiring.

For books, Needful Things by Stephen King. I read it when my mom was in the hospital and could not put it down. It's a chilling rendition of what we really need in life.

Your favorite fictional character.

Harry Potter. Who doesn't love the boy who lived? Reading the books was a creative thrill. I read them to my kids (out loud) and then reread them after I watched the movies. You have to respect J.K. Rowling for the world she created and the descriptive interwoven nature of the story. I have seen all the Harry Potter movies in the theater and sooooooo many times on TV. I live for a Harry Potter weekend!

Every time I watch it, I marvel at the casting (how did they know that Daniel Radcliffe was going to be that good?) and the set design, character development, intricacies of the story, and of course, hating Voldemort to the core. I never tire of rooting for Hogwarts and the House of Gryffindor.

Someone or something worth following in social media.

For interpersonal relationships: @jefferson_fisher. He's an attorney who gives you real-life advice on how to handle people and situations.

For experiential: @Artehouse. They're doing fascinating videos and projections in spaces.

For fashion: @carla.rockmore. She has a closet that never ends. Fun banter and life advice.

For photography: @clay_patrick_mcbride. A super-talented fella with an edgy look. I love his perspective on the world.

@LocalsOnlyLI. This is my son Kevin's clothing brand (shameless plug by Mom). It's outstanding how he has built a community and a huge following for Long Island.

How Covid-19 changed your life, personally or professionally.

Personally, it solidified my priorities. My family and health first! And DO NOT take anyone or anything for granted.

Professionally, Zoom opened up a world of possibilities to work all over the globe without leaving your living room. The use of streaming photos and video allowed me to continue working and servicing my clients with top-notch work.

One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on.

There have been so many…. It's like asking, "which is your favorite child?"

However, here is a great promo we produced for CBS Sports and Black History Month that has garnered many awards. Being on set with spoken word poet Noah McKay as he performed a poem by Malcolm London was an electrifying experience that I will never forget. The piece highlights the trials and tribulations of being a black athlete, accompanied by compelling graphics and iconic photos, and projected words on the talent, as he recites this profound message.

A recent project you're proud of.

This CBS Super Bowl LVIII promo spot. It was challenging in many regards. Creatively, the client was very specific in their vision and how it was to be executed. From a production standpoint, we had to have the bus wrapped in time, be able to shoot on a Las Vegas desert road in the early morning hours and coordinate all the cameras and drones to work in sync to capture the shots. There are always safety factors and risks for these types of productions, and I am so proud that it came out flawlessly and that there weren't any issues on set.

Someone else's work inspired you years ago.

One of my first jobs was with Murray Bruce. He was an English director who was so creative and encouraging to everyone around him. He had some famous commercials and an amazing loft called Ramscale. He was the first person to really trust my opinion when it came to production. I don't have a link or his reel (it was ¾") but his memory and love are still with me.

Someone else's work you admired lately.

Norry Niven. He's a great director and a fabulous human being. Norry takes an idea and is able to communicate a clear vision to the whole crew and client. Then he breaks it down so it can be attainable and also quite creative.

Philip Galanes. I've never met him, but I love how he looks at all sides of an issue and answers them with love, care and common sense.

Your main strength as a creative person.

Collaborating with others. I want to bring out the best in people. I'm good at listening and then executing the thoughts and wishes of the people around me.

Your biggest weakness.

Running out of time. It's the one thing we never have enough of.

One thing that always makes you happy.

Sunsets at Fire Island dock.

One thing that always makes you sad.

Knowing that my mom is not here on Earth to see all the great things that we have accomplished because of her.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.

An ER nurse!

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