Loyola University Maryland

Department of English

Alumni Profile - Dan O'Meara, '98

When did your interest in film turn into a desire to actually seek a career in the film industry? When did you realize that you actually could have a career in the film industry?

My senior year I did an independent study w/ Professor Osteen comparing the screenplays of David Mamet & Robert Altman. Mamet wrote a foreword to the published screenplay for his film House of Games, wherein he described his experience of first being on a film set being full of camaraderie; he wrote of feeling that "we were engaged together in a legitimate enterprise as part of a legitimate industry." That got me hooked. Made me believe it was a real thing, worth pursuing.

How much of your career path was planned, and which steps were serendipitous?

A little of both. There were times that I would strike out on my own without any plan and take risks to get ahead. There were other times that I wanted financial stability and the experience of working within a company, having mentors, etc. The job search was very calculated, involved a lot of networking. My first break came very serendipitously. I was in a Starbucks on Wall Street in late 1999, reading the want ads. I had been in New York three weeks and couldn't find a way in to the film biz. A guy I hadn't seen since high school walked in asked me what I was doing. I told him I was looking for a job in film, and he said, "Come with me." Two hours later I was working for him as a production assistant on the set of a film called Frequency with Dennis Quaid. The next break came when I was working traffic duty on the set with a young man who was the son of the president of Sony Pictures Classics and he told me Sony Classics was interviewing for an internship position. He put in a good word and two weeks later I started at Sony.

Why did you major in English? Where did you think it was going to take you at the time?

I had planned since high school to go into teaching. I was always good with English, creative writing, and history, but lousy at math and science. I had a done a lot of mentoring young kids in high school and my parents thought I would make a good teacher. Runs in the family. It was a hard decision leaving the teaching job I got straight after graduation because I loved the kids but I felt like if I didn't make a move then, I would never make it. I've done some teaching since then at the SUNY-Purchase Film Program in New York, instructing seniors in an elective called "The Business of Film."

What careers did you *think* were possible when you were an undergrad?

Honestly, I can't say I gave it much thought. I was a bit a dreamer, to put it generously.

Want to submit an alumni profile? Tell us about your career path: english@loyola.edu

Carol Abromaitis

Carol Abromaitis, Ph.D.

Dr. Abromaitis, professor emerita of English and Catholic Studies, taught at Loyola for five decades in addition to advising students bound for law school

English, Catholic Studies