January FableFriday: Katie Tusch, Associate Producer


Katie_FableVision_

If FableVision did superlatives, Katie Tusch would win for best smile. 

“No two days are the same in the life of an Associate Producer,” she says about her role at FableVision Studios. Daily, Katie juggles requests coming in from staff and clients alike, so keeping a grin on her face comes with the territory. 

“My two biggest jobs are being an assistant to FableVision producers on major projects and being a solo project manager on smaller projects,” she says. “When working with the producers, tasks include scheduling, QA, client communication, and overall assistance with project organization.”

Beyond organizational tasks, Katie has to understand the scope of different genres of media: games to animation to websites cross Katie’s plate–that’s a lot to keep straight. The trick of it all? Looking for small milestones every day.

“Honestly, I have great moments every single day at FableVision—I love what I do,” Katie says. 

A big part of being a producer at FableVision, beyond managing deliverables, is motivating your team. Katie leads by example at FableVision: bringing ambition and a sense of urgency to all her work. For January’s FableFriday we chat with Katie about her favorite projects and crowd surfing (no joke). Read on! 

Guide us through a typical day at FableVision.
Today I had a client walk-through where we demo-d an app over a screen share. Earlier in the morning I fielded some emails from a client about some troubles they were having with downloading the app. Then, I spent some time talking with the four artists who are working on the ERB AABL app, printing and delivering scripts for them to follow, as well as answering any questions.

The afternoon was spent closing out bugs and entering a couple new ones for Matt Brelsford, a developer on our team, while doing some QA for an anti-bullying game. I ended the day by putting together to-dos for the team working on NCFL’s Renegade Buggies game update. 

As an Associate Producer you have to stay organized, what’s your trick?
I always carry a notebook and pen! With so many projects to be in sync with, and so many requests coming in from producers and clients, it’s important not to let anything slip, so I write everything down. Plus, there’s no better feeling than checking things off your to-do list.

Katie with Paul Reynolds, FableVision CEO, at 2014's ERB Annual Conference in Boston. They pose here with some FableVision-created characters that are part of ERB's AABL project.

Katie with Paul Reynolds, FableVision CEO, at 2014's ERB Annual Conference in Boston. They pose here with some FableVision-created characters that are part of ERB's AABL project.

What has been the best moment working on a project at FableVision?  
The best moments are when we complete a project. One of my main projects here is ERB AABL, and it’s super rewarding to see the team complete a project and have (our Executive Vice President) Adam Landry send out that final invoice.

Another favorite moment on the AABL project was getting to meet the ERB team in person at the annual ERB conference. It’s great to make an in-person connection with people you email or speak to on the phone every day. 

You worked on the newly launched app,  Renegade Buggies. Tell us about the project?
Created for National Center for Families Learning, Renegade Buggies is an endless-runner-style mobile and tablet app that teaches financial literacy. You play as a racer dude who drives down the track on a little yellow shopping cart, collecting groceries, money, and coupons along the way. It’s an awesome game with some sweet 3D art, interesting learning components, and a killer soundtrack!

Katie_Notebook_Fablevision

What is your dream job? 
To host my own talk show! But, if it turns out audiences don’t like me as much as I like me, then I’d love to be behind the scenes as an Executive Producer at a media company.

A talk show? This brings us to our next question! You're a big Oprah Winfrey fan. What is it about her that you love? 
I love that she does so much for other people. I think her whole story is such an inspiration, and I really admire her road to success. She's built a crazy empire where she's got her hands on nearly every part of it. Isn't being on the cover of your own magazine every month something we all strive towards?! I have Oprah quotes surrounding me at my desk in the studio, and my favorite quote by her of all time is:

“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo. But what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”

Who do you follow on Twitter/how to you get all this cool stuff brought to the studio?
My favorite person right now to follow is @BostonTweet because he tweets about cool events going on around Boston and any free giveaways that might be happening. This summer, I heard that the Ben & Jerry’s truck was touring the country giving away free ice cream. Through Twitter, I followed them from their delivery in Florida all the way up the east coast. When they got to Boston, I tweeted at them all day begging them to come to FableVision with free ice cream! The Studio even tweeted out a picture of me looking sad with a spoon. And then they showed up with TONS of pints right here in the studio! That was an awesome day. Free giveaways are always out there, you just need to know where to look! Finding them is one of my secret talents. (Editorial note: and we love benefitting from it!)

We heard you used to teach an after school video production course for middle schoolers. What did you learn from that experience?
I learned a lot about patience—it's hard work to teach that age group. But I also learned that every kid had something to offer. There were some kids who refused to be on-camera, but others that turned out to be really great at, say, writing scripts. Others just wanted to help with the equipment. From the big tasks to the small tasks, everyone could get involved with helping put together our news show. You just have to look for what gives them a twinkle in their eye.

Katie's List of Bests
Best holiday: Christmas!
Best concert: Third Eye Blind when I was 19, because I crowd-surfed so far during Semi-Charmed Life that I landed outside the gates of the venue.
Best movie: I am ready to be ridiculed by this one, but in all honesty: The Princess Diaries.
Best book read in 2014: The Defining Decade: Why Your 20s Matter—and how to make the most of them, by Dr. Meg Jay. A great read for post-grads and 20-somethings who are just trying to figure out their lives.
Best TV shows: I loved the Newsroom—MacKenzie McHale is my ultimate TV character role model. I've been watching Grey's Anatomy forever, and I just can't bring myself to stop watching—I love a good mix of medical drama and romance. Girls is just about the funniest show on TV right now. I laugh out loud in every episode. Maybe I like it so much because I can relate to living on my own for the first time and having my first job. Last but definitely not least, Gilmore Girls will be a forever-favorite. I could re-watch any episode, any day, any time. I love that it's set in my home state of Connecticut, I love all the quirky characters, and I love Lorelai Gilmore. I think I cried for three days after that series finale!

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