If you’re interested in becoming a filmmaker, producer, director, or writer
Carly Hugo is a young independent film producer with an already impressive track record. She has produced the work of anyone from Academy Award-nominee Vera Farmiga to Beyoncé.
Born in Framingham, Massachusetts in 1984, Hugo earned a B.A. in Film Studies from Columbia University in 2006. While studying at Columbia, Hugo interned for production companies, worked on various movie sets and worked in script development.
After graduating from Columbia, Hugo co-founded The Group Entertainment, a talent management and film production company, with 3 other partners. The company represents 25 leading film, television and theatre actors, and produces 3-5 films per year.
After 6 years, Carly left the company with her producing partner Matt Parker to found Loveless, a production company.
Hugo produced the video for Beyoncé’s “Rocket,” Vera Farmiga’s directorial debut, Higher Ground (2011), the documentary Hot Coffee (2011), which was awarded a Television Academy Honor from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and indie-hit Bachelorette (2012), starring Kirsten Dunst and Rebel Wilson. Carly also produced Mother of George, a film that recently won Best Cinematography at Sundance. Carly is also currently in production on the film Everything is Copy, a documentary for HBO about the late writer Nora Ephron.
My name is Carly Hugo and I’m an independent film producer
The Tipping Point
So in every movie like, there’s always one day where there’s a tipping point. Like people are exhausted, everyone is so creatively putting all of their energy into something, and they’re working 14 hour days, and there’s always one day where you feel like things are changing, and there’s going to be like a fight. So I’ve gotten pretty good at figuring out what that day is and the day before bringing milkshakes for everyone in the middle of the shoot and sometimes if it’s a nice crew, and I feel like I can do this, I’ll like, put on a boombox, “My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard” and I’ll like dance out with it. And it makes everyone laugh and it just diffuses the tension, and people are like “what they hell is this girl doing?” But I found that, that’s, that everyone will start drinking milkshakes and it really actually very much helps. So, I think that I’ve found a way to still be myself and still be that girl in her twenties but also be the boss, because I just think it’s the fine line.
Working For Beyonce, Life Goal: Check
I started taking on jobs that I wouldn’t have normally done, and I think as soon as I stopped saying that I only do feature films – like I always thought that going into the commercial world was just selling out. But, I’ve really opened myself up to some exciting opportunities and really like meeting some amazing people.
I somehow got roped into working for Beyonce which is like life goal, check. And I produced one of her music videos that was on the visual album and also the small documentaries called “Self Titled” that she put out when the album came out. And that was amazing, and I don’t think I would have put myself in that position a couple years before when I said I only do feature films. And instead by opening up, like it’s the same set of skills, but it’s a whole other world. And probably…no definitely more people clicked on those little beyonce videos then will ever see any of these indie films. So it was cool.
Cinematography: Danielle Calodney
Audio by: Andreina Velazquez
Edited by: Danielle Calodney
Interviewed by: Isabel Castro