Real estate grad Zak Kadison follows his passion for film

Zak Kadison is a producer for Gold Circle Films.

Most college graduates count themselves lucky if they land a job in their major field. Few find their dream job right out of college.

Not so with Zak Kadison, BA real estate and finance ’03, who is living his dream as a producer for Gold Circle Films.

“I enjoy going to movies on weekends, so I figured I could enjoy working on them every day,” says Kadison, who now regularly rubs elbows with A-list celebrities, including Brendan Fraser, David Schwimmer and Michael Keaton. “Growing up, I was a huge fan of movies, and I enjoyed making them,” recalls Kadison. “My parents weren’t so supportive. They wanted me to go to college and do something practical.”

So, Kadison came to DU and focused his studies on real estate. “Business school provided a strong foundation that I could work off of and apply to motion picture finance,” he says.

Kadison couldn’t shake the urge to produce films, so he went to DU’s Career Center looking for opportunities. He began calling producers in L.A. and set up spring break appointments with his 10 top choices. By the end of the week, Kadison had lined up summer internships with Spyglass Entertainment (owned by Roger Birnbaum, attd. 1968–71) and Jerry Bruckheimer films.

“The internships that summer were absolutely wonderful,” Kadison raves. “I was able to set up meetings with other agencies, be a part of the creative process and get a feel for how things run.”

The connections Kadison made led to his current position. “Peter Safran at Brillstein-Grey Entertainment asked me to help him with a horror film project during my senior year,” Kadison recalls. “I gave him a 13-page list of movie ideas. He then showed this to Paul Brooks, president of Gold Circle Films.” When Brooks saw the work Kadison had done, he met with him and offered him a job on the spot.

In the year-and-a-half since, Kadison has landed 15 film projects. “My favorite part of this job is to give writers and producers in similar situations the opportunity to make a movie,” says Kadison, who hopes to one day own his own production and finance company. “I’ve had a lot of opportunities to do that here.”

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