Erika Olde; Los Angeles;
Let’s say we’ve just met at a cocktail party. How would you describe, in a nutshell, what you do?
I’m a film producer and the CEO of a production company called Black Bicycle Entertainment. We have made films such as Home Again, starring Reese Witherspoon, Woman Walks Ahead, starring Jessica Chastain (which premiered at TIFF in September) and A Tale of Love and Darkness, directed by Natalie Portman. We also have a philanthropic program with the in NYC and LA called IRIS-IN, where we mentor aspiring female filmmakers.
Where did you go to school and what did you study?
I went to school in England, where I studied global marketing management.
What was your first paying gig out of school? (In your field, or not.)
I started working for myself, and it’s been that way ever since!
What was your BIG break? How did you land it?
Producing Home Again with Nancy Meyers. She didn’t have to pick me to make this movie with her, but she did. I’m crazy proud of that film.
Describe the moment in which you first realized, I think this is actually going to work out?
I’m still waiting for that moment!
What would you say has been your biggest failure or shortcoming, career-wise, to date? How did you bounce back?
I never see anything as a failure or shortcoming—I always see it as a learning experience. But I definitely had a huge learning curve going into this business, as I didn’t have any existing relationships in this industry when I started. I came into it as a true rookie. But I decided from day one that if I didn’t learn and grow from all of my experiences, then that would be my true failure.
Name one piece of career advice you always give.
You have one life. Do what’s right for your vision and go with your gut.
What’s the worst career advice you’ve ever gotten?
Make sure you have job stability.
Did you deal with barriers in your field because you are a woman? If so, what were they?
I believe everything in life is about perspective. I do deal with barriers in this field being a woman, but I don’t focus on them. I continue on despite them.
Are you making a fair income for your work? Why or why not? Do you have a side hustle for extra cash? If so, what is it?
I’m the founder and CEO of my company, so I set the income levels. And I do my best to ensure my employees receive industry standard wages.
What’s the worst stereotype you’ve heard about millennials at work?
That millennials have a false sense of entitlement. I’ll be honest, I’ve been in situations where I have felt that’s true. However, I don’t walk in anyone else’s shoes but my own, so I cannot judge.