Next Gen Talent | Victor Baltazar | Development Intern at Leopard USA

Victor Baltazar, Development Intern at Leopard USA

Next Gen Talent celebrates exciting new talent within the Argonon Group. From interns to production secretaries, we’re highlighting some of the newest, up and coming members of the team!

This month we spoke to Victor Baltazar who joined Leopard USA’s LA team as a Development Intern earlier this year in June. Victor graduated from California State University of Los Angeles in 2019, where he studied Television, Film & Media Studies with a minor in Chicano Studies. We spoke to Victor about how he helps the Leopard USA development team on a day-to-day basis, his journey to working in the television industry, and his plans for the future!

What sort of things have you been working on during your internship? What are your day-to-day responsibilities?

I work alongside Christiane Yenko, who’s a Development Director at Leopard USA. She has her ideas that she presents, and I have my ideas that I present as well, but whenever she needs help with finding a little more background information, I focus on that. And I find it fun as well because I’m still learning, and it’s engaging. I didn’t realise how much I didn’t know! There’s a lot to learn and there’s a lot of history to indulge in and I find that really fun. 

So there’s that aspect, assisting people around the office, doing little tasks for them. Then every week we present new ideas to pitch to our boss, and that’s what I take care of. I come up with three to five ideas every week and ensure I’m paying attention to the mandates of what these other production companies are looking to buy and cater my ideas towards that. 

What would you say has been your favourite part of the internship so far?

Before this, I worked in retail. And I feel like based on that job, I was always doing something for someone else. But I was never happy with that. Whereas coming into this internship, I’m still doing something for someone else, but I feel like I have more creative freedom. I’m able to expand my imagination and my ideas. And that’s what I was looking for in a job; to be more creative, to play with whatever is ticking in my head, and just having that freedom to create. So I find that fun and that’s what’s exciting about the role. 

What do you hope to gain from your internship?

I think I would like to have a position with the company to grow more, to dive deeper into the process of it all. But I think what I really want out of this position, in the end, is self-confidence. To be assured of my ideas, have faith that these ideas are presentable and have that self-reassurance within myself and so far, I’ve been getting that these past couple of months, so I’m pretty happy about that.

What sort of role do you see yourself working in future? Would you like to continue in the development area?

You know, coming into this job I was like “Oh, reality TV…” I’m familiar with reality TV, but it’s not always my cup of tea. I’d rather recommend a scripted series, like drama or an action flick, to someone. But after working in reality TV; the process of developing ideas, and brainstorming, I’ve come to realise it’s hard work. It really makes you work your brain. But I would like to continue within the field of development, but maybe move to scripted series like creating something science fiction or something scary.

But other than that, I would like to work in post-production. I would like to edit movie trailers. I think that’s fun. I like the feeling you get when you watch a movie trailer; it hypes you up and that’s what I want to give people in the future, give that feeling of “Oh, that’s a good trailer – I’m going to pay to see that movie or show.”

How did you find out about the internship?

Through networking. I was in a career-building program, and somebody posted the job and I thought, you know what? This is my chance. I sent in my resume and this is my life now. I was lucky.

Would you say the television and film industry is an area you’ve always wanted to explore? 

Funny story, I didn’t know. Growing up, I always pictured myself being a doctor. But then I realised “Oh God, that’s a lot of work. That’s a lot of school. I don’t have time for that.” And then I got to middle school and I wanted to design rollercoasters, but then I realised I wasn’t good at maths. So then I got to high school and my teacher was asking for a presentation on what our future careers are. And I didn’t know what I wanted to do. So I got on Google and searched “What makes the most money?” And there it goes; film directors make a million dollars a year. I didn’t know for sure, but I was like, “That’s a lot of money, that sounds cool, I’m going to present that, let me do some research.” And that stuck with me throughout high school. Everyone knew me as Victor who was going to the entertainment industry and work on movies and be a director. And it stuck with me, then I realised I actually did want to do that. I wanted to create. I have a huge imagination, so why not expand on that? And it stuck! 

“Victor is an incredible intern who has fully immersed himself in the development process. He is a quick study who has had no hesitation bringing thoughtful new ideas to the table. His research has been detail-oriented and thorough. His enthusiasm and willingness to learn has made it a pleasure to work with him.” – Lindsay Schwartz, Chief Creative Officer at Leopard USA