Day In The Life: Meet Filmmaker Sebastian Rea Of The Tribeca Film Festival

Estimated reading time ~ 4 min
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Sebastian Rea
Content Operations Manager, Tribeca Enterprises
New York City
Twitter: @sebz14

6:30am: I wake up and snooze for about 15 minutes before finally getting out of bed and meditating for 20 minutes. Then I prepare breakfast for the day – some hard-boiled eggs and raw veggies to eat after my morning workout.

7:30am: I’m off to the train, drinking a protein shake with a banana on the way. I read the news on my phone to get up to speed on anything newsworthy in politics, culture, and entertainment. Our workflow at Tribeca Film often relates to major news stories around entertainment and New York City culture, so I need to stay on top of it. If there’s nothing super relevant to delve into, then I read my book. Right now, I’m finishing Ghettoside by Jill Leovy. It’s a journalistic analysis of the murder rates between Black men in high-crime neighborhoods. I’m writing a story on how young people are affected by gun violence. I try not to check email unless something is on fire i.e. when the number of emails in my inbox has exploded or my phone won’t stop buzzing from incoming text messages.

8:30am: I get to Planet Fitness and work out for an hour. I go every day before work. It gets my energy up and keeps me motivated. I’ve also started taking a kung-fu class at the Wu-Su Association in Midtown two days a week. This hobby has changed my life – I love it!

10:00am: I get to my desk and have breakfast while I answer emails from the early birds. Then I give my interns a task for the day. The task depends on the time of year. Since the Tribeca Film Festival is underway, I’m having them pull select footage from last year’s festival that I can add into sizzle reels and press packages.

11:00am: The day is now in full swing. I edit some video content for our website and oversee delivery of film assets to iTunes. Pre-production for the festival involves working with the creative team to plan what we’re going to cover this year, coming up with cool angles and approaches, assigning teams to each event, and figuring out the workflow. Then I shift gears to creating video content specific to our sponsors.

12:00pm: We have our weekly creative team meeting as an editorial department, discussing all the content we be will be cranking during the festival – basically all of the articles, videos, and social media posts related to the events.

1:00pm: I eat lunch – grilled chicken and broccoli from the market nearby. It’s nice outside, so I sit by the pier and get some fresh air. I check up on my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. For the news, I peruse the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Mic, and Al Jazeera.

2:00pm: Back to work. I try to do a little writing of my own, developing original content ideas. But since it's festival season, things are busy. Requests come in from all departments asking for assets they can use to pitch for sponsors. I check in with my interns to see if they’re ready for their next task.

4:00pm: There’s a bit of a lull. I talk with some coworkers about what new movies are out. Afternoon is also a good time to catch up on email. I respond to the urgent ones first. We use a system that involves indicating the urgency of emails in the subject header.

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5:00pm: I’m hungry again, so I have a second lunch from my desk. Meanwhile, I tie up any loose ends, tackling last-minute tasks and preparing to knock a few things out first thing tomorrow morning.

6:00pm: Quitting time! Occasionally, something is going on that requires the creative team to keep at it for an extra half-hour or so. But today is not one of those days.

6:30pm-8:30pm-ish: I stick around the office to work on my own projects – either writing a new script or editing a film I just shot. Today, I’m editing a short film called Skin that I’m co-directing. It’s a rom-com based on my actor friend’s experience losing 200 pounds after having gastric bypass surgery and suddenly no longer getting cast as “that heavyset Latino guy.” He’s left with all this excess skin and in many ways has to rediscover himself. It’s all about “love, letting go, and letting it all hang.” We shot a naked yoga class scene the other week.

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8:30pm: Once I’m done at the office, I head to a special screening for industry folks. It’s really useful to be at these events – especially because I just opened submissions for 30UNDER30, a film festival I started to celebrate 30 films from 30 filmmakers under 30 years old. Getting the word out is key to having the November 2016 festival be a success.

11:00pm: Time to get home. I aim to be in by 11pm every weeknight so I can prep meals and decide on an outfit for the next day. I relax on the couch and watch an episode of House of Cards while eating some broccoli.

11:30pm: I meditate myself to sleep. I’ve been doing this every morning and some evenings ever since I took a personal growth course in high school. I started a meditation group at work too. It helps me to be calm and in the moment and to hone in on my creativity. Even a few minutes a day makes a difference.


Check out a Day in the Life of Filmmaker Sebastian Rea of the Tribeca Film Festival.

Images courtesy of Sebastian Rea

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