Stage & Backlot Operations

Under the direction of Willi Schmidt, Vice President of Stage & Backlot Operations, Universal Studios provides a designated Stage & Backlot Representative to every production client that shoots on the lot. Each representative acts as a liaison between all of the studio services departments and the production, making any question or issue only a phone call away. The Stage & Backlot team provides production clients years of experience and expertise, along with unmatched service in a timely fashion.

Production Representatives
Willi Schmidt
Vice President, Stage & Backlot Operations
Willi Schmidt

Willi Schmidt is Vice President, Stage & Backlot Operations for NBCUniversal’s Universal Studios Operations organization.  In this role, Schmidt oversees aspects of production support for all of the sound stages and Backlot locations.  Schmidt works with the Stage & Backlot Operations Production Representatives to ensure internal and external clients receive “best-in-class” service, enabling all clients to successfully complete their production projects on time and on budget.  Schmidt also works closely with NBCUniversal Television helping to maximize the availability of stages & backlot space for NBC television shows.  Schmidt reports to Michael Moore, President & General Manager, Universal Studio Operations, NBCUniversal.

Prior to joining NBCUniversal, Schmidt served as Vice President, Studio Operations, Raleigh Studios Playa Vista, where he oversaw the daily operations of the Studio, including P & L responsibility.  Schmidt’s previous assignment included the role as Executive Vice President, Studio Equipment Services for Raleigh Studios Hollywood and Raleigh Studios Manhattan Beach.

Schmidt resides in Thousand Oaks, California with his wife and daughter.

 

Roger Ferrin
Director, Stage & Backlot Operations
Roger Ferrin

Roger Ferrin joined the Stage and Backlot Operations department in 2013.  He began his career in the entertainment industry in 1997 as an Production Assistant on the feature film Gattaca.  Roger relocated to Miami to work as an assistant production supervisor and 2nd AD on a multitude of commercials for the American and Latin American markets.  In 2000, he moved back to Los Angeles to work with MTV as the Unit Manager for news and special events.   He traveled the globe with MTV managing high profile live broadcast events such as Video Music Awards (VMA) and the MTV Movie Awards.  Following his passion, Ferrin returned to commercials for several more years working as production supervisor in Los Angeles until 2012 when he returned to television wth NBC’s Hollywood Game Night. 

Roger is currently a Production Services Representative working with NBCUniversal Television and 3rd party clients.  Roger currently Reps NBC’s Superstore, Hollywood Game Night, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Colony & The Red Nose Day Telethon.

Jennifer Kelsey
Manager of Television Commercials
Jennifer Kelsey

Production Services Representatives share a vital role in the success of every production that films on the studio lot.  Television, features, commercials, print shoots and promos are all reliant upon their assigned Rep during their stay to ensure the projects run efficiently every step of the way.

Jennifer Kelsey, Manager of Television Commercials, has repped all of the above and enjoys being the key point of contact for our commercial business.  She attends annually the AICP awards event in both New York and Los Angeles.  Most commercial bookings involve a combination of backlot locations and stage space.  Clients including Microsoft, Lowes, Intel, McDonalds and Audi have all enjoyed this advantageous way to shoot.  The convenience and cost of shooting the Universal Studios Lot’s variety of backlot sets in limited segments of time is incomparable to shooting on location.

A graduate of University of California/Berkeley, Jennifer began her career in advertising at Foote Cone & Belding San Francisco, then moved to Los Angeles and attended American Film Institute Producing Fellowship.  Her employment at Universal Studios has been a rewarding career and she continues to prove that all her experiences in filmmaking thus far contribute to her success.   

Kyle Beck
Production Service Representative
Kyle Beck

Kyle Beck began his career with Universal Studios in 2010, as a Studio Tour Guide with the theme park. With a deep knowledge and passion for film and television, Kyle was promoted to serve as a top-tier VIP guide and trainer, tour emcee, and as a private celebrity escort for many high-profile guests visiting the park.

His experience and knowledge of the inner workings of the lot brought him to Stage and Backlot Operations in 2014. After climbing the ranks in a new department, he currently works a Production Services Representative, servicing shows like The Good Place, E! News, STEVE, while also working with countless other commercials, still shoots, and music videos. He has also worked on several exciting features including “Bird Box”, “First Man”, “Welcome to Marwen” and “The Laundromat”. Kyle works hard to contribute to and continue the legacy of excellent customer service that the studio is known for.

He received his Bachelor of the Arts degree in 2009 from the University of San Diego.  

 

Griffin Grabow
Production Services Representative
Griffin Grabow

Griffin Grabow began his career in entertainment in 2014 when he worked as an audio assistant for Michael Abbott at the 56th and 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards. From there, he became a Production Assistant for ABC Television's 'Rising Star.' This led him to work on various shows filmed at CBS Television City in Los Angeles including Dancing With The Stars, which he worked on from Seasons 20 through 23 and in 2015, he became an Office Production Assistant for CBS's 'Code Black.'

In 2016, Griffin began his career with Universal Studios Hollywood as a Production Coordinator for Location and Production Services (LAPS) with the Theme Park and CityWalk. While working for LAPS, Griffin helped facilitate a large multitude of different productions throughout the property, including many of the televised and online advertisements for Universal Studios Hollywood and "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter." He helped supervise audience transportation in coordination with the studio for TV shows such as 'The Voice', 'Family Feud,' and 'World of Dance.' In addition to this, he worked on larger productions such as 'Star Trek.' During his three years with the theme park, Griffin became well-versed in the workings of the Lot. His experience brought him to Stage and Backlot Operations in 2019 where he works as a Production Services Representative, working with NBCUniversal Television and 3rd party clients.

Griffin attended the University of Southern California (USC). Currently, he lives with his fiancé Anna in Reseda, California.

Adam Worth
Production Services Representative
Adam Worth

Originally from Chicago, Adam graduated from Marquette University in 2006 with a degree in Broadcasting and TV Production.  He got his start at ESPN in Chicago working as a production coordinator on shows like "Around the Horn" and "Pardon the Interruption."  After four years in sports TV he decided to take his talents to the west coast and get into the entertainment industry.

In 2011, Adam began grinding for years as a TV production assistant all over L.A. working in production offices, art departments and sound stages on most of the major studio lots, until he landed a permanent position on NBC's "The Voice."  While working 16 seasons of the show, Adam worked his way up to Production Manager where he worked closely with the Universal Studios Stage and Backlot Operations team. 

That experience led him to join the team as a Production Representative in 2019 and he is now the Production rep for "The Voice" among other various productions.  Adam's well rounded experience in production is a vital asset in servicing all types of clients - from TV to commercials, music videos and feature films.

 

Kendra Hathaway
Production Services Representative
Kendra Hathaway

Kendra Hathaway attended the University of Central Florida, where she received a Bachelor's degree in Radio Television Production, and a Minor in Cinema Studies.

After graduation, Kendra made the move out to Los Angeles, starting out her professional career working as a full-time Production and Wardrobe Assistant for the television show Extra. The unique experience she acquired working in entertainment news is what led her to NBCUniversal, where she accepted the role as Studio Operations and Field Crew Coordinator in November, 2014. In her first position within the company, Kendra was responsible for the full-time coordination and scheduling of all control room and field crews needed for the television shows E! News and Access Hollywood, as well as countless other internal and external Digital, Marketing, Red Carpet, Award Shows, and Live Event Productions including E!'s The Rundown, What the Fashion, Daily Pop, Nightly Pop, E! Live from the Red Carpet, Fashion Police, and The Soup.

In October of 2019, just before hitting her 5-year milestone with the company, Kendra made the transition into Stage and Backlot Operations after accepting the role as a Production Services Representative. In just 4 months' time, Kendra has worked on countless commercial, music video, and television production shoots utilizing both stages and backlot locations, she has become a vital asset to the department.

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