Young Entertainment Professionals Inaugural Class Makes the Connection at 2016 SMPTE Annual Conference


hpaLos Angeles, CA – The inaugural class of the Young Entertainment Professionals (YEP) Program launched last week during the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®) 2016 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2016) in Hollywood. Sponsored by the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) and SMPTE, YEP was created to encourage worthy individuals to follow a career in the media content industry and support them with connection and community. The first YEP group included applicants from a variety of disciplines and locales.

Aspiring YEP program participants were asked to outline their interests in the content creation industry and goals for their careers, and applications were supported by recommendations from supervisors. Incubated by HPA’s Women in Post, the YEP Committee, co-chaired by Kari Grubin and Loren Nielsen, considered a number of highly qualified applicants for inclusion in the program. Grubin commented, “The caliber of applicants was impressive, and the inquiries came from young men and women who are at work in complex and responsible roles, motivated to take the next step in their careers. The dedication to their current positions as well as their clear-eyed focus on the future was exactly what we had hoped for this debut class. The committee was delighted to work with the YEP group this week, and will remain with them on their journey.”


YEP Class of 2016

The first class of YEP includes 29 young men and women between the ages of 21 and 29, hailing from the US and beyond. They hold responsible creative and technical posts at studios, facilities, and tech companies, and in some cases are accomplished individuals from outside of the industry. The structured daylong event began with introductions from the YEP Committee members, HPA President Seth Hallen, SMPTE-HPA Executive Director Barbara Lange and SMPTE President Robert Seidel. Post-production guru Garrett Smith presented a history of cinema. Over lunch, YEP participants split into mentor-led roundtables. Mentors included industry leaders from studios, major vendors and manufacturers, and will have an ongoing relationship with the class. The afternoon included guided tours of the exhibition area by industry insiders, and attendance at the SMPTE panel, Re-Inventing Entertainment Engineering: How to Blend the Experience of Yesterday with Millennials’ Vision of Tomorrow. The group gathered at the end of the day for an interactive wrap up session and a stop at the SMPTE Oktoberfest party, followed by the SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival at the Egyptian Theater.

HPA president Seth Hallen noted, “The formation of the YEP program and spending time with these amazing young people is inspiring. It became clear in our day together that mentoring is a two-way street, and they bring as many insights for us as we bring to them. As our industry continues to change and its complexities deepen, this group is proof that the future is in great hands.”  The YEP program is but one of the mentoring initiatives undertaken by the HPA. Hallen continued, “In the next few months, the HPA Board will unveil additional mentoring initiatives to nurture and launch the next generation of professionals. YEP is an auspicious start to our efforts.”

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YEP Committee

About the Hollywood Professional Association
Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) serves the professional community of businesses and individuals who provide expertise, support, tools and the infrastructure for the creation and finishing of motion pictures, television, commercials, digital media and other dynamic media content. Through their partnership with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®), the leader in the advancement of the art, science and craft of the image, sound, and metadata ecosystem, the HPA continues to extend its support of the community it represents. Information about the HPA is available at

About the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®)
For the past 100 years, the people of the Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers (SMPTE, pronounced “simp-tee”) have sorted out the details of many significant advances in entertainment technology, from the introduction of “talkies” and color television to HD and UHD (4K, 8K) TV. Since its founding in 1916, the Society has earned an Oscar®and multiple Emmy® Awards for its work in advancing moving-imagery education and engineering across the communications, technology, media, and entertainment industries. The Society has developed thousands of standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines, more than 800 of which are currently in force.

SMPTE’s global membership today includes 7,000 members, who are motion-imaging executives, engineers, creative and technology professionals, researchers, scientists, educators, and students. A partnership with the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA®) connects SMPTE and its membership with the professional community of businesses and individuals who provide the expertise, support, tools, and infrastructure for the creation and finishing of motion pictures, television programs, commercials, digital media, and other dynamic media content. Information on joining SMPTE is available at


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