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The Women Behind Mad Men

Synopsis

COM counts two “Mad Men” filmmakers among its alumni: director Jennifer Getzinger (’90) — see video above — and Maria Jacquemetton (COM’85), who serves as a head writer and executive producer on the acclaimed series.

Both recently appeared on campus, speaking to film and television students as part of Cinematheque, as well as doing interviews with butv10 and other outlets. Jacquemetton spoke to BU Today about how COM helped her write for Don Draper – excerpt below:

Maria, can you talk a little bit about how your time as a student at BU prepared you for your career?

Maria Jacquemetton: I was a grad student and majored in film production. I knew I wanted to be a writer, so I concentrated primarily in screenwriting and film theory classes. I had some very wonderful teachers—George Bluestone and the late Roger Manville. They were my mentors as far as screenwriting went, and they introduced me through our classes and through our one-on-one talks to some of the amazing screenwriters throughout cinematic history. They instilled a love for story and an interest in how story worked into my little head.

When I got out, I got an internship in Boston with a company that did a lot of dramas, and they knew I wanted to be a screen and television writer. They optioned a book for me and I wrote the screenplay for a miniseries based on that.

I moved back to Los Angeles and started working at CAA (Creative Artists Agency), and nothing I learned at BU could I use practically in the business, because I was an assistant. It was a whole other education: of who’s who and how do projects get pushed through the system and how do you tailor your writing to fit the Hollywood mold of what was selling in the ’80s. What I learned at BU was a really deep-seated education in story theory and construction.

Read more at BU Today.

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Tags

alumni, Film, Mad Men, Television

Mad Men

Jennifer Getzinger (COM’90)
After studying broadcasting and film at BU, Getzinger began her career as a script supervisor on films, among them Requiem for a Dream and The Devil Wears Prada, and television series, including Strangers with Candy, Sex & the City, and The Sopranos. She first started working at Mad Men as a script supervisor, but has gone on to direct seven episodes. In addition to being nominated for “The Suitcase,” the DGA nominated her for direction of a 2009 episode titled “The Gypsy and the Hobo.” She has also directed episodes of AMC’s The Killing, TNT’s Men of a Certain Age, starring Ray Romano, Showtime’s The Big C, starring Laura Linney, HBO’s Hung, and ABC’s long-running series Desperate Housewives.

Maria Jacquemetton ('85)
An executive producer on Mad Men, Maria works closely with her husband, Andre, to write scripts for the show. Previously, the couple has also written for Baywatch, Relic Hunter, and Billboard Dad, a 1998 movie starring Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Since Mad Men, the Jacquemettons are two of Hollywood’s most sought-after writers. Their work on the show has earned them four Writers Guild of America Awards as well as three Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series.