Meet Supervising Producer Julie Soebekti #Interview

On Tuesday, May 22nd, Brown Bag Films Supervising Producer Julie Soebekti, who is currently working on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Let’s Go Luna!, took over the PBS Instagram account and gave followers a glimpse into her day. (check it out from slide 15 – 36)

We took the opportunity to talk to Julie and find out more about her role, what it’s like to work on two PBS shows, and her life outside of Brown Bag Films.

How did you get started in your role?

Julie: My co-op teacher in highschool helped me get my first internship at a film company in Toronto.

What does the job of Supervising Producer entail for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Let’s Go Luna?

Julie: For Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, I work with the producers and writers at 9 Story NY, Fred Rogers Productions in Pittsburgh and our creative team in Toronto. I manage and oversee the entire production process from script to screen. We take the scripts and make them come to life! We work out the designs and character actions. I attend voice records and watch actors make the words come to life. The records are really fun because the actors are entertaining and we work hard to make sure the words from the script sound right. Every day is different and I love it!

Luna is slightly different. Charley Thomas is the producer and she manages the production. Charley tells me when things go wrong and I help find a solution. I speak with the creator and showrunner in LA - Joe Murray. I talk to PBS. I work producing digital games with a partner company in Toronto.

I create budgets and schedules for both shows and make sure that we deliver on time.

Tell us a little bit more about your role in the recording studio.

Julie: I work with a voice director and they direct the voice actors to ensure their performance hits the dramatic and comedic points in a script or that the line was delivered in a way that would match the visual animation. I help by listening to the performances to confirm that we got what we need. For example, if a character is far away, we sometimes have the actor shout as if they were trying to get someone's attention from across the room.  When I'm back at the animation studio, I help convey to the team what we recorded that day and communicate any line changes that were made and why.

What’s it like working on a PBS series?

Julie: I love it. I always learn something when watching the episodes. There are many aspects to working on a series and I really like working on the support materials that PBS provides to parents and educators. It makes you think, what more can we do with this show to extend the learning.

What was it like attending the Daytime Emmy's in LA where Daniel Tiger won for Outstanding Preschool Children's Animated Series?

Julie: Everything I ever dreamed of.  Kidding.  It was really exciting to get dressed up and be all fancy for an evening.  Mostly it was fun to be with the people I've worked so long and hard with on the series.  At the end of the night, when we won and were standing on the stage, it was an amazing feeling to celebrate with everyone.  We worked so long and hard on the series and an award isn't always the reward, but it feels pretty good.

Who has supported you throughout your journey so far?

Julie: My highschool teachers were amazing, inspiring, and supportive. They taught me to think critically. My co-op teacher helped me get my first internship in the film and TV industry. Also, my teacher Ms. Riggin never let me say “I don’t know,” in that she always wanted to hear what I had to say. My mom and dad supported my journey by teaching me to be independent. They also took care of my kids when I went back to work.

What are some of your hobbies outside of your role?

Julie: Judo and yoga! I’ve been practicing yoga for about 15 years. I also typically start my day with a bike ride and end with walking my dog Addy.

What advice do you have for someone who is interested in your job?

Julie:  Learn from everything - mistakes and all. Especially mistakes. Do your homework - try to figure out the answer before you ask someone a question.

Stefanie Zaarur

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