Meet Heath Woodleif, Senior Producer at the Tennis Channel.
Name: Heath Woodlief
Degree: B.S. in Media Production
Hometown: Cedar Falls, IA
Current City: Los Angeles, CA
Job: Senior Producer of the Tennis Channel
Who do you admire and why?
My father, he’s always been an inspiration and taught me the value of hard work and perseverance.
What Jeopardy category could you clear, no problem?
Favorite office snack?
Best account to follow on social media?
Best piece of advice you’ve received?
The old but true saying, “Opportunity favors the prepared mind.”
Tell us about your job:
I produce original content for the Tennis Channel. This includes documentaries, travel/lifestyle shows as well as short-form media. Since we are a niche sport, I often travel the world to various tennis tournaments to conduct interviews with players or film material for shows. I’m also in charge of the final delivery of the product, so I supervise the edit on most the pieces I produce as well.
What does your average day look like?
It varies widely. If I am in pre-production, I come into the office and make phone calls and send out various emails in preparation for a shoot. I often travel once a month all over the world, so I have to coordinate permits, equipment, etc. for each shoot we’re doing. On location or set, I direct the crews and talent as well as conduct sit-down interviews with the athletes. During post-production I’ll oversee the edit and coordinate any licensing or graphic needs for the final piece.
How did your education prepare for your career?
It was extremely valuable in learning about all the various production tools as well as teaching me the importance of collaboration. The small group atmosphere of the media production department is very similar to our production office.
How has working in your industry changed the way you look at the world?
It’s given me the opportunity to travel the world and experience cultures and places I never could’ve dreamed of. It’s definitely opened my eyes and mind to try new things and help me not take for granted all the opportunities that are available to us in the United States.
Share a notable (funny, embarrassing, exciting) experience you’ve had at work:
On one of my first shoots to Wimbledon, my host was playing in a legends event and invited me to practice with him on the grounds. It was during the tournament, so we had hundreds of people watching us play at Wimbledon, that was definitely something I never thought I’d do. It was also my first time playing on a grass court, so I did terrible.
Who do you look to for inspiration?
It varies, but I’m always inspired by people who are the best in their field.
How do you handle work-life balance?
That’s the most challenging part, I think my wife does most of the heavy lifting. I have two kids, both under the age of four – so she has a lot on her plate when I travel. My free time is mostly spent with my family.
What motivates you?
I’m always striving to improve and learn from people that are more skilled in my position.
What advice would you give yourself in college?
Enjoy this time as much as possible and go to more football games!