This story was at first posted in The Creators — a e-newsletter about the folks powering the creator economy. Get it sent to your inbox.

In the 2016 movie LaLa Land, the aspiring actress performed by Emma Stone leap commences her vocation by crafting, manufacturing and starring in her personal play.

Jennifer Levinson has carried out one thing incredibly comparable, but as an alternative of carrying out in entrance of a handful of theater-goers, she bought her break by executing in entrance of millions on social media.

Immediately after yrs of showing on YouTube and SnapChat, Levinson, 30, is now the author and producer (as perfectly as a performer) in Belief, a new aspect-length motion picture distributed by Menemsha Movies. She also hosts a exhibit on Instagram and TikTok for Romwe, a Chinese style enterprise owned by Shien.

Born and lifted in Los Angeles, Levinson analyzed theater at Chapman University prior to working in social media. She credits her social media following with propelling her vocation, which has also involved filming commercials for Marriott and advertising videos for Sony Photographs.

The Observer talked to Levinson over Zoom from her home in L.A. This job interview has been edited for size and clarity.

Observer: How did you get started in social media?

Jennifer Levinson: Soon after college I was in a bunch of BuzzFeed videos and kind of bought branded as a persona by way of BuzzFeed.

How did you stop up on BuzzFeed’s videos? 

I was pursuing performing and recognized it was extremely hard. And my boyfriend at the time had a position that I wanted. So I was like, if I assistance you get a career at BuzzFeed, can I acquire your position? So I helped him get this position at BuzzFeed and due to the fact he was functioning there I ended up (in the movies). It commenced with a person video clip and then they begun putting me in a ton of films.

The BuzzFeed video clips that I ended up remaining in would get thousands and thousands and tens of millions of sights, but I’m just a person of numerous men and women on people video clips. So my 1st assumed was like, how can I turn this into a little something that can shell out my charges whilst I pursue the imaginative things, like acting right, composing and generating?

Can you explain what was heading on in these movies?

I would say they are very reduced brow. A good deal of them were fact videos, like couples try out on make-up or boyfriend vs. girlfriend-variety video clips. But then I also tried to do some much more scripted things and that kind of was a stepping stone for me to then get into my possess scripted things.

There is a show on Snapchat referred to as Solve. And soon after undertaking a bunch of Buzzfeed videos, I sent a spec script to Solve and was ready to get a personnel author task on that Snapchat exhibit.

Notify me about your Romwe display.

So I go on camera the moment a week and discuss about the garments and converse to their viewers. They have 2 million followers.

In advance of that I was performing social media advertising for a creation firm and about to go into generation on my very first feature. And then I received this gig and it’s after a week and has authorized me to do all the making and performing I want to do. 

What are the requirements of you? How lengthy does it just take for you to do this? 

I have a total lights setup and a camera deal they despatched me and I have to storyboard every little thing. Sometimes I aid solid other products or folks to be on the show. And then it’s a couple hours every Monday evening, which is the prep time and the display by itself. In the course of the 7 days we’re performing brainstorming sessions and factors of that type.

How did all this direct to you making a attribute movie?

My heart’s in scripted content. So I began generating some shorts for exciting just to get content material out there. And I ended up having discovered by Tribeca in 2020 which is a huge, seriously renowned film competition. They acknowledged me into their N.O.W. Creator’s Current market, which generally gave me an chance to present off all the content I have been working on and pitch to various networks and producers. And I had this quick proof of notion, termed Believe in, which is tremendous off-model for the varieties of articles I was earning at the time. But it’s basically about a few siblings reconciling in excess of their mom’s suicide.

I brought that to Tribeca with a function script and I got genuinely terrific feed-back on it and then the environment shut down (for the reason that of Covid). I was like, proper, I require to make this feature, I simply cannot just sit below or I’m gonna drop my thoughts. So took the laurels I received from Tribeca and started just pitching to each single individual I have ever built eye speak to with and finished up elevating like $200,000 in equity investments. We shot the characteristic in 2021 and we are now fully finished with submit generation and we just secured distribution.

How are you employing social media now to progress your profession? Or have you moved earlier it? 

No, it’s surely a little something I nevertheless leverage in various strategies. On Romwe, I actually do not imagine I would’ve been solid as a host on their system if it weren’t for the social media.

I’m continuously trying to uncover ways to do discounts. I just partnered with Amazon to do an Instagram reel and that paid my hire for a thirty day period. I know that my adhering to isn’t the most significant, but since I’m so precise with the manufacturers I perform with, I’m equipped to get a sizeable sum of cash for a singular post since I really do not just just take each and every solitary deal.

How do you see your social media existence supporting build or endorse your movies?

I have experimented with to document everything on social the full way and attempted to presently commence making up that existence. The male who performs my brother, Heston (Horwin), he blew up on TikTok. He has like 270,000 followers. So basically hoping to get all the cast to be included as a lot as achievable and all the crew to be concerned as substantially as doable.

Do you have any feeling of who follows you on social media? 

Yeah, so it’s a unusual mishmosh of previous BuzzFeed persons and then Romwe admirers and random guys. I basically designed a YouTube movie a though back identified as Dick Pic Fall short simply because I was finding so several dick shots sent to me on Snapchat.

Ugh, I’m sorry to hear that.

Yeah. But the video clip did very well. On Snapchat, I assume my followings now all over a hundred thousand followers but I’ve utilised it a lot less since of those people sorts of pictures, but I unquestionably approach on seriously leveraging that supporter base when the motion picture is out. 

I guess as extended as they get tickets.

Exactly. I’m not going to open up their messages to me any more. I’ll just hold submitting.


This job interview was originally revealed in The Creators, a e-newsletter about the men and women powering the creator overall economy. Get it in your inbox ahead of it is on the net.