Courtenay Valenti, president of production and development at Warner Bros. Pictures and daughter of the late Hollywood powerhouse Jack J. Valenti, spoke at the Valenti School of Communication’s recent event Hollywood Talk on Thursday, October 18.
In her role, Valenti oversees the development of new ideas for potential movies, a process she described as long and “beyond stressful” but worthwhile.
“I love that there’s nothing typical,” she told the captivated audience of students, faculty and community members.
Despite graduating with a degree in economics and working on Wall Street, Valenti soon abandoned the business world and sought a position as an assistant at Warner Bros. where, this January, she will be completing her 30th year.
The event began with a personal interview between Valenti and Dr. Temple Northup, director of the Valenti School of Communication. They discussed her career, Jack Valenti, and the impact he had on her life.
“Seek out the best you can, something you love doing,” is the advice she said Jack Valenti gave her. She recalled knowing he was someone of great prominence in the media landscape but also witnessing the consistent effort he put into his work behind the scenes, as well.
The auditorium was filled with students eager to hear about Valenti’s extraordinary career. Media production student Dennis Cruz left the talk feeling he had obtained valuable insights for his future.
“I genuinely wanted to get a grasp of what the industry has. Essentially, what kind of work goes into being part of a big corporation like Warner Bros,” said Cruz.
As for Valenti, she said that walking the hall of the building named after her father made her feel emotional. She was delighted to return to talk to students.
“I love being able to talk to all the students and hear their questions and concerns. I got so much out of it. I hope all the students did, as well.”