Dreams on the big screen | The Argonaut Newsweekly

Kasprzyk is an alumnus of Loyola Marymount University, where he enrolled in the graduate television program. PHOTO BY CHRIS MORTENSON

TV producer Casey Kasprzyk has found success in the soap opera world

By Kamala Kirk

From an early age, Casey Kasprzyk knew he wanted to work in the entertainment industry. He attended Chapman University for the school’s film and television production program, where he helped produce various late-night and business shows.

“I was inspired by the movie ‘Back to the Future’ and wanted to make films like that someday,” Kasprzyk says. “I aspired to be the next Steven Spielberg or Robert Zemeckis. Then I went to film school and realized that there was a difference between film and television and the way they are produced. Film production is a very different world. I turned more to television, I liked the controlled environment inside a studio with fixed hours. I knew very young what I wanted to do and I’m lucky to have gone to school for that and to have a job in this industry.

In college, Kasprzyk was very involved in student activities and was the associate president of students. In the last semester of his senior year, he landed an internship with the CBS soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful” and drove from Orange County to Los Angeles twice a week.

“My friend Diane interned there and I thought it would be fun because I watched the show,” Kasprzyk says. “I really enjoyed the internship.
After graduating from Chapman University in 2001, Kasprzyk enrolled in the graduate television program at Loyola Marymount University. He has gained work experience in the industry through various internships including gambling

Show Network and Fox Sports, and was a page at Television City.

“I’ve been exposed to TV shows like ‘American Idol’, ‘The Price Is Right’ and ‘Hollywood Squares’, it was really cool to have that opportunity,” says Kasprzyk. “During my internship at Fox Sports I always had ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ on TV, but every time someone came into my office I would switch channels back to sports. interested in what was going on with B&B which reinforced the fact that this was where I wanted to be.
In 2003, during his final year at LMU, Kasprzyk was hired to work at the B&B front desk. He started out doing a variety of administrative tasks, including answering phones and making copies of scripts, but quickly rose through the ranks.

“At B&B, everyone starts at the reception,” Kasprzyk explains. “It’s so special about working there, it’s a family owned production company and the Bell family who own it is amazing. My boss, Brad Bell, really set the tone for the company which creates a family atmosphere and most of the employees have been there for a very long time. It’s the secret sauce of the show.

Kasprzyk caught the attention of his boss and the show’s producers after creating entertaining videos for the company’s anniversary and Christmas parties.

“After that, I started creating videos for our website,” Kasprzyk explains. “In 2008, after spending five years with the company, I became an associate producer and helped with the creative aspects of the show, quality control and the show’s transition to high definition. I also oversee digital effects, and devote a lot of time to post-production editing of edits and sequences. I also directed several episodes. I always say I’m not writing the show, I’m looking for ways to creatively improve it.

Kasprzyk eventually became the show’s location coordinator, researching and securing filming locations.

“Brad and I started working together to make LA a bigger character on the show,” Kasprzyk said. “It usually starts with him asking me where we could go, which would be fun and different, like if a character was going to propose or if there was going to be a wedding. We shot in many. places on the Westside like Malibu and Marina del Rey. In one episode, one of the show’s main characters, Stephanie, had a lifelong dream of riding a roller coaster at Santa Monica Pier, so we filmed an entire episode at it. Subject. We also presented the show in Aspen, Cabo San Lucas, Italy, Monte Carlo, Paris, Amsterdam and Sydney. I have been around the world.

When researching a shoot, Kasprzyk will travel to destinations to research and determine logistics, meet with a local production company, and then create a large conceptual board with the different shooting locations.

“It all falls into place very quickly,” Kasprzyk says. “One of the most stimulating and rewarding places to shoot was Dubai, where Brad had the idea that one of the actors was going to fall from the helipad at the Burj Al Arab hotel. When I saw him in person I realized that it was going to be difficult to get the filming equipment to the helipad and the hotel decided they didn’t want us to shoot there. . We changed the scene to have the character fall from a helicopter, which made it even better. It was one of our most exciting shoots.

Another memorable spot was Skid Row in downtown LA. The screenplay ended up winning a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series in 2011, which was Kasprzyk’s first Emmy.

“Brad came to me and told me he wanted to do an episode about homelessness and he wanted to feature some people from Skid Row as actors,” Kasprzyk said. “It launched our production team on this incredible journey, getting out of the studio, going to downtown LA and meeting with representatives from the Union Rescue Mission and various community leaders. At the time the episodes were edited and aired, winning an award was an afterthought. It was more about the experience, the people we met and what we all learned from each other. Skid Row was part of LA where I had never been before and now I have a connection to the community.

Always looking for new challenges, Kasprzyk collaborated with his colleague Anthony Ferrari, who oversees the international distribution of B&B, to write a song for the series in 2014.

“I had this song in my mind for 10 years and one day I sat down and put it on paper and then gave it the lyrics,” Kasprzyk says. “He came up with a melody, we made a song and put it in the show. It was called “Hands of Time” and was well received by fans. It was the first song I wrote and it won a Daytime Emmy for Best Original Song for a Drama Series.

After their success, Ferrari and Kasprzyk continued to write songs for the series. Together they have written over 40 songs, winning Daytime Emmy Awards in 2015, 2016 and 2019, in addition to garnering multiple nominations.

“The majority of songs start with an idea, I’m going to drive or take a long walk around the neighborhood and the lyrics come to mind, then I write them down in my phone and expand on that,” Kasprzyk says. “When a script comes out, I’ll try to have it more tied to the script so that it helps tell the story through the song. It’s interesting, I’ll write those songs and then the episodes will come out and be exactly. how I felt when I wrote the song. I don’t play any instruments and have no musical training, but writing song lyrics is like poetry. It was really cathartic to have this kind of ‘outlet.

After the COVID-19 hit and the entertainment industry put on hiatus, B&B was the first scripted TV show to be officially approved to resume production. Kasprzyk and his colleagues worked tirelessly to find ways to keep filming the series safe.

“The producers met every day at the start of the shutdown to determine how we might do the show,” Kasprzyk said. “Once the unions and guilds released their protocols, we were able to quickly get approval to resume production. There were a lot of starts and stops because everyone wanted to do it safely. Our actors had to be 8 feet apart, we used mannequins and camera towers, and some of our actors and actresses brought in loved ones as backups for the kissing scenes. Everyone is tested weekly and half of our offices are hybrid. “

Faced with the decision whether or not to fit the pandemic into the show’s storylines, Kasprzyk says B&B ultimately decided not to include it because the show helps people escape the realities of everyday life.

“The soap opera isn’t meant to be real life, we have to tell larger-than-life stories,” Kasprzyk says. “Our show gives viewers 30 minutes a day, five days a week, where they can forget their problems, see the characters they love and have fun. People are tuning in to escape the pandemic. That’s what I think is my contribution: to entertain people. “

In June, Kasprzyk launched a weekly YouTube show called “Bold Live” where he interviews an actor in each episode and fans can call.

“We’re talking to fans all over the world live, it’s a fun way to get to know the cast and it was born out of COVID-19 because we couldn’t run fan events,” Kasprzyk said. “I love hosting, it’s another creative outlet for me and it helps me feel the pulse of what our fans love. “

March 2022 will mark the show’s 35th anniversary, and while Kasprzyk doesn’t yet know exactly what B&B will be doing, he’s eagerly awaiting some sort of celebration.

“That’s what I love about this job, we shoot 250 episodes a year and eight episodes a week, but every day is something different,” says Kasprzyk. “B&B is the world’s most watched daily drama series. I’m very lucky to have a job where I can use my creativity and I really grew with the series. I have learned a lot from the people I work with and we all help each other grow.

Although B&B is an integral part of Kasprzyk’s life, in his spare time he enjoys mentoring his alma mater students, running marathons, playing tennis, attending sporting events and spending time outdoors in Playa. Vista. He moved to the community last year after being a resident of Westchester for 19 years.

“When I started at LMU in 2001, Playa Vista was starting to be incorporated,” says Kasprzyk. “I have seen condos being built and over the years it has continued to grow. I just felt a connection to the area and knew I had to be in the Westside. It’s very open with hiking trails, dog parks, and great beach and airport access. Playa Vista is such a welcoming community and I really feel at home in this part of LA. ”

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