I love watching TV. There, I said it. The excitement I feel when I know I have a full DVR is probably not normal. I just love it. However, I also know that the shows we see on TV take a long ass time to produce and film. A lot goes into the production of a TV show, and long hours are spent on fueling our TV addiction. Carly Scher, 31, has worked for Food Network for a while now. She’s either a Co-Executive Producer or Supervising Producer, depending on the show. She’s wanted to be a TV producer ever since she was little, and she made it happen. It’s long hours and sometimes unpredictable schedules, but at the end of the day, she loves it and wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. Keep on reading for what Carly loves most about her job, her favorite projects/shows she’s ever worked on, advice for someone wanting to break into the industry, and much more.
How long have you been working at Food Network? What were you doing prior?
On and off since 2011 I’ve worked freelance, but always end up back on Food Network projects because it’s such fun TV to produce.
Did you always know you wanted to be a Television Producer? If not, when did you decide this is what you wanted to do?
I have wanted to be a TV Producer since I was in Middle School. Anyone that knows me from growing up and knows what I do now can speak to that. I was pretty lucky to figure out what I wanted to do when I was young and worked to make it happen starting in high school. I worked for my High School TV station and then studied broadcasting in college.
What is your favorite part about your job? Most rewarding? Most challenging?
The finished product and knowing what you worked on will be something thousands or millions of people could enjoy. I love when people tell me something I worked on is their favorite show. Once Taylor Swift wrote in a magazine that Married At First Sight was her guilty pleasure and it was a show I produced, so it was pretty cool to read that. I watched a lot of TV growing up so now knowing what goes into making a show and seeing the final product and saying “I was part of making that” is really exciting.
And traveling to some amazing places doesn’t hurt either.
Most challenging? The unpredictable schedule, long hours, and sometimes very limited days off. It’s part of the grind and always worth it in the end, but it’s hard to sometimes not have a normal life. Although, I would be very bored with a 9-5 Monday-Friday type job.
What does a day in your life look like?
Hard question – every day is different and varies depending on if I am in pre-production, Production, or Post Production. I can tell you it’s not as glamorous as people would think.
What’s been the biggest ‘pinch me’ moment of your career, thus far?
I have a few. Growing up I was obsessed with The View and I loved Hot Topics. The first time season 1 of Married At First Sight was talked about on Hot Topics amongst Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar and rest of the ladies, I was crying in excitement. Another one was when a segment I produced made it on The Soup.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to break into the world of Television Production?
I know it’s cliché, but you have to work from the bottom up. You need to earn your way up because along every stop and every position you learn something new. You have to master each. I also always tell people to learn both production and post production. You need to know both aspects to be a great producer and both are important in making a great show. And always ask questions – TV moves very fast and it’s better to always ask when you don’t understand something than do it wrong.
What’s been your favorite segment/show/episode you’ve ever produced and why?
Extreme Chef is one of them for sure. It was this amazing show that was like Top Chef meets Survivor. It only lasted two seasons, but I loved it. I love food shows in general because, well, I love to eat. I hate the word foodie, but I’m the kind of person who plans breakfast for dinner. Food is a universal language. This show was extra cool because you got to see these bad ass chefs in extreme environments make gourmet restaurant food. We got to travel to Thailand for the finale and shooting in the floating Market and at Coconut Farm was as cool as it gets.
Married at First Sight – As far as reality TV goes, does it get any better? I love the extremeness of it, the hopeless romantic part of it, the ‘WTF are these people thinking’ part of it, and, of course, documenting an amazing experiment. At heart, I am a story teller and this is quite the story. My couple from season 1 is about to celebrate their 3rd anniversary which is beyond exciting. During the wedding, the bride had a meltdown thinking it was the biggest mistake of her life and I got to follow her from hysterically crying in her wedding dress to falling in love. The first time they kissed I cried. I had to hide under the table of the restaurant we were shooting at in St. Thomas on their honeymoon because I didn’t want them to see how excited I was.
I probably have to add Vinny And Ma Eat America in there; it was so fun combining my love of food with a docu-series following the most dynamic duo out there. I felt honored to get my First Co-EP Title as I traveled around the country watching Vinny and Ma eating and laughing. I was so honored when the owners of Turn Card picked me to Co-Ep their first series. I had been working for them for years since my Associate Producer days and it was so special to come so far.
What motto/quote do you always try to live by?
My Great Aunt told me at her 90th birthday party that life is all about having fun so if you can look back when you’re 90 and say that after all life experiences, well, then I think I owe it to myself to live my life by that. And despite the long hours, stress, and so on, making TV at the end of the day should be fun. And it is fun most of the time.
I also like to live by ‘never forget where you came from.’ The producers who took a chance on me when I was a PA and Associate Producer are still some of my mentors. The higher I advance in my career I remember how hard I worked and what I have learned.
What inspires you?
This is a hard question. I am a people person so I would have to say people inspire me. Being a reality TV Producer you get to see some really cool thngs and meet some really incredible people. I also get to work with some incredibly inspiring people.
Thanks so much, Carly!
Read past interviews here.