Filmmaker Gary Beeber of Ten-In-One Productions On The Five Things You Need To Shine In The Entertainment Industry

An Interview With Edward Sylvan


Treat people the way you’d like to be treated, be polite. I remember when I worked for museums as a designer I had to show a museum director a sketch for a poster. While I was waiting outside the office, the secretary said “the designer’s here now” and I overheard the director say “Is that what they call them now?” I never forgot that. I always was polite and friendly, because of that I’ve made a lot of friends.

As a part of our series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Gary Beeber.

Gary Beeber is an award-winning American photographer and filmmaker who has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the world. He has had numerous solo photography exhibitions and his documentary films have been screened at over 150 film festivals. Pfizer Pharmaceutical, Goldman Sachs and Chase Bank are Fortune 500 companies that collect his work.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I grew up in the Midwest, which was not an art scene. I went to Miami University’s College of Art and learned the basics, and then moved to New York City where I studied at the School of Visual Arts. That’s when my life changed.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

My earliest memories are of drawing pictures. When I went to art college it was primitive by today’s standards: no computers, no cell phones and everything was done by hand.

In New York City I worked as a designer for The Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum and other institutions. I started using a Macintosh computer as soon as they were available.

Over time technology evolved enough so that I could start experimenting with computerized photography. Then technology improved enough to be able to integrate video. Being able to work with video in my own studio led me to making films.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

While working as a designer for a major NYC Museum I was given the job of designing the invitations for the benefit opening of a major film. After I turned in the entire camera-ready artwork it went to film maker. They took out all the names of the museum’s benefactors, so I had to do it all over again. After I redid it the museum changed it again. It kept going back and forth. When everything was finally approved the museum told me to double my price because the studio was paying for it.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I got a call from the New York Times, and thought they were selling me a subscription, so I said I wasn’t interested. After I hung up I realized that they were offering work. You never know when you’ll get that call!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I’m working on a series of documentary films about odd people, a photo book about Sylvester Manor on Shelter Island and three solo exhibitions of my photography.

You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?

In the beginning, my work was criticized, and it was very discouraging.. It took me a long time to find my voice. If you don’t try to do the thing that inspires you, you’ll never know if you can do it. Don’t be afraid of failure, you learn from failure. People who succeed keep at it no matter what.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

I think it makes one’s life much richer to experience other cultures and to interact with people of all races and ethnic backgrounds.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

Hang in there. If you’ve got talent don’t give up because of early failures. I’ve known many promising artists and filmmakers who gave up because something didn’t work out for them. My early reviews were hurtful but I kept on going.

Always have business cards on you, you never know when you’ll meet someone important.

I’ve made many connections from just being somewhere by chance and was glad that I had a business card with me.

If you find what you do to be boring, find something else to do.

When I produced Gotham Burlesque, an off-Broadway show there were performers who were bored with their act and it showed. I never hired them again.

When making films, make the film for the audience, and make it entertaining. I once attended a festival and a filmmaker screened a documentary film about the circus, but obviously never thought about how an audience would react. The film was awful. In the beginning, the house was full, and by the end the filmmaker and I were the only ones left.

Treat people the way you’d like to be treated, be polite. I remember when I worked for museums as a designer I had to show a museum director a sketch for a poster. While I was waiting outside the office, the secretary said “the designer’s here now” and I overheard the director say “Is that what they call them now?” I never forgot that. I always was polite and friendly, because of that I’ve made a lot of friends.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Step away from your work and when you come back you’ll have a new perspective. To begin with look for projects that are of interest to you and have personal meaning.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I would love to help make it so that farmers can donate excess food to local food pantries.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My wife has been an incredible help because she has been so supportive, and is always truthful.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. Mark Twain

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)

Bob Dylan

How can our readers follow you online?

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

About The Interviewer: Growing up in Canada, Edward Sylvan was an unlikely candidate to make a mark on the high-powered film industry based in Hollywood. But as CEO of Sycamore Entertainment Group Inc, (SEGI) Sylvan is among a select group of less than ten Black executives who have founded, own and control a publicly traded company. Now, deeply involved in the movie business, he is providing opportunities for people of color.

In 2020, he was appointed president of the Monaco International Film Festival, and was encouraged to take the festival in a new digital direction.

Raised in Toronto, he attended York University where he studied Economics and Political Science, then went to work in finance on Bay Street, (the city’s equivalent of Wall Street). After years of handling equities trading, film tax credits, options trading and mergers and acquisitions for the film, mining and technology industries, in 2008 he decided to reorient his career fully towards the entertainment business.

With the aim of helping Los Angeles filmmakers of color who were struggling to understand how to raise capital, Sylvan wanted to provide them with ways to finance their creative endeavors.



Edward Sylvan CEO of Sycamore Entertainment Group
Authority Magazine

Edward Sylvan is the Founder and CEO of Sycamore Entertainment Group Inc. He is committed to telling stories that speak to equity, diversity, and inclusion.