Dean Holland didn’t have a plan, but he heard a voice calling him to Hollywood—and he had faith that he would somehow succeed. So three weeks after receiving his degree in 1992, Holland headed for California. In a story line straight from the movies, he soon found work—as a chef.
After a year, he took a pay cut to take a night job at a post-production house, supplementing his income by delivering pizzas by day. But Holland was networking. A client with a small company hired him as a production assistant. There, he gained experience writing, producing, directing and editing. “I learned a ton,” he says.
Part of what Holland learned was that editing was a good first step on the ladder of industry success. So six years ago he became a freelance editor. Since then, he’s worked on projects for VH-1, MTV, HBO and Disney, as well as the cult comedy film “The Hebrew Hammer” and the DVD version of Ben Stiller’s “Dodgeball.”
This summer, Holland was nominated for an Emmy Award for his work on Billy Crystal’s opening segment for the Oscars. He didn’t win, but then, he’s far from through. Working closely with directors has given him a new, well, direction. “I never think my ideas are that great, but other people seem to think they’re pretty good,” he says. “I see my influence is popping up in projects. So, why not?” Why not? After all, it’s not the first time he’s taken a chance.