#GradyGrit: Meet Hayden Schwartz

#GradyGrit: Meet Hayden Schwartz

April 22, 2020

What motivates you?

I am extremely motivated when I see a tangible change has been made that positively affects a mass quantity of people, especially at the university level. When I see students take chances that implement this positive change, it in turn motivates me to do the same. I believe indecisiveness is extremely inefficient and can be a major brick wall to innovation. The excuse of being a student is temporary, go make mistakes, go make your project, follow your curiosity and act on it while you have the chance.

What or who has had the biggest impact on your life during your time at UGA?

There are several people who I continuously speak with not only to better myself but to better the UGA community. It starts with those in the EMST department, I am in constant communication with Dr. Hamilton & Dr. Fortmueller, both of whom take the time to hear out students rather than make the academic environment a one-way street. Also, a former Grady Grit, Trey Leonard, started to show me the ropes of the entertainment industry as a freshman and I don’t think I would be as involved if it weren’t for him. As a recently inaugurated Senator for Grady, I am very much looking forward to making new connections within SGA and hopefully opening up new opportunities for aspiring Grady creatives.

What is your best advice for a student taking their first class at Grady College?

I believe that truly knowing what you like and acting on that is one of the hardest yet most rewarding things you can do in college. It starts by connecting with your peers and looking for opportunities. You should get involved with the community around you and exercise those resources. It’s okay to stop doing something if the passion isn’t there anymore, even if you feel like you’ve invested a lot of time into it. The biggest takeaway you should have when coming out of your first class in Grady should be the ability to say “I know what I want to do next.” Progression is key, stay busy.

What is the hardest part about being a Grady student?

The hardest part about being a Grady student is living up to its legacy. There have been so many notable Alumni who have come out of Grady. At first, it can be overwhelming to think about but when truly considered, it turns into inspiration. You can’t pass through the lounges without finding somebody who’s working on a project. You don’t walk in Grady, you run.

What will you miss most about being at Grady every day?

I will seriously miss the five flights of stairs I take to my 1:25. That was a joke, but in actuality, I will miss seeing the camaraderie within cohorts. A Grady cohort is a special thing because you share sweat and blood with these people. Regardless of the task at hand, you all go through it together, forming a bond unlike most others at UGA.

Schwartz (left) was producer for Murphy’s Law, which won third place in narrative films at the 2020 GCA Student Film Festival. (Photo: submitted)

How have you adapted to the online learning environment?

To be completely honest, I can’t say I love the structure, but that’s partly due my desire to socialize with my classmates. If you want to work in the entertainment industry you typically have a knack for stories. I really enjoy listening to my peer’s opinions on industry related topics or any personal stories they tell to give insight about who they are and what they’re thinking or feeling.

How are you keeping up with work and communicating with your Grady classmates and professors?

Every Monday I try to write out an agenda for the week, then get as much done that Monday to ease the load. Come Thursday/Friday most of my work is done and I move to my COVID-19 passion projects. I’m excited to see what people come out with during this extended period of isolation. In regard to communication, I Skype my writing partner about once every other day and have been using Zoom or a quick email to ask my professor(s) questions. I will say, the class GroupMe’s have been a little desolate, I’m sure people are keeping busy as these days are seeming to blend together.

What is the last show you’ve binge-watched?

The last show I binged was Peaky Blinders. It’s actually unbelievably cinematic, and Cillian Murphy kills his role, give it a watch.

What is your favorite book?

I have two books that have greatly impacted my life, the first being The Mailroom by David Rensin. If you have any interest in the entertainment industry, more specifically the business side, this book is worth a read. The second book which is a little more philosophical is Robert Iger’s The Ride of a Lifetime. For those that don’t know, Robert Iger was the most recent CEO of the Walt Disney Company prior to Bob Chapek. Iger explains his background on becoming the CEO of Disney and gives great advice on how to become a better leader through his stories.

Where do you get your news?

There are a couple places where you can stay up to date on the entertainment industry such as Deadline, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and The Wrap. I personally use the Deadline app, and I try to check the headlines once every 1-2 days.


Editor’s Note: Some of the above answers have been edited for length and/or clarity. 

For other installments in the #GradyGrit series, visit the #GradyGrit page