Tom Garrett, M.F.A.

A photo of Tom Garrett

Associate Professor and Chair 
Communication 

As a University of New Haven student in the 1980s, Prof. Garret accompanied one of his professors to the Cannes Film Festival in France. 

“It changed my life,” said Garrett, who went on to becoming a successful producer of feature and documentary films and a founding partner of Circa Films, an international sales and distribution company, before returning back to his alma mater to teach the next generation about the film industry. 

An expert on the inner workings of Hollywood, Prof. Garrett has worked with a who’s who list of stars from Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino to John Travolta and Milly Ringwald. 

Find a local production company and get your foot in the door. That way, you’re not a small fish in a huge pond like L.A.

He has amassed years of contacts and expertise that he now shares with his students to give them a leg up. 

“What drives producers is one thing: money, and whoever is giving it away,” he said. “Some states pay 40 cents on the dollar. That’s why there are more movies being made in Georgia than in Hollywood, more in Louisiana than in Hollywood. I always tell students don’t go to Hollywood. Go to Louisiana or New Mexico or Connecticut. Go there first, and you’ll have a better chance. Find a local production company and get your foot in the door. That way, you’re not a small fish in a huge pond like L.A.”

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