Marine Leverages Military Skills to Launch Production Company After Several Shut Doors

Think your skills aren’t transferrable? Think again. Even if hiring managers fail to see the value of your comprehensive skill set to transition into media, the key is recognizing your own in order to connect the dots.

Former Marine captain, Brian Iglesias, leveraged his military skills by forming his production company, Veterans Expeditionary Media, but not before having several doors slammed shut in his face.

According to The New York Post, he pounded the pavement for a job in film or television but alas, hiring managers didn’t recognize the value of 14 years of military duty.

Iglesias told the newspaper, “I had figured, ‘I’ve got a good resume.'” He added, “I’ve led combat operations. I’ve done humanitarian relief. I’ve trained with different countries….I couldn’t even get an internship.”

In fact, Iglesias pointed out he was overqualified for entry-level work but “under-experienced for mid-level work.” The film degree he earned from Temple University didn’t help either. After  job searching for almost a year, he decided to create his own opportunity.

According to the piece, he stated, “The door wasn’t opening, so I figured I’d knock it off its hinges and do it myself.” He enrolled in Syracuse University’s Entrepreneur Bootcamp for Veterans to learn about business ownership and then joined forces with Anton Sattler, fellow Marine and aspiring filmmaker.

They worked on a documentary about a seminal Korean War battle and interviewed veterans throughout the country for eight months. After spending an additional few months of editing and post-production work, they premiered Chosin at the 2010 GI Film Festival to critical acclaim. Since then it’s been screened nationally and has been optioned for a Hollywood feature film!

As the company continues to grow and work on various commercial spots for veterans organizations, a military-themed animated movie, and narrative films, Iglesias still relies on his former skill set of multi-tasking, an important trait that bodes well for both filmmaking and owning a business.

He explained to the newspaper: “Being an infantry Marine in combat, you learn to thrive in chaos. You’ve got personnel, you’ve got civilians, you’ve got equipment — and you are the one person everyone looks to, to make a decision. It’s the same thing in small business.”