Aideen O’Brien is a smiling example of the adage, “you make your own luck.”
In April 2010, O’Brien assumed her latest gig as Director of Music Supervision and Publishing at Entertainment One in Toronto, a job that didn’t exist until eOne CEO Darren Throop created it for her.
Her new position is at least partly the result of O’Brien’s never-say-die approach. After losing her gig as Director of BMG Music Publishing Canada, following approval of the sale of the company to Universal Music in 2008, O’Brien pieced together a life as a freelancer working in music supervision and management.
“I thought that if I couldn’t create a job for myself then I didn’t deserve to work in this creative industry,” she recalls. “So I started doing what I could and I suppose in hindsight it helped that I was able to finish out my term on the CMRRA and CARAS boards.”
“eOne already has a huge publishing catalogue on the TV side, so we’re trying to activate that.”
O’Brien was friendly with fellow CARAS board member Throop: “We’d chat and I’d make suggestions for growing his business,” remembers O’Brien. “I think those chats stimulated his ideas for how to integrate the company a little better through music.”
Entertainment One was born on the music side but deftly diversified into television production and film distribution. With offices in Canada, the U.K., and the U. S., the company has become a leading independent across all media.
And now with a bona fide publisher on board, eOne is focused on pulling the musical threads of all its operations together. Says O’Brien, “The various divisions are all very good at what they do, but the film guys weren’t thinking about the record label guys and the label guys weren’t thinking about the TV guys. Music is the one thing they all have in common. Now, we’re doing deals with film production companies, for example, where we can administer their publishing as well as distributing the movie, so the different sides of the business are crossing over.”
“eOne already has a huge publishing catalogue on the TV side so we’re trying to activate that so the works can be re-used,” continues O’Brien. “I’m working on digitizing the catalogue and finding a market for it.”
In typical fashion, O’Brien isn’t slipping into complacency now that she’s got a steady gig. She’s taking business classes at the University of Toronto to keep her skills and credentials current.
Ultimately, what she loves about Entertainment One is the energy of the place. “The staff is fabulous,” she enthuses. “It’s a very creative environment. The people are highly qualified and everyone is there because they want to be there, it’s not like some places where people just show up for the paycheque.”