MacKenzie Hill asks the right questions to the right people

MacKenzie is a director, producer, and writer with a strong background in post-production who truly loves working in entertainment.

She got her start in post-production finding out what makes each format tick – from game shows to scripted series. She then moved into production, assisting a jack-of-all-trades UPM/EP/Director, learning how to manage crews on the prime-time hit shows, New Girl (starring Zooey Deschanel) and The Grinder (starring Rob Lowe).

Her next venture was running a production company in LA focusing on development and production (line and creative). She has now produced content for Netflix, HBO, Showtime, TBS, Funny or Die, and more alongside a range of A-list talent. In downtime, she also assists companies with development and pitch materials.

In the past year, she Co-Produced the Peabody award-winning Netflix series, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj; Co-Produced an HBO special called Yvonne Orji: Momma I Made It; and Post Supervised A24’s Emmy award-winning series, At Home with Amy Sedaris.

Most recently, she directed promotional spots for the upcoming Disney Pixar film Soul starring Tina Fey, Questlove, and Phylicia Rashad.

What were you like as a teen?

I was a disruptor (aka getting sent to detention a lot) but I was never a particularly funny kid.

Did you have an un-sexy starter job? 

I had MANY un-sexy starter jobs that I absolutely loved… I worked at the local movie theater, worked at Blockbuster, and was a camp counselor at camps I was certainly unqualified for.

How have skills from non-production jobs transferred into your producing jobs?

I think school, sports, working any job, family and friend dynamics all lead you to the work ethic you have… First and foremost, just people skills – I think if you know how to talk to people and can genuinely listen and connect that transfers to any job you could want.

Best comedy or producing advice you ever got?

There’s always a solution, it all comes down to asking the right questions of the right people.

Worst comedy or producing advice you ever got?

Enough money can solve anything.

How has being funny helped you in your life?

I think having a sense of humor makes every burden a little lighter.

How do you as a producer approach bringing out the comedy in a project?

Having fun while you are making it is KEY… if you are not having fun while you’re making it (it’s comedy for goodness sake) then the audience is going to feel that and vice versa – if you are having a BLAST, and enjoying putting it together that will resonate.

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at an aspiring comedy producer?

Always remember what you’re making, when it feels impossible and hard, and you’re overworked and not making enough money just remember what you’re doing and try and find some inspiration in the material.

What is your go-to show or movie to watch when you have had a bad day? (That cheers you up or lets you wallow!)

Friends, New Girl, How I Met Your Mother, Everybody Loves Raymond, Broad City.

What single word always cracks you up?