Movie lovers of a certain age remember that moment in Jurassic Park when the camera panned up to reveal a long-necked dinosaur as it grazed the tall trees on John Hammond’s island. It defined the phrase “movie magic” for that generation in 1993 and helped set the course to a career in the film world for the most impacted of wide-eyed youths.
One such Long Islander to follow that path is Perri Nemiroff. And though her journey wasn’t a straight line, the Roslyn native is currently the senior editorial producer for Collider—a crucial source for entertainment news with content spread across the media landscape covering multiple genres on its own site, Collider.com, and an exceedingly popular channel on YouTube.
Her position at Collider sees Nemiroff covering high-profile releases, interviewing creative teams both on screen and off, and dissecting and debating the anatomy of film with her highly knowledgeable colleagues—in an entertaining atmosphere that explicitly displays the crew’s passion for all aspects of the movies.
“It really is as much fun as it looks,” Nemiroff said of Collider, particularly her work on its panel-driven content, like Movie Talk. “I love this business no matter what and I’m pretty sure I’d be happy doing whatever as long as it involves covering movies. But this is a special team and I’m not just saying that because I’m part of this team.”
Nemiroff first joined the Collider team in 2012 as a freelancer, eventually netting a full-time job thanks to her tenacious work ethic—but also, as she says, thanks to the leadership that guided her through her relocation from New York to Collider’s base in California.
“I was nervous at first coming here, but these are genuinely the kindest, most professional people I’ve worked with and they’re good friends, too,” she said.
Looking at Nemiroff’s road to Collider, it’s clear that her work ethic has always had her destined for success. While living on the island, Nemiroff attended The Wheatley School in Old Westbury where she was enrolled in a program called School-Within-a-School (SWS), which mirrors college in that it allows students the opportunity to prepare their own schedules with a variety of courses including English courses and social science electives.
“I have to give a lot of credit to that program,” she said. “I had to write every single day about many different subjects. It was a lot of work, but it made a huge difference for me. It opened up endless possibilities.”
One of those possibilities was hard-news journalism, which at one point was Nemiroff’s ultimate career goal. She got bit by the news bug at a young age and remembers a school project in the fifth or sixth grade where she was tasked with making a paper-mâché model of what she wanted to be when she grew up.
“It was me sitting at a News 12 anchor desk,” she recalled, adding that her parents probably still have the model. “That was always my dream.”
After Wheatley, Nemiroff found herself at NYU, graduating in 2008. During that time, she dipped her toes into writing about movies, but mainly as a side gig with Cinema Blend, a website covering entertainment news. After college, Nemiroff secured a full-time job at New York City broadcast news mainstay NY1, her first in the business. There, Nemiroff experienced all the grit and grime of hard news at street level, as she was handed a camera and told, basically, to go out and get the news.
This is where Nemiroff’s path begins to veer away from traditional journalism and into film.
When her side gig with Cinema Blend evolved into more work like writing DVD press releases, reviews and interviews, Nemiroff decided that if she was going to criticize movies, she had better possess a wealth film knowledge. With this in mind, she enrolled in Columbia film school. Taking numerous courses, she learned about film on a much deeper level than merely as a superficial observer. But while screen-writing and director were interesting topics, Nemiroff was immediately enthralled with he role of movie producer.
“Producing fits my personality because I get a thrill out of making to-do lists and checking off items,” said Nemiroff, who has produced a handful of short films, along with the full-length flick, Child Eater, a movie in her favorite genre, horror. “I just love the horror genre in general. I saw Scream when I was really young and that started it all for me.”
Now at Collider, Nemiroff uses those skills amassed through the years on a daily basis. Entrenching herself in film expanded her understanding of the art, while her time in the world of journalism solidified Nemiroff as an adept interviewer who clearly knows the right questions to ask, whether she’s talking to Oprah Winfrey about A Wrinkle in Time, horror legend Wes Craven or the incomparable Samuel L. Jackson.
“It’s incredible to meet someone you really admire, especially someone like Sam Jackson,” said Nemiroff. “I had some nerves going in, but also I had an intense focus on the questions that I had always wanted to ask him.”
Nemiroff doesn’t usually fan-out and gush when she meets famous people—she almost never asks for a picture or autograph—except, that is, with Craven and Jackson.
“I once asked for a picture with Wes Craven, which I treasure to this day. And another time with Sam Jackson, I asked him to write his famous line, “Hold onto your butts,” from Jurassic Park. I took that note he wrote and got it tattooed on me.”
And though YouTube, and the Internet in general, seems loaded with movie know-it-alls who are quick to criticize other people’s work, Nemiroff tends to lean toward the positive viewpoint that there are more good opinions and salient points out there than ever before.
“We created this whole community for so many people who are passionate about film; it is something that is objectively really positive,” said Nemiroff, who also maintains her own YouTube channel with movie reviews and video blogs. “I loved writing about movies before, but being on camera lets me express just how much I love this industry and how much movies mean to me.”
It’s a healthy obsession with film that got Perri Nemiroff where she is today—but more than that, it was her sustained ambition that makes her success story a blockbuster of epic proportions.
“Every path is different and I did what works for me. I maintained a passion and have always stayed dedicated to what I love,” she said. “I worked nonstop because I genuinely wanted to. I’m so thankful that I get to spend 100 percent of my time doing what I love, but a lot of hard work got me here.”