Founder of Bogner Entertainment, and Sophomore Television / Broadcast Journalism major Oliver Bogner was recently profiled, in a high-profile piece on Forbes.com in their “All-Star Student Entrepreneurs” feature.
Did you know the youngest executive producer of reality TV isn’t a graduate student at a state school, or a high-flying mogul living in Hollywood?
Nope, according to Forbes’ recent feature on Oliver Bogner, that honor goes to one of our own Chapman University students – a 19 year-old Television and Broadcast Journalism major, and one of Dodge College’s network of industry superstars-to-be. After some experiences producing big-budget gatherings for friends,
Oliver’s father, Jonathan, 51, who had been an independent film producer for 15 years, told his son he thought his life could be a reality TV show. Oliver jumped at the idea, which was eventually packaged as “Party Prince 90210” and sold to the E! cable network. The show didn’t make it past a pilot, but Bogner had found his true love: producing reality television. “I was awe-inspired,” he recalls. “I knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”
Four years later, at 19, Bogner is the youngest executive producer of reality TV in L.A. An idea machine, he has some 50 concepts in various stages of development. So far he has created or worked on ten shows that have sold to eight different cable networks, including Oxygen, Animal Planet and Lifetime. (When an idea sells, Bogner gets between 3% and 10% of the production budget. In the past year he’s made roughly $100,000 from deals, he says.) None of Bogner’s concepts has aired as a series yet, but Love Scouts, about a matchmaker for 20-something Angelenos, appeared as a special on Oxygen and two more will air as specials this fall, including Addicts & Animals, about a family in Anaheim, Calif. that takes in struggling drug addicts and pairs them with dogs as a form of therapy.
Bogner originally wanted to go to the University of Southern California, which is well-known for producing entertainment industry professionals. But when he toured its campus of 35,000 students he realized he wanted a smaller school. Also, he brags, “I felt like Chapman was a school that needed a guy like me to put them on the map.
While I don’t know where he finds the time to manage such busy job alongside the rigorous academic deadlines our students are subject to, I salute his superior business sense, and industrial-strength chutzpah. Although the TV series focusing on him personally didn’t take flight, I wouldn’t be surprised if the myriad opportunities he’ll find here will lead him towards an even more exciting subject.
A series on life at small colleges – perhaps even film schools? Now, that would be something!