Kristin Stark '97
Close Encounters of the Spielberg Kind

By Donna Parker

The first job after Trinity that Kristin Stark ’97 had was working for the world’s greatest film director – a lucky break even by Hollywood standards.

“I was incredibly lucky. I tell everyone that I had the luck of the luck…and even now, I know people who come to Los Angeles and search and search without finding a job,” says Kristin, who manages publicity for film legend Steven Spielberg.

To be fair, Kristin launched her Hollywood career as a lowly PA or production assistant – a glorified title for someone who runs errands, and she explains, “does the ugly stuff.”

It wasn’t long, however, until she found her name at the top of the credits in Spielberg’s publicity office of Amblin’ Entertainment.

“We are very specific and dedicated in this office to Steven. He is first and foremost our priority,” she asserts. So Kristin knows who runs the show, but does Steven know her?

Laughingly, she responds, “I would say he knows me enough not to call security!”

Kristin credits her professors in speech communication and communication classes under Moya Ball and Harry Haines, respectively, with teaching her how to go Back to the Future as she utilizes that editing knowledge of large video/film formats to dub 1970’s electronic press kits of Close Encounters of the Third Kind onto 21st century DVDs for very safe keeping.

What about when cameras aren’t rolling?

She gets together for brunches with fellow alumni and has served as president of the Southern California Alumni Chapter.

“I live and breathe this industry, so my primary fun is going to see movies. I have been fortunate enough to work on several Oscar campaigns for Saving Private Ryan as well as Gladiator, which took Best Picture. I was in the ‘live’ audience, so that was a real thrill.”

And, she has a Hollywood story that rivals any other.

“Jaws came out the weekend I was born,” laughs Kristin, who adds, “The film held a preview screening down the street from my Dallas home and Steven, who was there,
realized he had a hit when movie goers threw their popcorn into the air when Bruce the Shark (named after Spielberg’s attorney) first jumped out of the water. Kristin takes all this in stride though, finishing, “I always joke when people ask about Steven. He’s just a man.”

And, that is a happy Hollywood ending.



Kristin Stark