Tim Eichel began his career in Berlin at an advertising agency specializing in celebrity testimonial campaigns. In 2010 he moved to Los Angeles, California where he spent his nights at UCLA taking music and entertainment business classes and spent his days at ICM, one of Hollywood's major talent agencies, where he was determined to learn the culture and foundations of the industry.
I was working for an agency that booked celebrity talents as testimonials for brand advertising campaigns. I had a very cool boss that trusted me at an early stage of my career and always brought me on set so I quickly got involved into the entire production process, from negotiations to contracts, as well as post production and buy out clearings. Around 2010 I decided that I had to make the next step. Right after High School I spent all my money on traveling the world. When I first visited LA, I knew I will end up there some day. I thought : Now is the time, I have to move to LA and give it a shot.
By the way, until today my old boss is still my mentor and my good friend. I believe it is very important to have a mentor that you can trust and learn from. Even when you are unsatisfied, are full of energy, think you deserve more respect, more salary or whatever, hold tight and keep up the good work. We all have to start from the bottom. If you have some “cum laude” degree from a private school that does not necessarily open the doors in production for you. Being a hard worker, reliable and emotionally intelligent is far more important than any degree in the world of entertainment business.
I actually took some evening classes at UCLA in Entertainment & Music Business when I first moved to LA. Right after I started with my classes, I knew I had to get into the agency business because hands on experience is always key to success rather than sitting in a classroom and listen to theories. Obviously I had some contacts already but soon I figured that it didn’t help me much because majority of LA industry people offer their help quickly but then turn out to be not be reachable when you need their help. Obviously I was still young and not a big player , so I realized it was all on me getting an assistant position.
I started cold-calling the major Talent Agencies William Morris, CAA, ICM, UTA etc and finally landed a part-time assistant position at the Music&Concert Department at ICM, where I helped out with concert planning and touring for acts such as Drake, J Cole but also comedians like Chris Rock, Katt Williams and Mike Epps.
If you remember the show “Entourage” that reflects the Hollywood business behind closed doors pretty well, you might remember the agent ‘Ari Gold’. The Agent I worked for at ICM was exactly like Ari Gold. Very impulsive, lots of screaming, yelling and throwing contracts around the office when things didn’t turn out the way he wanted to. One day he had a very important red carpet premiere and I had to pick up his tuxedo from the downstairs dry cleaner. He put it on but had to sign a few contracts before he rushed out like always. He asked me to hand him a pen, I grabbed one and the moment I gave it to him I realized that it was broken and the tint was leaking. I thought “oh no”. I decided to not say anything as it was already too late. He already touched his white button-up shirt with his hand after signing and there were was blue tint all over his 5000 USD tuxedo. I didn’t say anything and nobody else dared to say anything because we knew this could have caused the earthquake LA was waiting for. I never found out what happened at the premiere and if he had to go home and change, but good thing he didn’t realize it was because of the broken pen I gave him.
I moved to LA in 2010 so it has been solid 8 years now. I am glad I made this move because it helped me a lot to grow as a person in general but also business wise. America and especially LA teaches you well how to do business, how to tackle problems, how to never give up. Nothing is impossible, be confident and deal with the situation you are facing. I love German standards, but I feel like entrepeneurs don’t get enough support in Germany. Many Germans like to see others fail so they are confident in whatever they do. In America it’s the other way around. If you fail, people encourage you to get your feet on the ground and try it again.
Do you believe a start up like Uber could have ever evolved in Europe? I don’t think so. Everybody would have stated that ‘its impossible to create an app, which lets private drivers with their own cars make extra money but also help to make mobility more easy’. Uber did not listen to all lawyers and negativity, decided to move on and finally succeeded.
Don’t underestimate the visa process. Make sure you have some $ saved up in your bank account before you decide to move. LA looks very cool with unlimited sunshine, palm trees and beaches. At first everybody is nice and opportunities seem to be endless, but be aware that competition is big and it’s a long way and hard work to get both feet on the ground. If you need any advice you can hit me up on my insta. I am always happy to help and give advice!
I just wrapped a music video shoot in London last week. I am currently in Berlin preparing a fashion production for next week before I head back to LA to work on some upcoming productions. In 5 years from now I hope I am still healthy , including all my friends and family. Maybe even have my own family. Who knows what the future will bring. But I am optimistic. Thanks for the interview. T