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2024 BizBash 40 Under 40: Weston Garret Gonzalez

Weston Garret Gonzalez, 34, is owner and creative director of westhaus.

Bb40u40 2024 Recipient Graphic1200x628 Garret Gonzalez Weston

Weston Garret Gonzalez, 34, is owner and creative director of westhaus. He's based in Los Angeles. A quote from his nomination: "He is an ambitious event producer who spent over a decade working in-house at studios, networks, and streamers, rising to event executive positions at Sony Pictures Television, Starz, and Apple TV+—all before the age of 30. At 30, he left the corporate side of entertainment events and launched his boutique event production company, westhaus, in January 2020."

My career journey: "I started my career straight out of college working at Sony Pictures Television as an event coordinator. Higher-ups always recognized my desire and capabilities to operate more as an in-house event producer and gave me the freedom to produce internally to save on costs versus hiring agencies. It was not unusual for them to find me designing graphics and renderings or building and painting decor elements—tasks outside the job description that no colleagues would ever attempt.  

Over that first decade of my career, I moved around to different networks and streamers. I climbed the corporate ladder and learned the ins and outs of the film and television industry by soaking up every opportunity I had to gain insightful knowledge on everything from development and distribution to publicity and marketing. It was this knowledge of the film and television industry combined with my expertise in event production, design, and management that allowed me to launch westhaus and enter a field full of veteran companies."

Gonzalez and his agency produced the premiere event for Starz's Dangerous Liaisons with an 18th century ball at Cipriani Wall Street in NYC.Gonzalez and his agency produced the premiere event for Starz's Dangerous Liaisons with an 18th century ball at Cipriani Wall Street in NYC.Photo: Anders Krusberg

What inspires me: "I find open collaboration to be the most inspiring part of the job and love finding new partners to collaborate with who are not as widely known within the industry. When I started producing events fresh out of UCLA at my first job, I was given a list of vendors to use and found these companies were churning out the same things for other clients. I started finding my own vendors for things like fabrication, floral design, lighting, and catering who weren't favored by the industry veterans or even particularly known in the world of film and television events.

I developed relationships and worked alongside these vendors to create our own path, and many of those companies I started working with in the early 2010s are now uber-successful staples within the film and television event industry. As my business grows and my roster of vendors gets longer, I look forward to collaborating with creatives and finding new partners to uplift and help make them the next wave of industry favorites."

My greatest career accomplishment: "Launching westhaus and establishing the business as a creative, trustworthy, and reliable company is my greatest career accomplishment. Firstly, the film and television event industry is a tough industry to break into, and most of the veteran companies are run by people 20 or 30 years my senior who have deep-rooted connections with key executives who keep them in and others out. I have felt the pressure and sensed the veteran companies don't like new organizations led by young, fresh minds like mine taking away their work.

Secondly, I started westhaus in January 2020 and had to face a global pandemic within my company's first quarter and most recently had to figure out how to navigate through the longest and arguably worst strike the industry has ever seen. Facing these challenges head-on, in addition to managing the general complexities of running a business, are accomplishments I'm fiercely proud of, and the continued success of westhaus is the biggest feather in my cap."

'Working at such an iconic and beloved venue was complicated, exhilarating, and beyond rewarding,' Gonzalez says of producing a premiere event at The Met in New York."Working at such an iconic and beloved venue was complicated, exhilarating, and beyond rewarding," Gonzalez says of producing a premiere event at The Met in New York.Photo: Anders Krusberg

My most memorable event: "Without a doubt, my most memorable event to date was getting the chance to produce the premiere of the Starz original series Gaslit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Producing the premiere event for a series starring acting legends Julia Roberts and Sean Penn about the Watergate scandal meant finding a venue that felt both grand and historic. After weeks of research and a few days of scouting, we knew The Met was our top choice.

Working at such an iconic and beloved venue was complicated, exhilarating, and beyond rewarding. The entire event from the carpet ahead of the screening to the reception following was an immersive experience that highlighted the story and transported guests back to the '70s. I don't know how many of my competitors could say that they single-handedly led the production of a premiere at The Met, but I'm pretty sure there are barely a handful, and I know none of them were doing this in their early 30s."

The advice I would give my younger self: "The most important piece of advice I would give myself starting out in this industry is to never dull your shine and to always be unapologetically authentic. At the end of the day, event design is subjective, and learning the logistical side of how to functionally produce an event takes time and experience, so early on I think it's more important to take risks; ideate new, invigorating concepts; and not be afraid to give your opinion."


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