March 1, 2024

Alumni Profile: Adam Edery, Class of 2015

Alumni Profile: Adam Edery, Class of 2015

The Berkley School District has an alumni series that gets published in the Berkley Beat. As alumni stories are shared with the District, the communications team interviews the alumni asking them the same five questions. The questions allow our alumni to tell their stories and highlight how their time at BHS influenced their life’s journey. This week’s Alumni Profile is about film producer Adam Edery, class of 2015.


Adam Edery graduated from Berkley High School in 2015. He received his degree from Kalamazoo College in 2019 with a major in Anthropology and Sociology and dual minor in Spanish and Political Science.

Five questions for alumni:

What is your story and what are you doing now? Describe your journey to get there.

After college, I moved to Madison, Wisconsin, to be a consultant for a healthcare software company. I worked there for nearly two years, but discovered that the corporate/consulting world was not for me.

I decided to call fellow BHS alumni Sam Silverstein who ran a production company in LA called Exit 14 with BHS alum Jeremy Paczos. Sam shared advice and guidance with me. He also said they had an opening at their company to bring on an assistant part-time. In May 2021, I moved to LA to work for Sam and Jeremy. For two years I worked for Exit 14. During that time, we were given a feature film script to review, Grassland, and after reading and loving the story, we decided to try and make the film. We took the script to a variety of places and brought on another producer to help with fundraising. Last summer, we went to New Jersey to make the movie. I was a producer on the film, and we hired the cast and crew and made the movie. The film is ready, has been submitted to film festivals and should be released to the public sometime in 2024. Since the movie was made independently, we are waiting for a distributor to purchase the movie after it debuts at a festival, so it can be released to theaters.

Since making Grassland, I’m back in LA and started my own production company, Ageless Pictures. I wrote my own script about the ride-share driver who killed six people in Kalamazoo while I was in college there. I am working on getting the movie produced by refining the script, working on fundraising, hiring the necessary people to get the project up and running and getting actors on board.

I was always set on going into activism and social justice. I found myself in the film industry, but a lot of stories were not piquing my interest. The screenplay for Grassland about marajuana incarceration, policing, etc.. helped me realize that filmmaking and storytelling can accomplish the goals of social justice - the types of things that I studied in school.

What did you learn at BHS that prepared you for "real life?"

At Berkley, what was so great was, it wasn’t just ‘oh, you’re learning for the sake of learning,’ and it also wasn’t just ‘high school showed me that learning can be fun.’ Berkley teaches you how to learn and how to engage with the world.

A lot of classes at Berkley were great. A lot of my classes taught me how to think and engage with the world. Without me really knowing it, the classes laid the groundwork for being able to have success in the film industry, but also just being able to have the confidence to quit my job. When I was in Wisconsin and unhappy I realized, ‘wait, life isn’t just supposed to be boring and monotonous.’ If I remember anything from high school and college it’s that engaging with the world in a meaningful way is important and is a reason why you wake up in the morning.

Did any one person or activity inspire you throughout your time in Berkley to become who you are?

Mr. Cierpial was one of the most life changing teachers. I took a class senior year called Project Advance with Mr. Cierpial. It was key for me. It unlocked a lot of my writing skills and a lot of my creativity and really challenged me. It laid the groundwork for me to have success in the real world.

If you had to share one piece of advice to students today, what would it be?

Try a lot of stuff and fail a lot and learn from it. It’s so easy to think that everything is super important and the end of the world. I remember wrestling with a lot of those feelings at BHS, and even still today. You’re going to learn more from trying and failing than you will with trying and succeeding. Being in an industry like film, where 99% of what you do is failure and you have to chase the 1% of success, the earlier you can internalize that the better.

Describe your time at BHS in one sentence.

My time at Berkley was the most important growth and development of my life, probably, in addition to college, and was filled with lots of learning.