Ben Pluimer ’04, Mass Communications graduate, was part of the creative team at Nickelodeon that won a 2021 Emmy for the Outstanding Playoff Coverage category for the network’s alternative coverage of the NFL Wild Card game between the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints in January 2021.
“We tailored a live NFL broadcast for kids … lots of slime and animation, SpongeBob and more,” he said. The production is a prime example of what Pluimer loves about his job — each day is different.
“I love that every show, every commercial, every project is a new challenge,” he said. “I’m 15 years deep into this career and I love the feeling of starting a new show and seeing it on TV. I get to work with the most incredibly talented people every day, people who are the absolute best of the best at what they do.”
He works as a director, producer and showrunner. He has directed and created for the likes of Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Amazon, Funny or Die, ABC and Fox, among many others.
Pluimer credits his time at St. Cloud State with empowering him to make things on his own.
“One of the greatest things about SCSU was having the tools and community to just go out there and do it,” Pluimer said. “A lot has changed since I graduated from SCSU, but even now I find myself tapping back into something I learned back then. I think that spirit is what has helped me have a successful career in Los Angeles.”
Pluimer encouraged current St. Cloud State students interested in a similar career field to move where the work is — such as New York, LA or Atlanta — and start meeting and building their community.
“The most important part about a career like this is relationships,” he said. “People need to know you, trust you and recommend you to others. You have to be someone that people want to work with 12 hours a day.”
Most importantly, Pluimer said, is students understand this career field will require hard work and determination.
“You have to be tenacious, flexible, patient and also impatient. It helps if you’re also the best of the best at what you do, but even that can be learned,” he said. “You have to just go for it, there’s no dipping your toe in the water. You gotta jump in completely.”
Pluimer encouraged any St. Cloud State graduates on their way to LA to reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.