Sixteen students Miami University students hit Los Angeles, CA for three weeks this summer as a part of the university’s first Inside Hollywood program.
Richard Campbell, Department Chair of Media, Journalism and Film, and a co-creator of the program, said it gave those who participated the opportunity to experience first-hand how show business works and how large entertainment corporations are run.
“In a three week period, students got a real taste of what these jobs are like; that would be hard to get in a classroom,” he said. “The students had the opportunity to be immersed in the culture, rather than just hearing about it.”
Campbell said he believes the trip went smoothly and it addressed topics such as TV and film production, editing, casting, script development, administration, finances and marketing.
Campbell explained that Miami alumni who are a part of Hollywood entertainment industries made the trip possible. He contacted various alumni who were able to connect the students to major industries.
“Once we knew we had all this support from our alumni, we knew we could make this trip work,” he said.
David Sholle, an associate professor of media, journalism and film, is a co-creator of the program and spent the full three weeks in L.A. with the students.
“The alumni presented the opportunity for us to receive tours of TV and film production sets such as those for ‘Family Guy’ and MTV’s ‘Awkward,'” he said. “Miami alum Rick Ludwin even guided us through the set of ‘The Conan Show’ at Warner Bros. Studios which included a post-show meeting with Conan himself.”
During their free time, students left their apartment in the Hollywood hills to travel the city, making trips to places such as Santa Monica and The Hollywood Sign, according to Sholle.
“The students were able to get so close to the sign that they could touch it,” he said.
The trip concluded for the students with a week of shadowing one of the various alumni who is a professional in the field of TV or film production, according to Sholle.
Senior Media, Journalism and Film, and Management and Leadership double-major Julie Mullen was among the students in the immersion program and called it a once in a lifetime experience. She would go again in a heartbeat, she said.
Mullen spent her last week in L.A. shadowing in VH1 Studios and Original Productions.
“We were able to get a closer look of daily life in the businesses rather than just a few hours of summaries or tours,” she said.
Campbell, Sholle and Mullen all agreed the trip is an ideal way to make connections and get jobs.
“A couple students even stayed in L.A. after the trip because they received job opportunities,” Campbell said. “Senior Mass Communications major Mercedes Williams, for example, was accepted for a co-op with the Creative Arts Agency (CAA).”
Mullen also stayed behind to learn and work after the trip ended.
“I even continued to intern in L.A. for a month after the trip was over and built great job connections and contacts,” Mullen said. “This is definitely the best way to make connections.”
Inside Hollywood will be offered again this upcoming winter term according to Media, Journalism and Film professor and co-creator of the trip Howard Kleiman. There are no requirements or prerequisites necessary to go, and the trip will hopefully be lengthened to eight weeks, he said.
An informational session will be held in 160 Williams Hall Thursday, September 12 at 7:00pm, Kleiman said. Applications are due Sept. 26 via Miami’s Study Abroad Website.