cpa media arts

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Media Arts students recently traveled to Los Angeles to tour its vast entertainment and production industry. Highlights of the trip included visits to Columbia Pictures, Warner Brothers Entertainment, Universal Studios, and Sony Studios. Students interacted with industry professionals and even visited the live set of the new ABC Family drama Young and Hungry.

Head of the Media Arts program Michael Ellson explained that a reoccurring theme of his curriculum is seeking solutions “in the moment.” His students were able to witness this aspect on a professional level during the live taping of Young and Hungry, as the episode director had to change one of the punch lines of the show because the live audience did not laugh.

“Finally, they cut the line and had the actor simply motion towards the door as he exited the scene, which was a much more effective approach. For students to be able to see this real-time problem solving was a great learning experience,” explained Ellson.

“Witnessing the professionalism and efficiency of the cast and crew was incredible. They can film a 30-minute episode in two hours because of their teamwork and ability to collaborate with the director all the way to the third cameraman,” observed student Graham Marsh.

In addition to touring the major studios, the group also had dinner with well-known screenwriter, producer, and director Randall Wallace. Wallace wrote the screenplay for legendary works such as Braveheart, Pearl Harbor, and We Were Soldiers. He shared his life story, including his beginnings as a struggling songwriter in Nashville up to his current venture on the screenplay for the movie Heaven Is For Real.

“We hung on his every word,” says Graham. “That guy could inspire a brick wall.”

“To have the opportunity to meet someone like Randall Wallace in this industry is extremely rare. His work as a creator and a Christian in the entertainment industry is inspiring. This experience not only broadened my horizons in regards to working as a young media professional, but also gave me insights to the large vibrant city of Los Angeles,” says student Stephen Gage.

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