Ohio University students studying in LA as part of the Semester-in-LA program, along with Director Roger Cooper, back row second from right, take a moment for a photo op in front of the Hollywood sign.
Twenty students in the School of Media Arts & Studies at Ohio University have officially started their semester in LA.
All juniors and seniors, the students are taking a full load of classes focused on the business and production aspects of Hollywood. In addition to classes, which often feature guest speakers, many of them alumni, the students are completing internships within the industry.
Ohio University alumnus Kyle Bowser, BSC ’81, founder of Res Ipsa Media in Encino, Calif., has been credited for helping to get the program started. One of his goals for the program is to benefit Scripps Communication students in LA.
“My professional relationships within the industry, and the vast information and insights represented by those practitioners, are perhaps the most precious asset I have to offer,” Bowser has said. “Convening a program in Los Angeles is the most efficient way to expose Scripps students to that incalculable resource.”
During the week, students spend two days in the classroom. Bowser and Media Arts & Studies Associate Professor and Semester-in-LA Director Roger Cooper are co-teaching a course called The Development Process for the Creative Industries, while Cooper also teaches The Business of Hollywood. Both courses often feature guest speakers, many of them alumni who are now professionals in the production business. The Semester-in-LA students are also enrolled in Production Methods, which primarily involves excursions to productions, production companies and technology suppliers for both television and film. Through Production Methods, students will produce short films in LA that will be screened at the end of the semester. The students, who are earning Ohio University credit through the program, spend the other weekdays working at internships throughout the city.
OHIO students Mitchell Maticia and Lindsay Hatcher say the experience is going well.
“Everyone out here is motivated, and it’s a really fast-paced environment,” Matacia said. “The people all seem to be working towards their dreams. I was ready to have this experience and then return to Athens, but now I'm looking into coming back next summer and possibly living here.”
Matacia is interning for Partizan, a company that produces commercials, short films and music videos.
The students are all staying together in an extended stay housing unit called the Oakland apartment complex. Their housing is covered by the $4,450 program fee, which also covers classroom fees in LA.
“We have gotten to do some really cool stuff so far,” said OHIO student Lindsay Hatcher. “We have gone to two show tapings, including ‘The Odd Couple,’ a new show starring Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon.”
Hatcher is interning at McCarthy / Abellera Casting and hopes to one day become a casting director. During the first four weeks, she has also enjoyed visiting Dolby Theatre and touring The Jim Henson Company with the other School of Media & Arts Studies students. Students have also visited Warner Brothers and Panavision and become members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, with which a speaker series is planned.
Cooper, who said this is only the second LA college credit program run by a public university or college, says that while the semester is young, the program is showing great promise.
“We are excited to be settled in and getting into a routine,” Cooper said. “While we are still investigating the future of the program, I’m hoping it becomes an annual or even twice-a-year offering from the School of Media Arts & Studies.”
On October 23 and 24, the students and the program will be a focal point of the Dean’s Advisory Council meeting to be conducted in LA. Those wishing to follow the experience on Twitter should search using the Twitter hashtag #OHIOinLA. For more information on the School of Media & Arts Studies at Ohio University, please visit mediaschool.ohio.edu.
Original article by Ellis Wallinger