Students are enjoying the 2017 Grady LA program this summer.
Grady in LA students with composer and film scorer Victor Hernández (center).

Grady students making the most of their summer L.A. experience

Halfway through the summer term, students in the Grady LA Field Study and Internship Program have been in the thick of the media-entertainment industry and cultural life of Los Angeles.

Not only have they been working three days a week at their media-entertainment company internships, but their internship experience has been framed by an accompanying course on media industries taught by Kate Fortmueller, an assistant professor in the Entertainment and Media Studies department, and a host of often exclusive events and excursions.

Presentations by highly placed industry guests have enriched their class. Producer and new-media pioneer George Kimmel talked about the influence of digital production and distribution. Director David Martín-Porras talked about the filmmaking process, working on indie productions and living a life as a creative. Television producer and transmedia pioneer (“Smallville”, “Heroes”, “East Los High”) Mark Warshaw (a Grady graduate) discussed the expansion of media narratives into multiplatform, user-driven experiences. Writer/director Kate Barker-Froyland talked about making her new film, “Song One”, and composer Victor Hernández gave students an inside view of film scoring.

Special-effects testing for The Chain, a feature film in production in Los Angeles. Looking on (far left) are Grady LA students Kimmy Baker and Trey Leonard.
Special-effects testing for The Chain, a feature film in production in Los Angeles. Looking on (far left) are Grady LA students Kimmy Baker and Trey Leonard.

In addition to touring the Warner Bros. and Fox studios, students attended special screenings of the film “The Bad Batch” and a Q&A with writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour, and an advance screening of “Spiderman: Homecoming.” They also attended a screening of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” with live orchestra accompaniment outdoors at the Hollywood Bowl.

Off-site excursions have also enriched students’ experience. These include a tour of the Writers Guild of America script library along with access to two on-site professional seminars, and a visit to the set of “The Chain,” a feature film currently in production and co-written by Grady LA instructor Andres Rosende.

At the end of a hike to the top of Mount Lee, with the Hollywood sign, Hollywood and Los Angeles in the background. From left: students John Buckley and Christina Kohler, assistant professor Kate Fortmueller, and instructor Andres Rosende.

Students have also experienced the broader cultural life of L.A. They visited the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (hosted by UGA graduate (’07 and ’17) Caroline Maddox), attended free morning rehearsals of the L.A. Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and visited The Broad, a contemporary art museum in downtown L.A.

In their spare time, they have hiked 4.6 miles on a Saturday morning to the Hollywood sign, plus explored the greater Southern California area during the long July 4th holiday weekend.

Grady LA is a summer internship/study program in Los Angeles. Students spend eight weeks in LA working as interns for companies in the entertainment industry. In addition, they take Entertainment and Media Studies courses for a combined total of six credit hours.

Each week, students hear from guest speakers including studio executives, animators, directors, screenwriters, agents and other key industry players. In addition, students tour various studio and production facilities in Los Angeles to gain an insider’s perspective into the industry.

Date: July 12, 2017
Author:  Jay Hamilton,
Contact:  Jay Hamilton,