ESMT students take a day off at the pier at Santa Monica, California. (Photo: Nik Daniels)

EMST students finish their summer L.A. experience for 2019

Nineteen EMST students lived and worked Los Angeles this summer for the Grady LA Field Study and Internship Program. During June and July, they have been in the thick of the media-entertainment industry and cultural life of Los Angeles.

The students worked full time at media-entertainment company internships as part of the Grady LA program. The internship experience has been framed by an accompanying course on media industries taught by EMST Assistant Professor Anne Gilbert, and a host of often exclusive events and excursions.

Presentations by highly placed industry guests have enriched their class. These included:

  • David Martin-Porras, who talked about his work as director, writer and producer in a number of independent film projects after screening in class his newest soon-to-be-released feature “The Chain.”
  • Felicia D. Henderson and Laura Jean Leal (currently enrolled in the Grady MFA screenwriting program) about working in television as writers and producers.
  • Maria Ferrari, who spent 10 years as a writer and producer for “The Big Bang Theory,” and who currently writes for “Young Sheldon,” on the challenges of comedy writing for television.
  • Grainne Godfree, Sarah Nerboso, and Amelia Sims about writing for television, and the differences between writing for live-action shows vs. animated features.
  • EMST graduate Mark Warshaw (ABJ ’97), who talked about his years in Hollywood as a storyteller, and running transmedia expansion projects for major network dramas.
Students hear from United Talent Agency Co-President and Grady College alumnus David Kramer (ABJ ’90) about his career, and ask questions about the agency business. (Photo: Jay Hamilton)

Off-site excursions have also enriched students’ experience. In addition to touring the Warner Bros. and Fox studios, students attended a tour of the Writers Guild of America script library; and a table read and ADR session for an episode of The Simpsons thanks to Chris Edgerly (ABJ ’91), voice actor for The Simpsons.

Exclusive visits included meetings with United Talent Agency co-president David Kramer (ABJ ’90) along with recent grad/UTA assistant Kimmy Baker (AB ’18); a VIP tour of the Disney Studios lot, which included a visit to Walt Disney’s actual office (arranged by UGA graduate Mitch Powers, who currently serves as Director of Fan Engagement at Disney); and an exclusive tour of Hulu arranged and hosted by Grady LA alum and current EMST student Kelsey Cunningham.

Students also experienced the broader cultural life of L.A., such as gaining an evening’s admission to The Laugh Factory; attending the Abbot Kinney Friday festival, which hosts L.A.’s premiere A-list food-truck event that serves fresh innovative, new cuisine along with old favorites; viewing the just-released movie “Spider-Man: Far from Home” in 4DX, a presentation that includes environmental effects such as seat motion, wind, rain, fog, lights, and scents along with the standard video and audio; and experiencing the Los Angeles Farmer’s Market.

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 an Entertainment and Media Studies course to earn 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.

  • EMST alumnus and Hollywood producer Mark Warshaw with Grady LA students.

Date: July 17, 2019
Author:  Jay Hamilton,  hamilton@uga.edu