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Trip to L.A. opens industry doors for film students

June 5, 2014

Dinner-tableFor LeeAnn Lowery ’15 the chance to spend a week in Los Angeles wasn’t about sight seeing or even visiting major studios.

“The highlight was meeting alumnae who are actually working in the industry—alumnae who were in the exact spot we’re in and are now successful,” Lowery said.
Lowery and fellow film majors took the trip last month as part of the digital filmmaking program at Stephens. The trip began last year and is now offered to all film students once between their sophomore and junior year or junior and senior year.
As part of the week-long experience, students visited a recording studio and watched a film composer compose a cue for “Grimm,” toured Sunset Boulevard, toured “The Simpsons” writing room and attended a lecture at the Writers Guild Foundation Library.
A brunch with Stephens alumnae living in the area capped off the trip and was “perfect,” said Assistant Professor Steph Borklund, who accompanied the students.
“I really feel that it confirmed the possibility to some of the students that it is possible to move to L.A. if they want to,” she said. “Seeing our alumnae not only succeed in L.A. but also giving the students advice and their information was key.”
Alumnae and students exchanged information, and alumnae offered to help students if they choose to move to L.A. after graduation, she said.

“The Hollywood industry seems a lot less daunting and success there seems a lot more within reach because, not only do I have the advice and encouragement of many successful women, but I also have the beginnings of a relationship with people and especially Stephens alumnae who would be willing to help me along the way,” Livvy Runyon ’16 said. “I really enjoyed hearing their personal stories of how they got where they are, and the advice they gave to us about starting out in our careers and our lives was absolutely invaluable to me. Their words were so inspiring and encouraging, I feel like the things I used to see as impossible are actually a lot more attainable than I thought. They encouraged us that with some hard work, perseverance and a lot of passion, nothing is off limits to us.”

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