As we call “wrap” on the 2015-2016 school year, the School of Film and Television congratulates all of our graduating students and also recognizes those students among the class of 2016 who were honored with various academic awards.
SFTV Student Awards (faculty selected awards based on department criteria):
Animation: Hunter Gibson (ANIM)
Recording Arts: Stefan Richter (RECA)
Production Undergraduates: Claire Andreae (PROD)
Production Graduate: Sadia Qutubuddin (PROD)
Ian Connor Cinematography: James “Billy” Yates (PROD)
Undergraduate Screenwriting: Rachel Sassara (SCWR), Elizabeth Tapang (SCWR)
M.F.A. Feature Screenwriting: Evan Romansky (SCWR)
M.F.A. Writing and Producing for TV: Terrence Grant (WPTV)
Academic Awards (based on GPA):
College Scholar: Claire Andreae (PROD )
Program Scholar: Katarina Klask (ANIM), Claire Andreae (PROD), Evan Schaaf (RECA), Kimiko Wotjena (SCWR)
Graduate Award: Frank Cohen (PROD), Evan Romansky (FFSW), Jonathan Talbert (WPTV)
SFTV Grad of the Year: Nicholas Pangilinan (FFSW)
2015 Student Service & Leadership Awards: Jane Chow (PROD), Sierra Hegle (SCWR), Peter Schrupp (RECA, MGMT)
Woody Woodpecker Award (faculty selected annual award for the Best Animator – winner receives a a Woody Woodpecker statuette and a $2500 check from the Walter Lantz Foundation): Micaela McCauley (ANIM)
Student Athlete Awards: Toni Boteva (PROD), Tyler Laboda (ANIM), Grant Lapovich (RECA), Jacquline Verdugo (PROD), Erin Williams (PROD)
As President Bill Clinton told Lions in his 2016 Undergraduate Commencement address, “Set the world on fire – in the right way.” SFTV graduates are well on their way.
Caps off to you, Lions! Well done!
This past month, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles (BBBSLA) honored LMU with the “Innovator Award,” recognizing the University for its commitment to providing full-ride scholarships to high achieving young women in the BBBS mentoring program. The award was presented at the organization’s Accessories for Success Scholarship Luncheon, hosted by fashion icon and actress Amber Valletta at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
Current LMU sophomore and 2014 BBBS scholarship recipient Paola Franco, SFTV alumnus Melissa Blake (TV writer/producer Sleepy Hollow, Ghost Whisperer) and her husband Roberto Orci (writer/producer Transformers, Star Trek, Spider Man 2) presented the award to LMU SFTV Dean Stephen Ujlaki, who accepted on behalf of the University.
“Loyola Marymount University is incredibly proud to be recognized by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles, an organization that has positively impacted countless lives,” said Dean Ujlaki. “We have had the privilege of partnering with them since 2013, and to date, we have provided nine young women in the BBBS Mentoring Program full-ride scholarships to our University. It has been particularly gratifying for me personally to see many of these young women now thriving at LMU as freshmen and sophomores.”
The afternoon also honored Rebecca Campbell, president of ABC Owned Television Station Group & ABC Daytime, with the “Excellence in Mentoring Award.” In her acceptance speech, Campbell said that one of her proudest moments was when her “Little” Victoria Arevalo received a four-year scholarship to LMU in recognition of her hard work and dedication. Victoria will join the LMU class of 2020 this Fall.
In addition to offering young women of color the guidance and support to achieve their higher education aspirations, LMU also continues to be a leader in providing outstanding services for “first-to-go” college students.
Watch the video below to learn more:
To learn more about how you can make a contribution and support LMU’s scholarship programs, please contact Stacy Barnes, firstname.lastname@example.org
LMU writing duo Jeff Phillips, lecturer and alum, and screenwriting major Lauren Conn ’16, have been hired by Ovation to adapt the fantasy series The Chronicles of Ara into an eight-part miniseries. Phillips, an executive producer on DreamWorks Studios’ Stealing Time, met Conn when she was enrolled in his LMU writing course in fall 2014. It was then Conn impressed Phillips with her pilot script based on her mother’s departure from Cold War Russia.
“It turned out to be one of the best scripts I’d ever read,” said Phillips. “We kept in touch, and our shared interest in dark subject matter led to our writing partnership.”
“Jeff became a writer-dad to me,” Conn said. “We started writing smaller gigs together which progressed into this incredible opportunity now.”
Conn, who graduated this past weekend, said of her new gig at Ovation,”It feels just as terrifying as not having a job coming right out of graduation. At the same time it also feels rewarding after years of working odd jobs and interning.”
“There’s a different set of fears and demands we have to cater to once out of film school – subsequent gig or not,” she continued. “You hustle for a project, nab it, complete it, and that’s it. Then you have to hunt again.”
Conn believes that sitting back and letting opportunities come to you is not the way to pursue a career in the industry. “If you want to succeed you have to hunt. Simply, we’re Lions – go on the prowl and kill it.”
The Chronicles of Ara centers on Ara, a muse who inspires all of art and invention, but who is corrupted upon a tragic loss. Using parallel storylines, the characters include some of history’s more renowned “dark authors” — J.R.R. Tolkien, Mary Shelley, Lewis Carroll, H.G. Well, Edgar Allan Poe — as they are inspired to pen their greatest works. Within these authors’ books are discovered clues of an impending apocalypse, when man is betrayed by his greatest creation: his art.
In their annual Education Report, Variety recognized SFTV as one of the top schools on the move: “innovative and cutting-edge programs offer competitive, top-notch training in all areas of film, TV and media.”
They went on, saying, “SFTV hones its image as a “studio conservatory” through classroom environments that emphasize accessibility to faculty and equipment and career-oriented internship and post-grad programs with studios and production entities like Ken Burns’ Florentine Films. Partnerships with the Ghetto Film School, a post-grad Incubator Lab with Film Independent, the Hollywood Masters speaker series and the business-oriented Steed Symposium underscore SFTV’s commitment to provide all students with a wealth of educational and career opportunities.”
Read the full piece here.