CSUN Entertainment Industry Institute Symposium Helps Aspiring Filmmakers Shoot for the Stars

  • Left to right: Professor Nate Thomas, Micheal Grillo and Donald Petrie speak to an audience.

    The "Pitch to Screen: Production Process Panel" with CSUN alumni Michael Grillo and Donald Petrie, moderated by Professor Nate Thomas. Photo taken by Lee Choo.

  • CSUN students listening to the panel discussion.

    CSUN students eager to learn more about the entertainment industry. Photo taken by Lee Choo.

  • CSUN alum Micheal Grillo talking to students.

    CSUN alumnus Micheal Grillo giving advice to students. Photo taken by Lee Choo.

  • Donald Petrie, CSUN alumnus and film director, talking to student audience.

    Donald Petrie, CSUN alumnus and film director, held a Film Directing Workshop for students. Photo taken by Lee Choo.

  • The "The Creative Process of Producing VR/AR Entertainment Content" panel. Photo taken by Lee Choo.

The entertainment industry is in California State University, Northridge’s own backyard — CSUN’s location is one of the university’s greatest assets for aspiring filmmakers, screenwriters, actors and directors. This month, CSUN’s top-rated Department of Cinema and Television Arts (CTVA) brought industry professionals to campus for the Entertainment Industry Institute symposium.

The department hosted a lineup of speakers and workshops on Saturday, Sept. 22. Several industry leaders, many of whom are CSUN alumni, appeared at Manzanita Hall for a day full of valuable industry insights, skills-based training, entertaining anecdotes and essential advice. CTVA students learned firsthand from media executives how to successfully enter and advance in the competitive field of entertainment.

The symposium is a bi-annual event held for over a decade at corporate venues in Los Angeles such as the Kodak Theater, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox and CBS Studio Center. This is the first year the event was hosted at CSUN, making the resources more readily available to students.

“[The event] really provided students with an opportunity to meet industry professionals with a huge career, learn how they got there and where they think the future is heading,” said Thelma Vickroy, CTVA department chair. “The value to the students and even the faculty is continual learning and development. You have to do that as a professional and as a student to really get out there and to see what’s happening in the industry.”

In the “Pitch to Screen: Production Process Panel,” guest speakers included Matadors Michael Grillo, executive producer for Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Donald Petrie, a producer of films including Miss Congeniality and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days; and Michelle Vicary, executive vice president of programming and network publicity for Crown Media Family Networks. The panel in CSUN’s Elaine and Alan Armer Screening Room was moderated by Nate Thomas, professor and film production option head for CTVA.

“One of Dean Dan Hosken’s priorities for the Mike Curb College is deepening our engagement with the entertainment industry,” said Michael Ryan, senior director of development for CSUN’s Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication. “We’ve been supporting the CTVA department’s efforts and will continue to do so to aid in the growth of this program.”

For more information about CSUN’s Entertainment Industry Institute, visit: https://www.csun.edu/mike-curb-arts-media-communication/cinema-television-arts

 

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