Madonna University Broadcast & Cinema Art Students Get Hollywood Experience

group of bca students and faculty smile for the camera

LIVONIA, MICH. – During spring break, nine Madonna University broadcast and cinema arts students and two faculty members traveled to Hollywood for the On Location Team Experience class. The class immerses students in the movie-making industry with tours, conversations with industry professionals, and sight-seeing. 

This year, the students were fortunate to meet filmmaker Ben Proudfoot, founder and CEO of Breakwater Studios. After a tour of the production studios by 2017 Madonna alumna Nancy Body, who is Proudfoot's executive assistant, the students enjoyed a discussion with the filmmaker. Proudfoot listened to the students' goals and shared his insight about the industry. He talked about the short documentary genre and why it is all about the story. As an added treat, when they students got back to Michigan they had an Oscar viewing party together to see Proudfoot and co-director Kris Bowers win an Oscar for their short documentary, The Last Repair Shop.   

Other guests included three-time, Oscar-winning make-up artist Ve Neill who regaled the students with stories of doing make-up for stars like Johnny Depp and Robin Williams for Pirates of the Caribbean, Mrs. Doubtfire, Beetlejuice, and Ed Wood. Chris Mundy, executive producer and show runner of Ozarks and Green Lantern also joined the conversations. Mundy has also written for Criminal Minds and Bloodline and discussed what it's like being part of a writing team. Actress Mia Serafino (Beef and iCarly) and Eileen Dietz (The Exorcist and General Hospital) shared interesting set experiences.

Sean Cunningham, co-creator and director of Friday the 13th talked about his long history in the film industry. Agent Chris Rowe spoke about the industry and client relationships. A visit to Orbital Studios gave students a taste of virtual production. 

Other activities included a back-lot tour of Warner Brother Pictures, a visit to a bookstore that specialized in Hollywood scripts, and a stroll down the Walk of Fame. 

Student Samantha Rousseau described the experience, "Every single guest this year inspired me in some way or another and they had so many cool things to say. Getting to ask them each questions helped me get to learn more things in the world of film. This trip made me think so much about my future but in such an exciting way. The future is scary and so hard to predict, but having people who have gone through different routes and journeys helps bring me more confidence."