BCA Students Visit Hollywood for Spring Break

BCA students and faculty situated in a circle at an outside patio area

“Going to Hollywood was a life-changing and unforgettable experience and I am so grateful for the people working in the industry for taking the time to come and speak with us.”
-Anthony Misfud

LIVONIA – Over Spring Break 18 Broadcast and Cinema Arts students from Madonna University’s BCA 3510 class embarked on a week-long field trip to Hollywood, California. They earned credit as part of the “On Location Team Experience” class, which has been a tradition for nearly two decades. Instructors Dan and Sue Boyd developed the class to help students get a better understanding of the film industry and culture in Hollywood.

The trip was packed with activities that provided an inside look into what it’s like to work in the Hollywood film industry.  Highlights included a discussion with Allison Bibicoff, one of only a handful of Intimacy Coordinators in the United States. Bibicoff explained her job, which involves ensuring that actors are comfortable on set and that boundaries are respected. The class also had a private screening of the newly released film Viva Maestro and engaged in a Q&A session with writer/director Ted Braun and producer Nic Paine who explained some of the unique challenges to filming all over the world during war like conditions with limited budgets.  The students also had the opportunity to gain insights from producer Thomas Zambeck on the financial side of filmmaking and attend a “tips for filmmakers” discussion with USC professor and producer John Watson (Robinhood Prince of Thieves, Backdraft.) Another treat was meeting Alex Wood who shared his journey working as an assistant to an A-list producer in New York and moving with a production to Hawaii, then landing in LA.

A highlight of the week had to be meeting with Sean Cunningham, the director and creator of the Friday the 13th franchise on his career in film. Friday the 13th remains one of the most popular horror films in history. The group spent all day Friday at The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures during Oscar Week, where they were able to participate in a panel discussion with the Short Film Live Action nominees’ directors/ producers, including Alfonso Cuaron, the director/writer of Roma, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Gravity.  

In addition to these industry events, the students spent their spare time exploring the sights of Hollywood. They visited famous landmarks such as the Hollywood Sign, Koreatown, The Dolby Theater and the Walk of Fame. Keeping in touch with alumni and industry professionals is also a high priority so after the daily scheduled events Sue and Dan are networking, lining up last minute experts and potential backup guests. “It is always great to reconnect with our alumni and see the wonderful work they are doing,” said Sue.

According to BCA student Filipe Fernandes, “The Hollywood trip was the most fun I’ve had in my life, the entire time we were there, there wasn’t a single moment I wanted to be anywhere else.” Dustin Hunsberger echoed this sentiment, saying “This trip is absolutely necessary if you’re going to be a part of Madonna’s BCA program. Not just because of the insight you gain from those in the industry, but to have a blast in the process!” Ethan Caaldo added, “From the Academy Museum to Koreatown, this trip gave me so much to love and enjoy.”  

Overall, the Madonna BCA students had an incredible experience in Hollywood, gaining valuable industry insights while having fun exploring the city over spring break.