On Sunday, a group of 12 students accompanied by Professor of English Grant Holly, Associate Professor of English Liz Lyon and Professor of Media and Society Les Friedman will head for the hills – the Hollywood hills, that is. Getting the full star treatment, HWS students will journey to Los Angeles to meet with a wide array of HWS alums working in the entertainment industry. The trip, organized through the Salisbury Center for Career Services and Professional Development, will be highlighted by a one of a kind opportunity to visit the set of one of the nation’s most popular television programs – “Glee,” where co-creator, executive producer and writer Brad Falchuk ’93 will talk about his journey from HWS to the Emmy and Golden Globe winning show.
“The L.A. program is an outstanding example of the dedication of the HWS community and the willingness of alums, parents and friends of the Colleges to help current students,” says Brandi Ferrara, Director of Career Counseling and Professional Development at the Salisbury Center. “Students have the opportunity to network with very accomplished alums within the industry in a truly unique and exciting way.”
The group’s first day in L.A. will begin with a meeting with producer Warren Littlefield ’74, of The Littlefield Company, to discuss what it takes to get a television show off the ground. Littlefield developed shows such as “Cheers,” “The Cosby Show” and “The Golden Girls” before serving as the President of NBC Entertainment from 1991 – 2000. The group will also join Kenneth Halsband ‘88, executive vice president of head of physical and post production for Relativity Media, LLC, who most recently produced “The Fighter,” which earned six Academy Award nominations including Best Picture. Halsband will speak about the process of transforming a script into a film.
The final day of the trip will be focused on “Glee,” where Falchuk, who hosted students last year, will talk about his work on the award-winning, musical television series. In the past, students were able to watch an episode being taped and meet with the cast members. Falchuk also took the time to speak with media and society students earlier this academic year during a Skype chat with Lyon’s Film Analysis I and Film Analysis II classes.
Other panels will ask students to shift their attention from showbiz to rap and rock and roll with a panel on the music industry led by Chris Adelmann ‘78, executive vice president of business development in North America for Live Nation, a live events company and concert promoter; Bob Bernstein, performing artist and former head of corporate communications for Universal Music and Record Producer; and Emily Currie ‘02, talent booker for MTV/VHI/CMT Radio. Alums from the business sector of L.A. are poised to answer questions about developing television shows. The business panel will be led by Fred Gaines ’61, a lawyer and senior partner at Gaines Solomon Law Firm, and Nick Holly, founder of Epiphany Alliance and co-creator, writer and executive producer of “Sons & Daughters,” a television show that aired on ABC in 2005-2006.
Since Hollywood would be nowhere without talented writers producing scripts for films and television shows, there will also be a writer’s discussion panel, offering words of wisdom on how to thrive as a screenwriter in L.A. The panel includes Eren Celeboglu ’99, a screenwriter who has contributed to shows such as “Scrubs”; Nina Colman ’87, a producer and screenwriter for East End Pictures; writer JP Lavin ’95; and Dave Pullano ’84, who has worked on shows such as “Blind Date.”
Over the course of the trip, students will also have the opportunity to meet with Jacqueline Johnson Cox ‘05, an account supervisor for Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide; Margot Foley ’89, producer who most recently worked with CBS; Read Jackson ’66, vice president of Apptico Technologies; George Parker ’83, executive marketing director for Warner Bros.; Eric Salat ’93, a filmmaker with more than ten years of experience who most recently served as a producer on Bloomberg’s new biography series “Game Changers,” and producer and director of the History Channel’s two hour biography “Einstein”; David Undercoffler ’03, online producer, auto critic and staff writer for the Los Angeles Times; and HWS Trustee Bill Whitaker ’73, a correspondent for CBS.
The photo above was taken in 2010 when HWS students visited the set of “GLEE” and met actor Cory Monteith, who plays Finn Hudson on the show.