Applications open to spend fall 2013 semester with Hollywood stars

February 19, 2013

Pictured L to R: Grace Pisula, Sara Wehrheim, Elise Andert

By Crystal Vining '13

Department of Communication majors Elise Andert (Television Arts), Sara Wehrheim (Public Relations) and Department of Interactive Media major Grace Pisula spent the 2012 fall semester in Los Angeles, California as part of Bradley University's Hollywood Semester academic program.

Andert, Pisula and Wehrheim had all recently changed their majors and needed some exposure to their new fields of study. The trio of seniors jumped at the opportunity to spend the semester among Hollywood's elite. Staying in the backyard of Warner Brothers Studios, their journey began with scheduled classes and internships.

Andert was able to have an internship with The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She had a rotating schedule at the show, which allowed her to work in different departments. Andert enjoyed working in the human-interest department, where she would find stories about inspirational people. She also would answer last minute questions before each show and rally the audience members.

"I loved working with Ellen because I felt I was part of a family. Everyone there was so supportive," Andert said.

Andert's internship also allowed her to work with the pop boy band One Direction, check in audience members and pitch ideas to the Ellen producers.

Wehrheim dove into an internship with Dick Clark Productions. She would create sizzle reels or reels that promote upcoming events or interviews for an audience. She also would prep the green screen room, where photos or videos can be placed in the background of a video shot.

"I was put into the world of entertainment and it was very thrilling to do it with Dick Clark Productions," she said.

In addition, Wehrheim worked on both the American Music Awards and New Years Rockin' Eve. She was in charge of bringing the talent from one end of the red carpet to the other through a series of interviews at the American Music Awards, while working with the producers for New Years Rockin' Eve.

Pisula interned with Paramount Studios for their In-Theatre Marketing Department where she utilized graphic design skills to create various assets in print and web media for each of Paramount's new film releases. 

"I learned a great deal about what it takes to market a film. It is precisely the skill I need to push my current project through post-production. I'm so pleased with my experience at Paramount and in LA overall and I plan on returning after graduation." 

During her time in LA she shot a compilation of breathtaking footage from Los Angeles and her trip to San Francisco along the Pacific Coast Highway. 

Andert, Pisula and Wehrheim enjoyed their time in Los Angeles so much that they all wish to return after graduation in May. All three encouraged more students to do a semester in Los Angeles and added how everyone they worked with wanted to see them succeed.

Andert, Pisula and Wehrheim urged students not to be afraid to step out of their comfort zones to meet new friends and have the experience of a lifetime.

Applications for the fall 2013, spring 2014 and summer 2014 Bradley University Hollywood Semester program can be found at http://slane.bradley.edu/hollywood-semester or contact B. J. Lawrence, 309-677-2368, bjl@fsmail.bradley.edu