Today was a busy day in academics for our hardworking students, especially as they begin to piece together their final projects. For example, our seventh floor lounge, which serves as the filmmakers’ classroom during the day, was transformed into a hospital set for a scene in a student-produced short film. Several major and minor classes also took advantage of Los Angeles’ unique resources to plan exciting field trips. This afternoon, the movie and TV business minors visited Lionsgate Studios for a personal meeting with two Lionsgate executives, who discussed their roles at the company and offered valuable advice based on their personal experiences of working in the film industry.
Meanwhile, communications minors visited the offices of Dublab, an LA-based nonprofit online radio station. They got to look in on the business side of producing radio content, as well as checking out a live recording happening in their studios this afternoon.
In the evening, we split our students into smaller groups to visit two of Los Angeles’ most exciting dessert spots: Sweet Rose, a creamery in Santa Monica, and Mateo’s, an ice cream and paleta specialty store in Culver City.
We can’t believe we’re already halfway through our third week together, and it’s even more unbelievable to think of how much both work and play we still have in store.
It was a busy day at Oxbridge at UCLA, with so many majors and minors embarking on exciting field trips this afternoon. Thanks to our amazing faculty, students have many opportunities to extend their learning beyond the classroom.
The movie business minor, for example, went to the rooftop lounge of a ritzy Beverly Hills hotel to practice pitching their script ideas – it wasn’t too unlike what most writers lucky enough to be pitching can hope to experience!
Meanwhile, psychology students took in the Museum of Tolerance in Century City. The moving exhibits and commentary helped give more dimension to their classroom discussions.
Finally, our acting students had the incredible opportunity to see a live taping of an episode of the hit Disney Channel series “Raven’s Home”! They waited in line outside the studio on Sunset Boulevard until it was time for the audience to be seated, and were happily surprised to learn that it was one of the show’s star’s birthdays! Everyone left with an autographed memento of the day. We’re so excited that our students got to see professional sitcom actors in, well, action!
But we weren’t done yet! After their classes, students met in our lounge to welcome guest speaker Joe Twist, a successful composer with experience scoring films. They loved hearing his unique perspective as an industry professional with a job that holds so much interest for the budding musicians and filmmakers in our program.
Finally, we ended the night with a high-energy karaoke and dance party in our office! So many students ventured out to sing favorites old and new, from The Eagles’ “Hotel California” to Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA”! We interspersed the music with dance breaks to songs like Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” and They Might Be Giants’ “Istanbul, not Constantinople”. It was exhausting, but in the most fun way imaginable. We were so excited to see our students sharing their talents and enthusiasm!
We had our first birthday of the program today! We celebrated Rachel’s birthday with a special cupcake and the loudest Happy Birthday you’ve ever heard. It was an awesome moment for her and we’re so grateful to have such caring students with us at UCLA this summer.
We were also fortunate enough to have guest speaker Jeff Jensen back at Oxbridge for another session. An accomplished director, athlete, and professional stuntman, Mr. Jensen spoke in detail about his own Hollywood story, as well as his path from professional stuntman to stunt coordinator, screenwriter, and director. He offered valuable insight to and advice about the world of film and television, something our film students were especially eager to hear. Our students asked about his most daring and dangerous stunts, and Mr. Jensen shared his favorite stories from his long and impressive career. He even showed us his highlights reel!
Today was definitely a major celebration of joy and fun. It feels good to be a part of the Oxbridge family!
In the morning, the acting, filmmaking, and screenwriting courses took a tour of Paramount Studios to see the film industry in action. Then, in the afternoon, our students got to see the glamor of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, home of the Dolby Theater and other famous LA landmarks. With over 2,600 stars with the names of artists, musicians, filmmakers, and famous folk of the world lining the streets, this is one of the most popular spots in all of Los Angeles. The biggest stars are all featured on this walk, and boy, did our students love taking pictures with them!
The students witnessed a piece of history today, a cultural landmark that was created almost 65 years ago. Throw in some delicious Los Angeles food and we think it’s safe to say that this was an awesome day!
The fun doesn’t stop here though! With a little less than three weeks left in this summer at Oxbridge, we still have tons of activities planned, including Universal Studios, a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, Venice Beach, and the Griffith Observatory. Stay tuned!
That’s right! We went to Abbot Kinney First Fridays, which has been coined as the “coolest block in America”. Abbot Kinney Boulevard was transformed into a street fair on this hot and windy Friday night. There were over 30 food trucks, live music, and local vendors selling one-of-a-kind products. Our kids wandered through the busy street, eating fresh food and buying unique clothes, jewelry, and other LA-based items.
As for classes, students stayed busy with their majors and minors. Filmmaking major went to the Getty Center to examine depth of field in famous works of art. The Communications and Marketing minor visited 72andSunny, an advertising agency in Playa Vista. The psychology courses welcomed guest speaker, Morgan Bartholomew, who works in the UCLA labs. Our professors are working hard to give each student the attention that they deserve, and to keep all of them engaged. Learning truly never gets old!