Four SFTV students and recent alums joined a Fullscreen Media think tank this summer to help generate and develop ideas for the Silicon Beach company's streaming video-on-demand platform.
"It's like our own mini research team in a way," Allie James, Fullscreen's director of unscripted development, said of the group that meets two full days per month in the company's Playa Vista office, situated just a short walk from the future LMU Playa Vista Campus in the Brickyard.
Think tank participants, who are paid for their work, are typically given an agenda with ideas to explore — along with access to the Fullscreen app, the internet and a whiteboard. They read scripts, loglines and pitches, view demo clips, and brainstorm show ideas.
So far, James said, members of the group have responded well to projects the company has in development – a positive sign, considering that their ages fall within Fullscreen's core demographic of 18- to 25-year-olds.
But the relationship is mutually beneficial; while Fullscreen is gaining important insights from this team of millennials, the students and recent LMU alums are in direct contact with working professionals who can provide valuable advice about their career paths.
"One of Fullscreen's missions is to put the audience first, and these students are the audience," James said. "Now they're directly involved in creating content for their peers."
Kendall Milton '16, a screenwriting major, said that as a young writer, it's hard to find positions that can guide her toward the long-term goal of selling a TV series or becoming a staff writer. "This opportunity is amazing because it's the closest thing I've found to a writer's room for young minds. Whether it's pitching, reading scripts and providing feedback, or coming up with our own scripted and unscripted show ideas, we do it all."
Parisa Loftis '17, who majored in theatre arts, said the experience is allowing her to build a foundation. "My goals in the future are to be in the film industry as a leader promoting female diversity," she said. "As a theatre major, it has been great to see the behind-the-scenes of creating media."
Matt Mills, assistant director of career and alumni engagement for SFTV, said he was pleased to see LMU make the connection with a Playa Vista neighbor.
"I think this has been a great opportunity to connect our students in a professional way with the growing number of digital companies in Playa Vista and in entertainment," he said.