Alumni: Thom Newell
I came to Anderson University wanting to pursue psychology professionally, as a counselor. I took a minor in the Communication Arts department, because I had always loved video/film, and have been making short films for most of my life. I thought it would be a good way to augment my classes with some fun stuff. After one semester, it became clear to me that I was going to pursue filmmaking in a professional context, and I became a major.
I don't think there was a single class in my communication major, or professor for that matter, that did not have a direct influence on my current success in the film and video industries. I was able to work alongside our professionals-in-residence on real projects that bulked up my résumé even before I left school.
Since graduating from AU, I have worked at ad agencies and media firms in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Indianapolis. I focus my time as an editor/assistant editor, but due to my experiences at AU I have been able to hold my own (and make money!) by gripping and shooting commercials, web series, and short films as well!
I am currently working at an ad agency as an assistant editor, assisting on a number of national and international ad campaigns. I just booked a few weeks as a lead editor on a new short film and as an assistant editor on a documentary feature film, both coming out next year. I also finished assistant editing a feature film this year, which was picked up by Lionsgate to be theatrically distributed next year.
Both my psychology and communication majors helped me to prepare myself for business in California. I learned to be a professional, how to present myself authoritatively, and have been able to rock each and every interview I have had since college.
I worked as a student manager at Covenant Productions® for just over a year, and continued on as a practicum student afterwards. Covenant gave me the experience of working with real professionals while I was still a student. I was able to build up my IMDb page while in school (a big deal in the industry), and learned invaluable knowledge regarding production process and equipment. I am stunned that some people I work with currently, who have been in the industry for years, are still catching up with what I learned in school.
At other schools, students don't get to touch equipment until they are upperclassmen. I was already being hired by private companies while I was still in school, because of my experience level. Being able to produce, direct, edit, shoot, and grip pieces that aired locally, nationally, and internationally, all before I graduated made me an incredibly competitive professional before I had even left school.
BA 2009, Anderson University
Communication Arts (audio/video/cinema production) and Psychology major
Editor/assistant editor in Los Angeles