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Chase Mitchell, Morgan Parsons, Jacob McCarty, and Sean Mullis

Sights set on Hollywood: IUPUI student thrives in Semester in L.A. program

November 13, 2019

In summer 2019, four media arts and science students from the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI took part in the Semester in LA program, aka Hoosiers in Hollywood, led by the Media School at IU Bloomington. Pictured above, left to right, Chase Mathews interned at Foundation Films and DNA, Morgan Parsons at Pashionistas Project, Jacob McCarty at Cantina Creative and Gunpowder and Sky, and Sean Mullis at IKON Media. Each of them also shared their experience on our Instagram highlight @soicindy.

(Originally published in JagNews, Nov 13, 2019, written by Mary Olk)

(Video provided by Chase Mitchell)

Hollywood used to feel intangible for Chase Mitchell.

And now he doesn’t have to wonder what it would be like to live and work there. He knows.

He took the exciting, scary leap and applied for the Semester in L.A. program to complete his final semester at IUPUI.

“Anyone considering a career in the media field should apply for this program,” said Mitchell, who is studying media arts and science in the School of Informatics and Computing. “It’s been a huge, unparalleled and invaluable investment in myself and my future that I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else.”

Mitchell didn’t know anyone in Los Angeles and didn’t know what would happen when he arrived, but he’s become comfortable with being uncomfortable, which has literally paid off for him. California is a hub for all the skills in his toolbox — animation, graphic design and video production — and he’s putting those skills to work each day.

He’s involved with two different internships this semester. One is at Foundation Films as a graphic designer, and the second is marketing and content creation for an agency called DNA. At the film studio, he reads scripts that are in development and translates them into a variety of posters that are then further developed into the final art for each film production. At DNA, he’s become a creative resource for the company and its clients, creating graphics, animations and videos for a variety of campaigns.

“I’ve developed content for a former NFL player and a nanotechnology company, among other clients, which has given me great experience and content for my portfolio,” Mitchell said. “There are endless opportunities here and the means to do things I don’t think I could do in the Midwest.”

Chase Mitchell is completing two internships while he takes hands-on media classes through the Semester in L.A. program.

Mitchell’s internships keep him busy, but he’s also in classes as part of the program. He works 40 hours a week and takes classes in the evening. The classes are more hands-on and about getting him connected to the industry. He has worked with classmates to create and develop marketing campaigns for nonprofit organizations, heard from guest speakers throughout the media and film industries, and learned about the evolution of media technology.

“We recently took a tour through Warner Bros. Studios, where I got to see various sets from popular shows and films and original costumes and props,” Mitchell said. “Being around the development of movies from ideation to production is one of the coolest opportunities I could imagine being a part of.”

Insider knowledge, working on projects he’s only dreamed of doing, and growing personally and professionally are all perks of participating in this program. Mitchell’s biggest takeaway has been just how much he’s learned about marketing.
“It’s been a huge, unparalleled and invaluable investment in myself and my future that I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else.”

“As a professional creative, I’m not only creating content for my various jobs but am also marketing myself and my skills,” he said. “I’ve learned there are formulas to market successfully, and I’ve been able to improve content at work as well as work on creating a personal brand for myself.”

Mitchell graduates from IUPUI this December with his bachelor’s degree, and he hopes that one of his internships will lead to a full-time position. He’s enjoyed living in L.A. — going to shows, skating, scoping out different galleries and enjoying the outdoors.

“Life in Hollywood goes on the same here as it does anywhere else,” he said. “The difference is that the weather is beautiful every day, and you might randomly see a celebrity while you’re out and about.”

If he has any advice for other media students considering an opportunity like this one, he said, it’s to not limit yourself, take risks, be confident and grow.

Media Contact

Joanne Lovrinic