Film Studies Minor Takes Student to LA
Would you love to live in the heart of downtown LA? Do you dream of creating the next award-winning film? Have you imagined yourself in front of the Hollywood sign?
You might think you have to wait until you’re out of college to pursue film in Los Angeles, but that is far from the truth.
Amornrat “Bam” Kiatkamonmal is a third-year digital marketing major with a film studies minor at Grace. In spring 2022, she went to LA for the film and media studies program with the Los Angeles Film Studies Center through CCCU Global.
“I have been looking forward to this program since I came here,” Kiatkamonmal said. “It’s one of the main reasons I came to Grace.”
The program allowed Kiatkamonmal to work closely with a small group of students from many different schools, friends she still keeps in contact with. The smaller class size also encouraged instructors to get to know students.
In addition to the instructors of the classes, Kiatkamonmal got to hear from guest speakers in the film industry, like a man who used to work in Disney’s business department before he moved to LA to be a writer. Kiatkamonmal appreciated these stories of ordinary people who made it in the film industry because they helped her to see that being successful in film requires perseverance and grit.
Because the program is a partnership with CCCU, Kiatkamonmal was able to learn about film from a Christian perspective. In one of her classes, Faith and Artistic Development, she learned how Christian filmmakers incorporate their faith into their work. She also got to hear from the founder of the Hollywood Prayer Network.
The final project for the film and media studies program was a short film. Students wrote and pitched films, and groups chose which one they wanted to work on. Kiatkamonmal was the producer and assistant director in her group. She oversaw other roles in her group and made sure they were staying on budget.
The program was also committed to getting students real-world experience outside of the classroom. Each student was required to have an internship three days a week. Kiatkamonmal interned with DDO Artists Agency, where she helped contact child actors and their parents.
Beyond getting film experience, Kiatkamonmal loved exploring the city, going to beaches, and trying new food. As an international student from Thailand, she especially liked visiting Thai Town, where she enjoyed meals that reminded her of home.
“My favorite part was having free time to explore the city and to focus on my passions,” Kiatkamonmal said. “LA is one of the busiest cities in the world, but I actually had time to sit and just write.”
In the future, Kiatkamonmal isn’t sure if she wants to pursue digital marketing or film full-time, but she is excited to see what she is able to accomplish. She learned she would not want to move to LA permanently, and she appreciated the chance to enjoy the city short term.
After looking forward to the film studies minor for so long, Kiatkamonmal knows it was well worth the wait. “It’s a good program, but not a lot of people know about it,” Kiatkamonmal said. “It’s a really cool opportunity to live in the city for a few months and learn what it takes to be in the film industry. I absolutely loved it.”