Feature

Ticket to Hollywood

Crown graduate turns internship into full-time job

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Aaron Woitas, a 2016 Communications graduate of Crown College, landed a role at Blue Giant Entertainment in West Hollywood, California, as a video production assistant. During an internship his last semester, he worked on the high-profile animated film Big Hero 6 and edited some of the bonus material.

aaron-woitas
Aaron Woitas
Having a “can do” attitude, a serious commitment to his craft, and a bit of providence helped him secure a job with a studio that’s closely linked to Disney and in the heart of Los Angeles (LA). According to Andrew Harris, the assistant professor of communications at Crown, Aaron secured the role because he worked hard and proved he can finish tasks.

“Aaron is a go-getter,” Andrew says. “You give him something to do, and he does it well. I imagine whatever they asked him to do in the internship, he did—whether that was pulling some video or getting someone coffee. He does it all with the same energy.”

Behind the Scenes

The internship came about after Andrew suggested to Aaron the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities’ (CCCU) BestSemester program at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center. Aaron says CCCU arranged an interview with Blue Giant; then the company offered him the internship.

“I worked with three other full-time employees,” he says. “They would go film something, come back, and then ask me to find that scene. One of the main editors would ask for a clip of someone laughing or a picture of the main character, and I’d have to find it.”

The results are all on the Big Hero 6 DVD. Aaron says there are no credits for bonus material, but he can now watch those scenes—which are mostly about how the filmmakers developed the characters and made the animations—and know where he helped out.

Lights, Camera, Action

Aaron attended Crown for three years after completing one year at a community college. He says he wasn’t as confident in his skills in video production when he first started taking classes, but he created short films and honed his video editing techniques.

Andrew says the coursework for the Communications degree involves more than classroom training and quizzes. Students write advertising copy, create and edit videos, and do plenty of field work. A practicum also helps students practice what they’ve learned.

Aaron is excited to embrace his cross-country adventure. He started at Blue Giant in June and began working on another major (but unannounced) Disney project. His last project involved editing Star Wars bonus material for an upcoming anniversary edition DVD set.

To Be Continued

Even with the stress of moving across country and starting a new job, Aaron says his faith and training at Crown help him stay focused.

“Going to Crown these last few years has helped my confidence level,” he says. “In LA, you can’t have a wishy-washy attitude, or no one will hire you.”

Fortunately, Aaron’s already made quite a few contacts in the film industry and became close with his coworkers at Blue Giant. He’s excited to see how the story develops from here.

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