Two Carson School students receive television academy internships
calendar icon24 Jun 2014
Two students from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film have received prestigious internships this summer from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation.
Ethan Seagren, of Elkhorn, Neb., will be working at Stargate Studios in Pasadena, Calif., in visual effects. Seagren graduated in May.
Stargate is a production company offering visual effects and production services to the film and television industry. Their credits include “The Walking Dead,” “Heroes,” “Mob City,” “Pan Am” and “24.”
Connor Huggett, of Overland Park, Kan., will be working at Tremendous! Entertainment in North Hollywood, Calif., in post-production. Huggett is a senior with dual degrees in theatre with an emphasis in film and new media and advertising in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.
The production company Tremendous! Entertainment is behind “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern,” “Epic,” “Ghostland, Tennessee” and “Off Pitch.”
The Academy’s summer student internship program provides more than 40 industry-wide internships to college and graduate students from across the country and is considered one of the top 10 internships in the country. The program gives students in-depth exposure to professional television production during an eight-week period in Los Angeles.
Seagren is looking forward to the experience.
“For me, it’s just an incredible opportunity to take the experience and education I’ve gained here in college and go and apply it in a professional environment,” Seagren said. “Especially for myself to have the opportunity to work at a professional visual effects studio.”
Huggett is looking forward to the networking opportunities.
“It’s the best way to get your foot in the door, really,” he said. “It’s a really good program, and you meet lots of people.”
Seagren began his interest in film and technology in high school.
“We didn’t have any film classes, so I was just doing all the research I could online,” he said. “I came across Video Co-Pilot, which has After Effects tutorials, so I just started doing that. Then, in college, I realized that visual effects allowed me to combine my passion for film and technology into the same thing.”
While in the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film, Seagren completed a UCARE research project with Assistant Professor of Film and New Media Steve Kolbe to build a large-scale texture library and develop a rendering farm for 3-D animation using the supercomputer cluster at the Holland Computing Center.
“It certainly helped my technical understanding, as far as visual effects goes,” he said. “I’ve had a wealth of opportunities here with student films and the Carson Film Series films to do visual effects on those.”
Seagren was also an intern at HuskerVision, where he directed women’s basketball and operated instant replay for Husker football. He was also one of six featured students in the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts 2013-2014 recruiting initiatives.
Huggett initially was interested in both engineering and film programs.
“Growing up, I was more science and math oriented,” he said. “I actually got a couple of full-ride scholarships at engineering schools and an appointment to the Air Force Academy. I turned them all down to go to film school instead, and I don’t regret it at all.”
He says he got his first camera when he was six years old.
“Except it was plastic and didn’t record anything,” he said. “I just made videos with friends growing up. I taught myself how to edit. Once I realized I could spend hours and hours behind a computer putting something together and not even realize it, I knew that’s what I needed to do.”
Kolbe believes Seagren will succeed at Stargate this summer.
“I have every confidence that Ethan will impress everyone lucky enough to work with him,” he said. “This prestigious Academy internship is the first of many accolades he will enjoy in his budding career. I couldn’t be more happy for Ethan.”
Associate Professor of Film Sharon Teo-Gooding said Huggett will also benefit from this experience.
“What an honor for Connor to be accepted into such a nationally competitive and prestigious internship program,” Teo-Gooding said. “It has been a pleasure helping him fine tune his post-production skills in the classroom in a wide range of genres, from ‘The Making of Digs’ documentary to experimental and narrative editing projects. It is gratifying to see his hard work be so richly rewarded.”