Pitt in LA is taught by Senior Lecturer and writer/filmmaker Carl Kurlander whose credits include “St. Elmo’s Fire”, NBC’s “Saved by the Bell”, and award-winning documentaries. This program is ideal for students looking to gain a meaningful industry experience and is usually taught in-person out in LA on the Lionsgate property. Professor Kurlander and his teaching assistants, Ryan and Claire, adapted the course to the virtual environment. This environment allowed them to bring in more impressive speakers for longer durations and allows students to practice preparing and engaging with industry professionals. The group projects, which make up most of the grades, provide relevant experience and products for this field.
In a virtual environment, many courses are adapting in different ways. For example, some courses provided recorded lectures and met weekly to answer questions. Some courses simply posted assignments and tutorials and are mostly asynchronous. Our group projects in this course will result in tangible products to add to our portfolios. For example, a couple students are working on the John Paul Horstmann documentary which is also about UPTV. This course is not only adapting to the virtual environment but is elevating the classroom experience. In a traditional environment, many of the speakers would be too busy to visit. Additionally, many of the students enrolled in this course virtually would not go to LA for a semester to take the course.