Industry Partnerships Offer Real-World Experience to Campus Students
Published on Jan 24, 2020 by Jess Reider
Full Sail's connections in the entertainment industry provide unique production opportunities for students.
Full Sail University was founded on a philosophy of real-world education. For students, that means gaining hands-on experience over the course of their time in Full Sail degree programs, and the opportunity to work on real industry projects. Full Sail is proud to work with its industry partners to bring students opportunities and access to real productions in the entertainment industry.
Florida Film Festival
The Florida Film Festival has been a staple of the Florida film community for nearly 30 years and Full Sail University has been the festival's primary sponsor for 16 years running. The festival features current, international, and independent cinema selections from filmmakers around the globe. Screening 170+ films year to year, the ten day event serves as a great resource for students and graduates looking to showcase their work and network with professionals in their industry.
Full Sail students, graduates, and faculty have been credited on several of the festival's film submissions over the years. Full Sail student Gordon LeCroy won the Brouhaha Audience Award at the 2019 festival for his independent submission The Battle for the Bridge. Full Sail grad and Film course director Nikki Wilson had her film Fragile accepted into the festival in the same year. Multiple grads and students, including film graduate Colin Morris, were credited on The Monarch Initiative, a short film made by Full Sail in conjunction with The Nature Conservancy to raise awareness about the monarch butterfly. The short was selected to premiere in the FL Shorts Program at the 2019 festival.
The Oscar-qualifying festival has also welcomed special guests and speakers from Full Sail University, including Program Directors Jeff Planck (Film bachelor's degree program) and Anne Russell (Film Production MFA program).
Since 2012, Full Sail University has been a proud partner of global entertainment brand WWE. WWE NXT, which is filmed weekly in the Full Sail Live venue, gives students hands-on experience working on a live televised production. Students work hand-in-hand with WWE production staff to deliver a stellar show to fans tuning in to USA Network's hit series.
In the years since the partnership's inception, students have racked up hundreds of hours of practical production experience. By working their way up the production ladder, students get the chance to work with the experienced WWE crew in roles ranging from production assistant to camera operator. Approximately 50 to 60 students participate weekly in bringing the live action happening in the NXT ring to viewers in more than 60 countries worldwide.
The partnership between WWE and Full Sail goes beyond just NXT. Students and graduates have had the opportunity to contribute to the production of Wrestlemania events in New Orleans, San Fransisco, and Orlando, and have also worked on past collaborations like the USA reality series WWE Tough Enough and NXT ArRIVAL, the first in-ring event to be streamed live on the WWE Network.
Real-World Production Experience
Organizations from Central Florida and beyond frequently team up with Full Sail to produce commercial work, live events, esports competitions, and more. Students who qualify can assist in many of these on-campus real-world production experiences in a variety of roles. “For any event that happens here, we're bringing students with us,” says Full Sail Director of Live Events John Sheldon.
Opportunities for students have included video coverage of conventions and conferences, such as Social Fresh and Security B-Sides Orlando, and regular productions like Daily Flash TV. Students have also had opportunities in production work with big brands like Golf Channel. That includes working on lighting, camera, script supervision, audio, art direction, and teleprompter operation filming green segments with Golf Channel personality David Feherty.
Major esports events – like the Red Bull Conquest Orlando Qualifier, the Hearthstone Collegiate Championship Fall Finals, and Overlords of Orlando – have all taken place in Full Sail venues. During these events, students have the opportunity to work with experienced professionals in roles across the spectrum of production to bring gaming action to thousands of viewers via live stream.
Founded by Jon Cody, former head of Fox Digital Media and launch General Manager of Hulu, TV4 Entertainment utilizes the Full Sail facilities to expand its content production and distribution capabilities. Now headquartered on the Full Sail campus, TV4 provides an opportunity for students and graduates to gain valuable hands-on experience in areas relevant to aspiring filmmakers, including video and multi-content production, streaming technology platforms, media operations, distribution, and marketing.
With successful releases such as the award-winning documentary Lucha VaVoom: Inside America's Most Outrageous Show and UK-based drama Together, TV4 is poised to be a great partner for Full Sail students looking to apply the experience gained from their real-world education.
Television broadcast company ION Television, the nation's largest broadcast station group owner with 71 stations in the top 50 US TV markets, has presented production opportunities for Full Sail students multiple times in recent years. A regular attendee at Full Sail job fairs and career networking events on campus, the company airs popularly syndicated content along with original series.
ION Television has filmed multiple commercials for its network on Full Sail's backlot over the course of their relationship with the university. Providing opportunities along with utilizing production facilities on campus, ION has hired several Full Sail students to fill various crew roles on these shoots.
Want to learn more? Explore our film and television degree programs.