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TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU alumni connect with each other at Guy Fieri’s Dive & Taco Joint in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. on Friday Oct. 7, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Tristen Smith)
How TCU's alumni chapters keep the Horned Frog spirit alive post-grad
By Addison Thummel, Staff Writer
Published May 11, 2024
TCU graduates can stay connected with the Horned Frog community with alumni chapters across the nation.

FTDM students shadow on-campus Paramount+ production

The+entrance+to+Moudy+South%2C+home+of+the+Bob+Schieffer+College+of+Communication+and+Film%2C+Television+and+Digital+Media+department%2C+on+March+4.+%28Ella+Hestand%2FStaff+Writer%29
The entrance to Moudy South, home of the Bob Schieffer College of Communication and Film, Television and Digital Media department, on March 4. (Ella Hestand/Staff Writer)
A LinkedIn post from TCU’s Department of Film, Television and Digital Media promoting the shadowing opportunity to students.

Filming for Taylor Sheridan’s new Paramount+ drama turned the Lowdon Track and Field Complex into a production set, but for several students majoring in film, television and digital media, it was also a classroom.

101 Studios selected 36 students to spend the day shadowing professionals and getting a glimpse into what it takes to produce a show.

“101 Studios provided our students with a stellar experiential learning experience that we simply cannot replicate for learners in terms of its scale or scope,” Tricia Jenkins, an FTDM professor, said.

Students had the chance to shadow “sound, camera, costuming, locations, props, electric, production assistants and grip” on a multi-million dollar production, Jenkins said.

Sydney Jansen, a sophomore journalism and FTDM major, shadowed the locations department for prep day and participated as an extra on shoot day.

Jansen recognized the networking opportunity before her and noted “the relationships [she] formed with the crew” as her biggest takeaway from the experience as she witnessed how the department ran as a “well-oiled machine.”

Anna Christy, a senior FTDM major, asked everyone she came in contact with in the camera department how they entered the industry and the steps they took in their career path.

The common theme? Christy said it is important to put yourself out there.

The bleachers of Lowdon Track and Field Complex sit empty on March 4. The track complex was the site of a fictional track meet for Taylor Sheridan’s new Paramount+ drama. (Ella Hestand/Staff Writer)

“It’s building that trust with the people you work with and finding the confidence to assert what you want to do,” Christy said.

One of the most integral departments actually has one of the smallest crews, said Dayne Love, a junior FTDM major who shadowed in the sound department, but it takes an entire village to film a large-scale production project.

“Seeing not only how many people they had [working], but also the equipment they were using, has helped me mentally prepare for what my life could be like in the future,” Love said.

It is difficult to pick out a single highlight from a rare learning experience, but Love said listening to Jon Hamm’s dialogue through his headphones was the peak of the production for him.

“They really went out of their way to provide a valuable and meaningful opportunity for each student,” Jenkins said, “allowing them to ask questions on set and to network with folks who are currently in the industry.”

A mission of the Fort Worth Film Commission is to “bring major films and television series to the area,” Jenkins said, and Sheridan appears committed to making his hometown the backdrop of his projects.

More learning opportunities for TCU students could emerge as the Fort Worth production boom continues.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported the number of students who shadowed professionals; 36 students participated.

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