Media Sandbox Leads Students on ‘Life Changing’ Field Experience

Ever since I was a child, I’ve dreamed of fairytales and Prince Charming. I spent most of my days watching Disney movies. It all seemed so far away, an unreachable fantasy world.

My sophomore year of high school was a turning point for me. Frozen had just been released and it inspired me. Disney broke their formula and made a statement. Frozen taught people that true love could come from friends and family, not just the handsome Prince Charming. The movie made a feminist statement and marked a massive change for Disney. It made me see the beauty in storytelling, and I became fascinated with the idea of becoming a storyteller myself.

People always ask children, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” Five-year-old me would have said, “Become a Disney princess.” But fifteen- to twenty-year-old me would say, “I want to create a Disney princess.” At first this goal seemed silly and unattainable, and I was embarrassed to talk about it.

The Media Sandbox trip to L.A. was life-changing. Throughout the trip, we had unlimited access to some of the best and brightest minds in Hollywood, a place many exalt to the level that I revere Disney. I visited companies like Fox Studios, Fox Sports, Warner Brothers and AEG Live, and I met Spartan alumni in the process. This helped me realize that my dream was closer than I thought. The networks and connections I formed will help bring me one step closer to my goals.

This summer, I am interning at mOcean, a post-production house specializing in trailers and teasers for film and television. I was fortunate enough to get an inside look at mOcean during the Media Sandbox trip. Of the ten companies we visited, mOcean was by far my favorite. It was my favorite not only because I will be interning there, but because of what it represents to me. mOcean works with companies like HBO, Netflix, Hulu, and low and behold, Disney. When mOcean originally started as Craig Murray Productions (the namesake of a former Spartan), their main client was Disney. Little did I realize the ticket I received when I applied for the trip back in December. Not only was I exposed to ten amazing companies, but I also got a look at the place I will be working this summer and the kind of work they produce.

The trip opened my eyes to the world of L.A. I learned the realities of living in an extremely expensive city. Every day, thousands come to pursue their dreams, and every day, thousands leave broken-hearted. Still, my trip with the Media Sandbox to Los Angeles showed me that not every dream stays up in the clouds.

I’ve always been a dreamer. It’s how I operate as an individual and as a storyteller. My trip with Media Sandbox brought my skyward vision closer. The alumni we met showed us that working in L.A. and Hollywood is attainable. They taught us that it’s about who you know and utilizing the resources you have. There are so many alumni in Hollywood, and every one of them wants to help expand that population.

Media Sandbox trips aren’t only about seeing cool places to work, they’re about showing Spartans what is beyond the limits of East Lansing. My trip showed me that my dreams and goals can be closer than I thought, and it’s going to take that Spartan Will to get there.

By Ilene J. Gould, Junior, Media and Information