Dramatic Writing + Politics + Producing = One Busy Student!
NYU undergraduate student Lizzie Johnson spent part of her summer with Tisch in the Producing in London program, with courses taught by Sharon Badal and Jack Lechner. The two courses she took fulfilled requirements for the Minor in Producing but after catching up with Lizzie, it certainly sounds like other aspects of her studies at NYU will be encouraged by her experience of studying abroad.
Please tell us a little about yourself: I am a sophomore at NYU double-majoring in Dramatic Writing and Politics, and I am pursuing the Minor in Producing. I’m originally from Michigan, but I also lived in Germany and California. Traveling is one of my passions, so Producing in London seemed like a great opportunity for me, especially as a producing minor.
How did taking producing courses in London differ from taking producing courses in New York City? The classes were much more intensive than they would’ve been if I had taken them in New York, but that is expected considering we were squeezing a one-semester class into 12 school days. There was also a big difference in the guest speakers and references. Rather than seeing a show on Broadway and talking about it, we saw Henry IV, Part One at Shakespeare’s birthplace. We also had various guest speakers from the British film industry, such as representatives from the BBC and Film4.
Please tell us about the courses Producing Essentials and Media Moguls. What should a student expect? Producing Essentials is all about the basics of being a producer. You learn about acquiring rights, finances, distributing your movie, production, and the producer’s relationship to all parts of TV shows, movies, theatre productions, and new media projects. In Media Moguls on the other hand, you learn about the big Hollywood producers that have molded the American film industry to be what it is today and how they got it there.
Why do you think it’s important to understand the role of a producer in all creative fields, be it film, television, theatre, music, dance, or new media? As a student pursuing the Minor in Producing, it is essential for me to understand the role of the producer in order to later perform my job to my best abilities. Producers are important because they get projects moving and keep them on track, so if you understand your role as the producer, it is easier to make your project a successful piece of art and entertainment.
As a dramatic writing student, how did studying in London inspire you? London is so full of beauty and culture. While New York has a certain energy that fuels my creativity, London has an elegance that is captivating. Being home to so many wonderful authors, poets, and playwrights, inspired me to explore different types of writing that I hadn’t really considered.
What are some of your favorite sites in London? The London Eye at night is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. While it might sound cheesy, I would highly recommend using one of your few free days to take a bus tour. There is so much beauty in the city that it is easy to miss something extraordinary. I always knew that Big Ben would be incredible up close and personal, I did not realize how much intricate details it has and how awe-inspiring it is when the sun hits it. Definitely a great place to be inspired by.
What did you take away from your overall studying abroad experience? Studying abroad was a wonderful experience. I met lots of great people and tried lots of things that I hadn’t otherwise. It was also nice to be there for such a short period of time because I spent so much time trying to see everything that there was no time for me to be homesick. I would recommend this program to anyone considering it.