Four students, Kalley Huddleston, Julian Hagins, Trey Leonard and Anne Neenan have created the first ever Entertainment and Media Studies club, The Industry.
The Entertainment and Media Studies Department at UGA in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication received its new name and began EMST classes in Spring of 2016, and the four creators of The Industry recognized the opportunity to form a club related to the curriculum EMST now offers.
It also offers a student group similar to those that exist for other Grady majors such as advertising and public relations. The EMST major is said to provide “a deep understanding of the critical role digital communication networks play in our world and the professional skills they need to make their voices heard in the global media dialog.”
After only one semester, the club has had to break into several meeting times throughout the week because of the large amount of students interested. Hagins, one of the creators of The Industry, explained the division of the club into two entities, which he said provide incoming Grady students with some crucial knowledge and understanding prior to being accepted into Grady.
“We divided the organization up into two divisions, The Writer’s Workroom and the Production Group,” Hagins said. “[The Writer’s Workroom] works on script development and collaboratively helping with ideas for pitches, etc. The Production Group meetings consist of lectures about production roles and on-set protocol.”
The creation of a club centering around the writing to production process interested many students, mostly within the EMST major.
Huddlestone, another key individual in the startup of the organization, said the club attracted an impressive amount of EMST majors.
“We sent out an email to our cohort, and with EMST we’ve gotten really close with our cohort, and pretty much everyone in there signed up. So by the time everything got settled we had almost 200 participants, so that was pretty overwhelming,” Huddleston said.
Huddleston said the amount of people who joined so quickly, could cause a problem in the Writer’s Workroom division.
“Especially for the Writer’s Workroom because they wanted it to be pretty intimate and everyone to share their stories and continue and develop them while getting to know the people too,” Huddleston said.
Nik Daniels, a junior EMST major and member of The Industry, said there are advantages the club offers that might not have existed without an organization such as this one.
“The Industry gives an opportunity for newer people or maybe less confident people to get their feet wet and learn new things and try new things. I think it’s important that it’s here. Personally if [The Industry] wasn’t here I’d try to do my own thing, but I think I’d be a little lost in a couple areas,” Daniels said.
Another member of the club, junior EMST major Gavin Hua, said The Industry offers members a wide range of experience in different roles and hopes to benefit in his own career path from that aspect.
“I see this as an opportunity to try out every role that I can get my hands on because there are people out there that are striving to just be a director or just be a cameraman,” Hua said. “But for me, I want to try out every single position to see where they’re coming from and see how important they are in the finalization of a project.”
Hagins said members of The Industry work together as a team, and he encourages any student who is creative or interested in learning about the production process to join.
“We are all about learning, and we are learning together, so collaborating with others like us is what will make you gain the most out of the club,” Hagins said.
Hagins expressed his hope for the future in the club.
“I’m very thankful for my co-founders and the great support we’ve received from Grady. We aim to keep this club going for a very long time, and I believe that this club will prepare many students for future careers in the industry,” Hagins said.