Columbia College Chicago

Semester in LA

Semester in LA

Semester in LA (SiLA) provides an opportunity for motivated juniors and seniors to gain hands-on experience in entertainment, media, and communication fields by immersing themselves in these industries. Held on the Raleigh Studio lot, the longest continuously operating studio in the country, SiLA is a one-semester, career-oriented program.

At the heart of the immersive experience is a part-time internship, creating a natural bridge between the classroom and the professional world and quickly demystifying the business of Hollywood. In addition to working 2-3 days a week, you’ll take a minimum of three academic classes to maintain full-time student status. Tours, seminars, local screenings, networking events, and a plethora of guest speakers round out the immersive experience.

Our program is one of the longest-running semesters in LA, having started in 1998. Over the years we have built a solid reputation in Hollywood with a network of hundreds of working entertainment professionals who willingly offer their knowledge and resources to help our students get ahead.

Priority is given to Columbia College Chicago students, but full-time students from other institutions are welcome to attend.

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News and Announcements

Variety Magazine Writeup

Semester in LA received some much-deserved recognition from Variety magazine. Writer Dan Doperalski highlights the benefits students receive from being in the center of the entertainment industry.

According to the article, students "have always flocked to Los Angeles to make their careers," dreaming of the Hollywood lifestyle. "Those who enroll in Southern California-based film schools are at a distinct advantage, often benefiting from proximity to local internships and professional lecturers."

Schools across the United States realize this geographical advantage. "To narrow the gap, out-of-state schools have followed their grad's 'go-west' impulse. Columbia College Chicago was one of the first to establish a L.A.-based extension program, and the school now maintains a permanent presence on the Raleigh Studios lot, where program head Jon Katzman arranges for working pros to teach classes."

Read the full article on Variety's website.

Black List’s SiLA Alum Returns with Advice

Eddie O'Keefe

Semester in LA was proud to invite back Columbia College Chicago and SiLA alum Eddie O’Keefe '09 as a guest speaker for our Screenwriting and Producing courses. O’Keefe gained notice in the industry with his short film The Ghosts, a supernatural, nostalgic foray into the suburban teenage existence. The film premiered at Brooklyn International Film Festival and went on to screen at the 47th annual Chicago International Film Festival.

O'Keefe's first feature script When the Street Lights Go On, landed him second on 2012’s prestigious Black List (Hollywood’s esteemed list of the years best unproduced screenplays) as well as third on TB’s “Hit List.” When the Street Lights Go On was optioned by Imagine Entertainment this year.

Like our Facebook page for updates about SiLA.

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