Semester in LA

About SILA

Time lapse photo of Los Angeles

Semester in LA

Semester in LA (SiLA) is an opportunity for Columbia College Chicago students to experience first-hand the business of Hollywood and immerse themselves as active participants within the industry. Held on the Raleigh Studio lot in the company of industry professionals.  We ofer 1-3 hour courses from both the School of Media Arts and the School of Fine & Performing Arts.

Semester in LA acts as a capstone course for Columbia's most driven, motivated students, allowing them to rise above in an extremely competitive market. The program builds the necessary connections, relationships and skills to go on to work within production offices, television shows, talent agencies and film sets in all manner of capacities.

Faculty & Staff

SiLA instructors are local, active industry professionals employeed from all walks of life. They include, but are not limited to; Development Producers; Screenwriters; Production Executives; Post-Production Personnel including editors, sound designers and post supervisors; Story Editors; Creative Producers; Entertainment Attorneys; Broadcast Journalists; Executive Producers; Directors; Casting Agents; Location Managers; Cinematographers; Line Producers and many others.

Raleigh Studios

The longest continuously operating studio in the country, Raleigh Studios began in 1915 as Famous Players Fiction Studios, with a Mary Pickford production as one of the first features to be filmed on this historic Hollywood lot. Although the silent era was still in full swing, an early owner had the vision to build one of the world's first soundstages - complete with a glass top so light could enter without disrupting sound recording. This kind of innovation has marked Raleigh Studios throughout its history.

The studio passed through a number of hands and operated under several different names during its colorful history. Some of the industry's most influential leaders have called the lot home, including Douglas Fairbanks, Lillian and Dorothy Gish, Walt Disney, Bette Davis (the cult classic Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? was filmed at the lot) and Jim Henson and the Henson Companies.

As television swept the industry in the 1950s and 1960s, many of the original film studios faded. On the Raleigh Studios lot, however, television was not viewed as a threat, but rather as an opportunity. The studio adapted to the new technology of television shoots and became a popular venue for top television producers. Over its long history, some of televisions' most famous early shows and pilots were filmed at the studio, including Superman, Gunsmoke and Perry Mason.