Lisa Copland '14

Lisa Copland

Lisa Copland thought it was a long shot to apply for a coveted internship in Los Angeles. She ended up shadowing and learning from some of the best directors and producers in the television industry for eight weeks.

Each summer, the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences - better known as the Emmy's - offers a highly-competitive, paid internship to the most promising students interested in working in several areas of the television industry, from costume design to screen play writing to lighting. Copland was selected for the director's position.

"It was an amazing experience," said Copland, a senior film, video and interactive media major. "The academy has connections with several different companies and they find some that have openings and are willing to host interns. They give the interns the chance to be on set, shadow and really learn, not just fetch coffee."

Copland went through an intense application process that included sending in videos from her portfolio, letters of recommendation and conducting a video interview. Ultimately, the companies choose the intern they'd like to host. Ken Fuchs (pictured above), Emmy-nominated director and director of the ABC show "Shark Tank," selected Copland.

"He chose me because we both share the same dream of hosting 'Saturday Night Live' someday," Copland said with a laugh.

Copland spent two weeks on the set of "Shark Tank," shadowing the director and stage manager, sitting in the control room, and getting an overview of how everything runs on set.

"Fuchs was great to work with," said Copland. "He taught me that regardless of your job in the industry to not take it for granted. There are a thousand others who would want that job."

After "Shark Tank," Copland rotated for two-week stints with the directors of "The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson," "Jimmy Kimmel Live," and "The Arsenio Hall Show."  She also had the chance to see several Hollywood icons including Oprah, Joan Jett, Sarah Bareilles, the Backstreet Boys, and Luke Bryan. "You learn you have to not freak out around celebrities," said Copland.

At Quinnipiac, Copland has taken a range of classes giving her the opportunity to learn state-of-the-art techniques. She also is the executive producer of "The Morning After" on the Q30 television station and is vice president of the Quinnipiac Film Society.

"I'd like to do live television directing," said Copland. "You get a major adrenaline rush when you film a live show. It's like being on a roller coaster - the first block before you get to the commercial break is like that first drop. Then you kind of settle in and hang on during the ride, and then in the end, when you see it done, it's a great feeling."


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