Feature film opened doors for UH media production students
This past semester, UH media production and business management majors had the career-making opportunity to work on the feature film “Hip Hop Family Christmas.”
The MTV Entertainment Studios, FoxxTale Entertainment and Nexus Entertainment film premiered in early December.
“This may sound dramatic but this project literally changed my life,” said media production junior Kaitlyn Pham. “It answered all the questions I had never seemed to address.”
When the project was offered up as a class to communication students, Pham jumped on the opportunity for hands-on experience
As part of the class, Pham worked as a personal assistant with hopes of making her own films one day.
“Call time was at 6 a.m. so you’d have to have all the scripts and schedules for the day and be ready to solve problems as they come, and they definitely do,” Pham said. “After all the show must go on as they say.”
Sharing a similar experience to Pham was another media production junior Jada Hill, who also worked as a personal assistant.
Working in such a demanding environment allowed many students who at first were strangers to form close bonds, according to Hill.
“My favorite aspect was being able to work alongside so many other talented and creative individuals,” Hill said. “And spending 12+ hours a day with those people for 18 days cultivates pretty close bonds quite quickly.”
“It’s a mutual benefit—everyone is working together to put something tangible that will leave its mark in history,” Pham said.
Greg Carter, the feature film’s original screenwriter, director and executive producer, hoped to provide students with an immersive experience in filmmaking from a network perspective.
“My goal is to help influence and train young people planning a career in media and film by working on set,” Carter said. “If you come on set, be prepared to work.”
Hill and Phan said this experience confirmed their desire to work in the industry and opened up a door of opportunities.
“This opportunity made me realize I am very much capable of putting together my own production in the future,” Phan said. “It really feels like it only goes up from here.”
Phan landed another production role a few weeks after the project ended.
“Since we wrapped in September, the project has also helped me jumpstart a career in the field by granting me many more opportunities to work on other feature films and commercials since then,” Hill said.