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Communication Major Ready for Creative Career with Versatile Skillset
November 4, 2021

Communication Major Ready for Creative Career with Versatile Skillset

Lily Calhoun ’22, a communication major with a filmmaking concentration and a creative writing minor, is on track to pursue a career in film using Berry training and connections. Lily has taken every opportunity to grow her creative skills whether writing her own screenplay, coordinating productions for Viking Fusion (the student-run multimedia outlet) or working on different sets and projects connected to the Atlanta film industry.

Q: How have your communication classes helped you achieve your goals in filmmaking?

A: What I love about Berry’s communication department is how well it prepares students for so many job fields and develops them to have a wide variety of skillsets. The department has given me the chance to develop a lot of tangible skills such as cinematography and lighting, production management, effective public speaking and storytelling … and specifically for my career, video production and scriptwriting.

Q: How important is your Honors thesis to your career?

A: Since being at Berry, I have fallen in love with scriptwriting, which brought me to partner with Dr. Curt Hersey and Steven Hames to produce a 120-page full-length screenplay. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to push myself and learn more about scriptwriting. My biggest takeaway from this project has been to really value both creativity and efficiency. … This project has taught me that I need to pace myself and hold myself accountable to my writing goals. This has grown me in ways that I did not expect and has prepared me for being a professional in the creative world after graduation.

Q: How has your creative writing minor helped you leverage your communication skills? 

A: My creative writing courses have given me experience in almost any genre of writing that an employer could ask of me. Whether it’s nonfiction, playwriting, short stories or copywriting, I am very proud to say that I feel comfortable writing in all genres due to the support of professors in the creative writing and communication departments.

Q: How did you land work beyond Berry?

A: Thanks to connections with faculty in the communication department, I was able to get experience this past summer. Whether serving as a production assistant on movies or television shows, traveling to Montana to work on a commercial shoot, running video graphics for a live broadcast or working on my first official freelance projects, I gained a lot of experience this summer doing work that I love. It was a delightful taste of what my life could look like after graduation and opened my eyes to the work ethic and lifestyle of different aspects of the video production world.

Q: What are your career goals going forward? 

A: A few of my dream jobs would be working as a screenwriter for animated movies that embrace diversity and curiosity, serving as a producer for a live television broadcast or leading video production programs for students in high school or college. If I get to do all those things in my lifetime, I would be ecstatic! Whatever I do, I know that I will be fulfilled if I am doing creative and relational jobs. We all have stories that we need to share, and I want to help people make their storytelling dreams come true.

Story by senior Mary Banks Shelander

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