Senior integrated media major John Amato is originally from North Royalton, OH. He is spending the semester in Athens while participating in the virtual OHIO-in-LA program. Amato discusses his plans for a career in the media industry, his internship with an LA management company and what he hopes to gain from his experience this semester.
This piece is part of our series on OHIO-in-LA, a study away opportunity for students interested in media careers. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the program is being conducted virtually this semester but will still provide students with LA-based internships, mentors and production experience. We'll be checking in via stories like this and on social media to see how the experience is going.
Q: What career(s) are you interested in?
A: I am interested in a career in screenwriting or film and television development. I really like writing and want to ultimately end up doing that.
Q: What made you want to participate in the virtual OHIO in LA program?
A: I first wanted to participate in the in-person LA experience, but COVID-19 has gotten in the way of us actually being there. I was just going to go back to normal classes this semester, but even though we are virtual, the virtual LA program seems like a great opportunity to meet industry professionals and do an internship remotely, while also getting a lot of exposure and making contacts. And the fact that I am still eligible to participate in the program next summer, if it hopefully can be in person and I am accepted, this seemed like a unique opportunity to get double the amount of face time and exposure to the industry where I can learn as much as possible.
Q: What do you hope to gain from the virtual experience?
A: I hope to gain more of an understanding of how the film development process works, and how scripts are selected for either representation or production so I can better position myself and my own work into that industry. It is easy to see Hollywood simply as a dream factory while overlooking the fact that it is really a business, and I want to learn as much as I can about the business aspect of it.
Q: Do you plan to submit a script for the production project?
A: I have submitted a script for production. It is a play I wrote for a class last year that I rewrote into a short film script. It is about a man and a woman and an argument they go through when something unexpected from the man’s past arises and presents some problems.
Q: What kind of internship are you hoping to get this semester?
A: I have already secured an internship with Circle of Confusion, a management company in Los Angeles. I hope to learn a lot about how management companies work in the industry and see what kind of scripts and writing get traction and representation at a company like this.
Q: What are your plans after graduation? More specifically, are you considering a move to L.A.?
A: I am not sure of my plans after graduation. I am graduating in the spring and hope to spend the summer in Los Angeles doing the program again, in person this time so I can really experience Los Angeles and see if it is somewhere that I would even want to live eventually. After that, I do not know.