What do George Lucas, Judd Apatow, Doug Liman, Bryan Singer, and Jason Reitman all have in common? Besides being wildly successful filmmakers, each of them studied at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.
The 2015 Rock Valley College graduate, whose friends know her as “Andie,” learned in June that she had been accepted into the prestigious USC Film & Television Production program. Only about 4% of applicants are accepted each year and the application process is a rigorous one that included extensive applications, at least a half dozen written essays, writing an original script, and submitting a 5-7 minute video sample of her work.
She’ll never forget the moment she ripped open her acceptance letter and realized it was really happening.
“I sort of just stood there,” says Andie. “I couldn’t really breathe. I was trying not to cry. And my hands were shaking.”
This went on for about 15 minutes.
That was a pretty reasonable and understandable reaction considering it was only about a year ago that Andie really made up her mind that this was something she wanted to do. She dabbled with film editing a little at Harlem High School, and although she enjoyed it, she didn’t really think of it as a viable option for her college studies or for a potential career.
She decided to attend Rock Valley College and needed some electives to fill out her schedule so she decided to try some of the basic Mass Com courses. Even then she admits it was “just for fun” and it wasn’t until after she graduated from RVC and decided to stay on with the department as a student worker for another year that she really made up her mind to pursue film as her future.
Andie’s favorite film she worked on in her time at RVC has an interesting, and very meta, origin story. While writing the script for the class film “Ghosting,” she created a fictional ghost hunting TV show called “Wraith Wreckers” that the main characters watch in “Ghosting.” Although “Wraith Wreckers” only airs for a few seconds in “Ghosting,” Andie piqued her own interest enough to pursue it further. She turned “Wraith Wreckers” into its own six minute short that aired at the college’s MoPic film screening last spring.
Andie’s film career has come a long way in a short time and now she has traveled a long way to complete the final steps of her journey. Less than two weeks ago she was spending her last days as a student worker at RVC. This week she has started classes at the best film school in the country.
Although this is only the beginning, here’s hoping Andrea Palmer’s story has a Hollywood ending.
Learn more about Rock Valley College’s Mass Communication program.