Students Help with Oscar Winning “The Artist”

Black-and-white film adds color to alumna’s life

Feb. 24, 2012 By Jenna Bartlo

A few months ago, alumna Laura Aldridge (’09) shopped her resume around, only to have people ask what “The Artist,” her most recent film, was ­and nearly scoff once she said it was a silent black-and-white film. Now, it’s the most recognized film on her resume yet.

“It’s really exciting to see a movie that is independent and relatively low budget that we put a lot of heart into get this much recognition,” said Aldridge.

Aldridge was a rookie at best when she was promoted from an intern to a production coordinator position on a feature length film two years ago prior to her graduation from Biola. Last year, the supervisor from that film brought her on to the crew for “The Artist,” a film that takes place in Hollywood in 1937. “The Artist” won an Oscar for best film and Aldridge, well, she is up for a new career path.

She was hired as production coordinator for “The Artist” — a role she hadn’t considered before her senior year at Biola.  

“I fell into production coordinating and fell in love with it,” said Aldridge, who originally focused on screenwriting within her Cinema and Media Arts degree.

Production coordinating is organized chaos, she said. She had guidelines for when certain props or equipment were needed, however, challenges would often arise, like the one time she was asked to find a 50-foot crane at 11 p.m. for a 6 a.m. start time the next morning.

“There’s a lot of fun to that challenge — it’s a challenge that I like to overcome,” she said.

Aldridge brought four current Biola students onto set with her — Alicia Gaynor, Laurie Stewart, John Tribken and Tiana Amo, who all were able to intern under her in production coordinating.

Although Aldridge’s job was mostly done in the office, she would make the trek to set as much as possible.

“It was really great to go to set to see the period pieces from the set design to the wardrobe to the old period cars,” she said.

The last two months have been a whirlwind as she hopped into different roles on reality TV show sets, realizing she became somewhat of a hot commodity once “The Artist” became recognized. Aldridge credits God for how she has gotten this far.

“There’s times when I’ve thought ‘How on earth can I do this?’, but somehow it all works out and that’s not me,” she said.

Her hard work has paid off, too. Aldridge is moving to Canada in March for a full-time position with the visual effects studio who created Aslan in the “Chronicles of Narnia” films. She will be working in middle management as a digital coordinator in the studio’s new Vancouver office.

On landing this job, she said, “Everything has kind of worked out. It’s not me who is doing it. It wasn’t because I had an Oscar-nominated film. I think you just need to work hard in the places you’re put.”

Learn more about Biola’s Cinema and Media Arts program. Get a glimpse into how people of faith work in the film industry by attending this year’s Biola Media Conference on May 5, 2012.

Written by Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Coordinator. Contact Jenna at 562.777.4061 or jenna.l.bartlo@biola.edu.

Comments

  • Marilyn Daniels Feb. 27, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    It's wonderful to read this article because Laura Aldridge is our darling granddaugher (we live in Canada). We are so proud of her and she is a totally a great girl. Jim and Marilyn Daniels

  • Susan Mar. 8, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    I am a great fan of silent films, and have been so excited to see a new silent film made, and to have been so popular! I hope that more silent films will be made. It's such a beautiful medium.

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