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Shelli Coppoolse

Featured Alum: Shelli Coppolse, Class of 2011


Moving to Los Angeles three days after graduating from the Electronic Media division in June 2011 was not in Shelli Coppoolse’s plans.

“I always knew if I wanted to make it in entertainment I would have to move to LA or New York but I never thought it was going to be so soon,” she said.

Shelli was the winner of the Sony Pictures Imageworks Summer Apprentice Award, one of 10 awards given to outstanding students in May.  This award included a paid position as a production assistant for the animated movie Arthur Christmas.  Additional compensation was included to help with Shelli’s expenses moving to South California.

 “I felt extremely honored when I received the award,” Shelli said. “I felt a sigh of relief knowing not only that I had a job lined up before graduating but it was in something I went to school for—I get to begin my career in entertainment.”

Throughout high school, Shelli knew she wanted to study broadcasting in college. It was not until she took TV Studio Production that she no longer wanted to be in front of the camera.

“Going behind the camera was much more fascinating to me and that’s when I started enrolling in more production courses,” Shelli said. “Before taking TV Studio Production I had no idea how much work was put into a half hour segment—preparing, organizing, scheduling, timing etc.”

Shelli’s appreciation and love for movies and production started with Digital Sight Sound Motion. This course teaches students how to effectively create single camera video content while going through the process of preproduction, production and postproduction.

“You really don’t see how much work takes until you do it yourself. I remember after taking that class I couldn’t just sit and relax whiling watching a movie without thinking of the story board, script, editing and other details of a production” she said.

At Sony Pictures Imageworks, Shelli is a production assistant where she helps  with various tasks involving the completion of a movie. Her first project, Arthur’s Christmas is out in theaters November 23.  Her next project is working on the movie Hotel Transylvania.

“I am enhancing my skills and knowledge about the movie industry”, Shelli said. “I learn something new everyday. I hope I continue a job that I’m proud of, like to do and excited to show up everyday.”

The Sony Pictures Imageworks Summer Apprentice Award was made possible by Debbie Denise, an  executive vice president for Sony Imageworks, and a 1973 graduate of the E-Media division.


Written by Annaliese Hnat, November 2011