Cinema Alumna Alyssa Briddes '16 Works on Into the Unknown: Making of Frozen 2, ABC’s 2020, Vice, truTV, Among Others Alumni Profile
Meet Alyssa Briddes
- Job Title & Employer
- Working on cinema projects in a variety of roles
- Cinema Production
- April 2016
- College Activities
- Making short films
- Talent Scholarship, Dean's List Scholarship, Cinema Apprentice
- Downingtown, Pa.
- High School
- Downingtown East High School
- Now Living In
- New York, N.Y.
- Hobbies & Interests
- Sketch comedy, cooking, reading fantasy novels
"My experience at Point Park taught me the skills you need not just at the top of the food chain, but at the bottom ... Due to the hands-on nature of the program, we all learned on-set etiquette our first year, not just through our professors but through our upperclassmen. Learning how to behave on a set from Point Park has been invaluable during my time here in New York City."
What jobs in the film industry have you had since graduating from Point Park's cinema arts program?
- Into the Unknown: Making of Frozen 2, production assistant
- ABC's 20/20, production assistant
- Vice, associate producer
- truTV, junior editor
- Plus, jobs in film at Glamour, Condé Nast, Hearst, Bustle and New York Post
I am currently working on projects related to cinema, but I am not able to discuss the details. I got my current job because of my personal work, so I advise younger filmmakers to make their own work to use to help get closer to their dream job.
How did your undergraduate experience prepare you for professional success?
My experience at Point Park taught me the skills you need not just at the top of the food chain, but at the bottom. I spoke with coworkers from other schools and learned that while they were incredibly prepared to someday become a producer or director, they didn't know the first thing about how to be an entry-level production assistant. And that is where Point Park gave me an edge.
Due to the hands-on nature of the program, we all learned on-set etiquette our first year, not just through our professors but through our upperclassmen. Learning how to behave on a set from Point Park has been invaluable during my time here in New York City. Similarly, the skills I learned, like setting up a budget binder and video editing on Premiere are all things that I use constantly.
What have you enjoyed most about your career and why?
What I've enjoyed most is all that I've been privileged enough to learn. I'm early in my career, I'm still learning and I try to be open to learning new things every day. Because of that, I love that I'm able to learn something new from every trip on set, and even from every shoot I transcribe. It's not always glamorous, but I probably learn way more from the non-glamorous parts anyways.
What do you believe sets Point Park’s cinema arts program apart from other universities?
The staff and the students. The staff is full of people who genuinely know you not just as a student but as a filmmaker. The professors get to know your style, your preferences and even know what kinds of movies you like. And more importantly, the faculty genuinely care about their students.
I constantly parrot advice from Noel Schermaier, Laura Boyd, Cara Friez, Rick Hawkins, Andrew Halasz and so many others. It's been several years since I was in school, and yet I still use the advice they gave me, and the skills that they taught me to navigate the professional landscape.
Similarly, the student body isn't just full of your fellow students; it's full of your future coworkers. My friends and the upperclassmen were constantly inspiring me, pushing me and helping me learn every step of the way. The other students in the program are full of talent and enthusiasm, and as a young filmmaker it just egged me on to do more and make more. And my classmates are often the first people I request to work with when I'm asked for recommendations.
What advice do you have for our prospective students?
Don't wait for someone to give you permission to make the projects you want to make. I'm paraphrasing someone here, but "no one is going to beg you to make art." Similarly, no one is going to beg you to make movies, so you need to be your own engine.
Don't be afraid to take risks — make that weird experimental project while you're in school. It doesn't have to be perfect, it'll be a bigger success if you learn something from it. I can speak to that because I'm still learning myself. Like I said, I'm still super early into my career, and I'm learning every day. And honestly, any other bit of advice I have would just be stolen from one of the Point Park professors, so listen to them (it sounds better coming from them anyways).