Shaginian plans to focus on the business and legal side of studio operations, while Melara, who hopes to attend USC film school, will concentrate on editing and filmmaking.
“My goals are I want to be an editor and work up to become a director,” she said. “I love editing; it’s my passion. I love being able to look at footage and see different ways of putting it together to tell a different stories.”
Program participants have the chance to work in various capacities in the company — from filming to post production to development, said Michelle Crozier, vice president of corporate responsibility for Warner Bros. Entertainment.
“For the most part, they’re not making coffee or copies or something like that,” she said. “They’re actually responsible for the certain areas that they’re working in.”
The Youth Enrichment program was initiated two years ago as a way to provide outreach to students in Burbank, Crozier said. Applicants must have a grade-point average of 3.0 or more, an interest in the entertainment industry and financial need, she added.
“We did a survey of the community asking how we could best meet the needs of the community,” she said. “And two of the things that really came back strongly were more job opportunities or educational opportunities for youth.”
And the Enrichment Program provides both educational training through the internship, as well as the possibility of forging a career track with Warner Bros., Crozier said.
“We can’t guarantee a job when they come through this; but if they want to do it after working here, they’re going to know where they want to go . . . and have the relationships to make it happen,” Crozier said. “It’ll be very interesting to see what happens when we’re at the end of our fourth year and see where these kids end up.”
And on the doorstep of taking part in the Warner Bros. program, Melara said she is looking forward to learning a lot and getting tangible, hands-on experience.
“I know this is extremely valuable and I know I can’t get experience like this anywhere else,” she said. “And opportunities like this don’t come around very frequently.”