Text Size Default Text SizeDefault Text Size Large Text SizeLarge Text Size Largest Text SizeLargest Text Size Print Print this Page

Courtney Jones

Behind the Scenes in TV: Paperwork, Parking Cars and Putting Peanut Butter on the Floor

Courtney Jones, a 2011 Longwood graduate, is living the dream in sunny southern California. As a freelance production assistant, Courtney spends most of her days on set. Whether working on documentaries, new fall shows, commercials or Web series, it's her job to take care of all the tasks large and small that keep a set running smoothly. She's done everything from holding cue cards to serving as a stand-in and from laying tape on the floor to keeping the canine talent in line with treats like peanut butter. She has the opportunity to experience every part of the process, from pre-production to post-production and editing.

"Whether I'm working on a big-name cable show or commercials, I'm working with Emmy winners on the crew," says Courtney. "It's so entertaining - I never have a bad day!"

News and entertainment have always played an important role in Courtney's life. From an early age, she would read the newspaper and wake up early to watch Good Morning America before heading off to school. At Longwood, getting involved with The Rotunda, the student newspaper, and WMLU, the campus radio station, helped her pursue her passions and make a smooth transition to college life.

"I got to write every week and be published, then head over to the radio station and share my thoughts on the air. When the sports broadcast team was out calling the games, I'd be back at the studio pushing buttons for them. Then I'd go to class and get to do video work," Courtney explains. "I just loved it all."

"I originally thought about going to a bigger school, but after being at Longwood, I realized that it was so much better," she adds. "I would have been in a lecture hall talking about these things at a bigger school, but at Longwood, I was out doing them."

Courtney's experiences at Longwood proved to be invaluable. The summer before her senior year, she earned an internship with a television production company in Los Angeles. There, she impressed her supervisors with how well she already knew the cameras and other equipment they use. She took advantage of her time in Los Angeles and made a point to network and forge the connections that get her hired for new projects today.

No matter where students' passions lie, Courtney encourages them to get involved now. "Longwood is a place for opportunity," she says. "You have four years to do nothing but learn and grow in the area you want to pursue. Don't take it for granted!"

Learn more about the Communication Studies and Theatre program