The following is the second in a series of interviews with MCM students completing their capstone project, an optional self-directed research or practical project that students conduct over their last two semesters in the program.
Lisa Crawford’s project examined the phenomenon of showrunners (the managing writers/producers of TV shows) becoming celebrities.
The following are some of her responses to the capstone project and overall experience.
Think of Shonda Rhimes, Aaron Sorkin, and Vince Gilligan…we’ve had showrunners for decades now, but in the age of social media and intense fan engagement, they are now real media personalities. I was most interested in how this came about, and how a showrunner’s brand can be utilized to market content. After the initial research phase, it was difficult to narrow down which specific aspect of the topic to focus on in order to bring new and useful information to industry professionals. My favorite part of the entire project was interviewing showrunners, longtime TV writers, and media scholars – some of them were so kind to me! Hopefully I’m contributing an original thought or two to the study of television content creators, and it’s been a very useful experience for my career in marketing in the media and entertainment space. I encourage anyone with a research idea, business concept, or idea for solving a pain point to take the capstone course, too.