E M M A    C O U R T L A N D

WRITER • PROGRAMMER • ORAL HISTORIAN • CURATOR

 310.963.1136 •  ecourtland@gmail.com

EDUCATION

M.A.     2017     COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

                   Oral History Master of Arts

  • RELATED COURSEWORK: Oral History Method, Theory, and Interpretation; Oral History Fieldwork & Documentation; Social Science Contributions to Oral History; Narrative Medicine; Independent Study: Oral History Narrative in Image, Sound, and Text                 
  • THESIS: Finding Fathers: An Oral History of Narrative Uncertainty (in progress)        

B.A.    2008    UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES

                            CUM LAUDE, English - American Literature and Culture  

 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE 

2009-2017            THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES, Los Angeles, CA

                              Sci-Tech Public Programs, Assistant Producer

                                   Past programs include:

  • “Linwood Dunn: Celebrating a Visual Effects Pioneer,” a close examination of the techniques Dunn used in creating the optical effects for Citizen Kane (1941), the Linwood Dunn Theater, October 2009
  • “The Sound behind the Image III: Real Horrorshow!,” an exploration of the art and technology of sound in motion pictures and the important role it plays in shaping horror films, the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, October 2009
  •  “Behind the Motion Picture Canvas,” an illustrated lecture tracing the history of motion picture formats from the silent era through the 21st century, examining the role of emerging technology in the evolution of film formats, and film formats in the  filmmaking process, Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, November 2009; and Main Theater, Pixar, Pixar University (PU), August 2010
  • “Acting in the Digital Age,” used two Oscar-winning films – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and Avatar (2009) – to demonstrate how innovations in performance-capture technology, digital doubles, digital makeup, photorealism and image manipulation are affecting actors, Samuel Goldwyn Theater, April 2010
  • “Getting Perspective III: Exploring the Craft of 3D Movie Technology” Night 1: Virtual 3D (Animation / MoCAP / Conversion), Linwood Dunn Theater; Night 2: Photographed 3D (Live Action/Stop Motion), Linwood Dunn Theater; Night 3: U2 3D screening, Samuel Goldwyn Theater, June and July 2010
  • “A Conversation with Petro Vlahos,” celebrated the contributions of one of the leading scientific and technical innovators in the motion picture and television industries, Petro Vlahos, who consistently devised solutions for problems that had resisted years of well-funded and concerted effort by his predecessors and peers, Linwood Dunn Theater, July 2010
  • “Out of This World: The Science of Space Movies” used clips from popular sci-fi movies to show how the fictional world of Hollywood movies can provide a springboard into investigating real science, Samuel Goldwyn Theater. In conjunction with two nights of screenings: Woman in the Moon (1929), Linwood Dunn Theater; Project Apollo (1968) and For All Mankind (1989), The Silent Movie Theatre in collaboration with The Cinefamily, August, 2010; and at the Palo Alto International Film Festival, October, 2011
  • “Me Tarzan, You Technology: The Magic of Tarzan in the Movies”: Tarzan and His Mate (1934) and Tarzan Finds a Son! (1939), Linwood Dunn Theater, October 2010; and Tarzan and His Mate (1934) and Tarzan Finds a Son! (1939) at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, March 2011
  • “Monsters in the Movies” explored the evolution of creature technology in feature films and the fundamental role it plays in shaping monster movies, Samuel Goldwyn Theater, October 2010
  • “Visualize This: Previs in the Making of STAR TREK (2009)” used Star Trek as a case study demonstrating how innovations in previs are impacting the filmmaking process, Linwood Dunn Theater, November 2010
  • “Optical Architect: An Evening with Pat O’Neill” spotlighted the work of this experimental filmmaker and optical effects artist, Linwood Dunn Theater, April 2011. Held in conjunction with the month-long exhibition “Watching Abstraction in Hollywood: The Work of Pat O’Neill” in the Dunn Foyer
  • “Cinematography in the Digital Age” used on-screen clips and live conversations with cinematographers to explore the ways that current skills and techniques have evolved from traditional methodologies used when working with celluloid film, Samuel Goldwyn Theater, May 2011
  • “Mysteries of the Krell: Making the Sci-Fi Epic FORBIDDEN PLANET” used newly discovered source tapes from the film’s composers, Louis and Bebe Barron, to explain how the groundbreaking electronic score was created, Linwood Dunn Theater, July 2011
  • “A Celebration of Takuo ‘Tak’ Miyagishima” spotlighted the life and accomplishments of one of the most esteemed design engineers in the motion picture industry, Linwood Dunn Theater, August 2011
  • “Making the Holiday Classic IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE” revealed the film’s classic studio production methods, the innovative use of matte paintings, and the unique origins of the film’s sound effects, Linwood Dunn Theater, December 2011
  • TED University “Full Spectrum” Talk: “Things that Are Not and Why We Believe Them” offered a short presentation illustrating the theory and evolution of visual effects in motion pictures, February 2012
  • “40 Years of Sound for Film” used live sound mixing demonstrations to illustrate how the raw tracks recorded on set become the finished motion picture soundtrack, Linwood Dunn Theater, March 2012
  • “Inside the Booth: A Journey through Projection”: Night 1: The Birth of Projection; Night 2: The Golden Age; Night 3: The Final Curtain, March – April 2012
  • “Gene Kelly: Choreography and the Camera” took an in-depth look at the contribution for which Gene most wished to be remembered: his role in changing the look of dance on film, Linwood Dunn Theater, May 2012.
  • “Capturing the Final Frontier: An Evening of Space Exploration with NASA and the Academy” spotlighted the collaboration relationship between NASA and Hollywood, and premiered never-before-seen previs of the Mars Rover landing before it touched down on Mars, Samuel Goldwyn Theater, July 2012
  • “Both Sides of the Camera: The Innovative Genius of Jerry Lewis” offered an entirely new look at “The Total Film-Maker,” reintroducing the comedy legend as the technical pioneer behind the closed-circuit video assist system, among other innovations, Samuel Goldwyn Theater, September 2012
  • “Deconstructing PI” reunited the creative team behind the Life of Pi for an examination of the breakthrough 3D and visual effects work that went into the crafting of the film, Samuel Goldwyn Theater, May 2013
  • “Turning the Page: Storytelling in the Digital Age” illustrated the changing role of screenwriters in the new digital landscape, Samuel Goldwyn Theater, May 2013
  • “Real to Reel: The Art of Action” showcased the way in which stunt artists collaborate with creative teams and utilize emerging technologies to help create complex movie stunts that would have never before been possible, Samuel Goldwyn Theater, September 2013
  • “Like Magic” explored cinema’s roots in stage magic and sleight of hand, examining how the basic principles of visual deception were critical to the development of special effects-driven “movie magic,” Samuel Goldwyn Theater, November 2013
  • “Deconstructing GRAVITY” offered a breakdown of the technical alchemy involved in creating this Oscar standout, Director’s Guild Theater, May 2014
  • “Movies in Your Brain: The Science of Cinematic Perception” brought together filmmakers and cognitive scientists for two nights of discussion on the way viewers process images, events and stories experienced on the big screen, and how basic principles of neuroscience might be used to improve the way filmmakers tell stories, Linwood Dunn Theater, July 2014
  • “Hollywood Takes to the Air: Illusions of Flight” used newly unearthed stunt and crash footage, studio outtakes and vintage sound recordings to relate the story of early stunt fliers and aerial filmmakers, Linwood Dunn Theater, August 2014
  • “Let There Be Fright: William Castle Scare Classics” screening series, LACMA’s Bing Theater, September 2014
  • “Haunted Screens: Expressionism in the German Cinema and its Influence” screening series in support of LACMA’s Haunted Screens: German Cinema in the 1920’s, October 2014
  • “The Perfect Match: Hollywood Costume Collaborations” screening series in support of the Academy’s Hollywood Costume exhibition, LACMA’s Bing Theater, November 2014
  • “Deconstructing BIG HERO 6” examine the creative leaps and technical innovations that went into crafting the year’s winner for Best Animated Feature, Samuel Goldwyn Theater, March 2015
  • “The New Audience: Moviegoing in a Connected World” explored the evolution of media consumption and movie going, Samuel Goldwyn Theater, May 2015
  • “Toy Story: An Animation Game-Changer” Samuel Goldwyn Theater, October 2015
  • “Lois Weber in Early Hollywood” offered an Academy scholars lecture on one of the silent era’s most prolific directors, Linwood Dunn Theater, November 2015

Sci-Tech Pop-up Exhibitions Curator, 2013-2016

Past exhibits include:

  • “Storytelling in the Digital Age” (2013)
  • “Dial M for Murder” (2013)
  • “Like Magic” (2013)
  • “Deconstructing GRAVITY” (2014)
  • “The Science of Cinematic Perception” (2014)
  • “Hollywood Takes to the Air: Illusions of Flight” (2014)
  • “Deconstructing BIG HERO 6” (2015)

Sci-Tech Internship Program, Coordinator, 2013-2015

 

2009 - present    LA WEEKLY, Los Angeles, CA 

Freelance Contributor - Squid Ink and A Considerable Town

  • Emphasis on food, cinema, comics and culture in Los Angeles

Editor, The Gold Standard Dining Newsletter, 2010

 

July 2013            UNFICTIONAL on KCRW (radio)

Segment Producer, “The Wrath of Comic-Con”