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Disney producer shares Hollywood knowledge

Doubling as a producer at Walt Disney Imagineering and an Emerson College Los Angeles part-time faculty member, Marie Colabelli is preparing her students for the competitive Hollywood industry.

“I wanted my class to be about the challenges and realities of everyday production that often you do not learn in a classroom,” she said.


Marie Colabelli, faculty member at Emerson College Los Angeles, and producer for Walt Disney Imagineering. (Photo by Jamie Rogers '14)

Colabelli teaches a production management class in the Visual and Media Arts Department, tapping her vast TV production background. She previously worked for HBO, Showtime, Fox, FX, Discovery Channel, and PBS.

What is your favorite part of teaching?

Colabelli: Getting to know the students each semester. The students who attend the LA program arrive with an incredible foundation to work from and it’s always so impressive to witness their immediate commitment to learning as much as possible about the industry—and possibly their new home—while they’re here.

What’s your take on the new Emerson College Los Angeles?

Colabelli: It’s extraordinary. It’s inspiring, motivating, and it’s a captivating new presence in Hollywood on so many levels. It feels very special to be included in this exciting new time for Emerson.

Where else have you worked in LA?

Colabelli: I started out as an executive assistant at Universal in Development but when I was offered a job as a production coordinator, I felt very compelled to understand the physical production side of producing and took the job. From there, the city really opened up for me. I worked as a production coordinator for R.J. Cutler and Morgan Spurlock on feature-length and series projects for HBO, Showtime, Fox, and Discovery. The projects were so different in their content and it really prepared me for my next job working for PBS. Now, working with Walt Disney Imagineering allows me to bring my passion for production as well as my love for the creative together for an exciting new project for the company.

What advice do you have for students getting their start in LA?

Collabelli: Remain open to all possibilities. Sometimes we hold on so tightly to what we think an experience should be that we lose sight of what is actually unfolding before us. All that you want for yourself here is possible.

LEARN MORE: The Future Has Your Name On It! campaign for Emerson College Los Angeles.

READ MORE: Previous articles about the new Emerson College Los Angeles.

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