While a sophomore at Ithaca College, Julia LaCava wrote a novel in a month. Though she had written full-length scripts for homework, this was not a typical class assignment. She had had a story in her head for over a year, complete with a storyboard of all the characters’ emotions and playlists of songs that embodied each. She missed National Writing Month in November, but was inspired by Camp NaNoWriMo and penned her story in April.
Julia will be a junior in the fall, majoring in Writing for TV, Film, and Emerging Media. Intrigued by this major, she was especially excited that she didn’t have to choose among television, film, or the catchall category of “emerging media.” When she was accepted, she sent in her deposit, even though she’d never visited the Ithaca, New York, campus, which she now describes as idyllic, especially in the winter.
During her senior year at a technical high school in Florida where she studied digital video production, a pivotal experience sealed her college plans. Her school was chosen to compete at an invitational in New York City. The group had 10 weeks to write a screenplay, then three days in NYC to shoot and edit a short film. Julia was in charge of screenwriting and producing, and laughs, “due to a fiasco, I was also codirecting.” She learned that she didn’t want to be in the spotlight. But when their production won the Heart Award for the most moving story, Julia realized she could move people with stories.
At Ithaca, Julia minors in sociology because it helps her understand people and how interactions work. “It helps me figure out the stories I want to tell,” she adds. “There are so many topics about the human condition that haven’t been explored.”
One fundamental human condition is love, which she took up at a college Game Jam. During the weekend Ludum Dare event, Julia was the lead writer of an apocalyptic dating sim called “Head Over Hooves: My Heart Bleats For You!” The objective of the game? Seduce a goat to fall in love with you, then sacrifice the goat to save the earth. When the game ranked 8th overall in the humor category from over 1,000 entries, Julia again recognized that she was able to tell compelling stories.
Julia is now putting her creative writing talents to a different use as a summer intern blogging about our several Earth science projects, including High-Adventure Science and GEODE. She recently wrote a blog post about the Ridgecrest Earthquakes in southern California, and is now getting ready to spend her fall semester in Los Angeles as a required part of her major! Asked about heading to LA following these recent quakes, she says, “Earthquakes aren’t going to go away in California, so I wish that we were paying more attention. As soon as it’s two or three months before hurricane season, Floridians prepare.”
Whether she chooses TV, film, or emerging media, thanks to her summer internship, Julia will be prepared for more writing for her major and beyond.