Running the Show: Communications Major Giulia Villanucci
Giulia Villanucci is a Communications major with a passion for video making. Showrunner for JCU’s “Blurred Lines”, a gender-bias themed web series, she is also an Orientation Team Leader. In the future, Giulia aspires to work in the entertainment business as an executive producer.
What led you to JCU?
I studied in Rome my whole life up until the third year of Italian high school. Then I transferred to an American high school in Michigan, where I spent two years and got my diploma. There, I experienced incredible personal growth since I went by myself at a young age, and came back to Italy right after graduation. Before coming to JCU, I enrolled in an Italian University where I was studying education. After a while, however, I realized that it wasn’t a good fit for me, so I decided to listen to my gut and follow my passion, Communications, which led me to find JCU. The opportunity to be surrounded by such an international community helps me to have an open mind and keep informed about what happens around the world.
What attracted you to video production?
I initially approached video making with smartphones and basic editing programs such as iMovie. Then in Spring 2018, I started making videos with professional cameras and editing software during my Foundation of Digital Media Production course. The JCU Communications Department has facilitated the whole process, as it gave me the tools I needed to put my ideas on screen. Having a support system through professors, friends, and people around me is what truly makes a difference and keeps me motivated. Constructive criticism and feedback have proven to be essential in helping me to improve and follow this path that I hope one day will turn into a career. Next semester I’m taking many classes that revolve around the world of Television, Ads and Video Production, as this is the field I’d like to explore for my future career. Once I graduate, my hope is to get some experience in the entertainment business and work my way up to become an executive producer.
You are an active member of the JCU TV Team, and currently the showrunner for “Blurred Lines,” the new series about gender bias. What inspired you to choose this topic?
The idea for Blurred Lines came to me last summer as I was thinking about a personal way to support feminism. I believe it’s very important to take part in the discussion and eventually take a stand. However, I’m still learning about it, so I wanted to make sure that whichever way I chose to implement it, it had to be inclusive. Gender bias and double standards are still prominent in our society, so I thought that creating a series that would offer some room for an informed debate was the right way to go. The format is simple: we pick a controversial topic, guests who can contribute through different points of view, and questions that will get the debate going. Now that we’ve shot all the episodes for the first season, I can say that I’m very satisfied with the final result, but also realize that there’s still a lot of room for improvement. Hopefully, we’ll be able to produce a second season next semester and keep the discussion alive, maybe even involving professors.
You have recently been promoted to Orientation Team Leader. In what ways do you feel you have grown from this experience?
I became an Orientation Leader in February, and since then I have truly started appreciating the value of being part of a team. As Team Leaders, we have many responsibilities, but I personally love to help others out, so I’m looking forward to this new position during the upcoming Spring 2019 Orientation. In the past, personal experiences have led me to make myself invisible to others. After working for the first Orientation in Summer I, I started to come out of my shell and put my potential to use. I had a chance to prove my organizational and problem-solving skills, as well as my creativity. Through time, I learned to speak up. Before I realized it, I found a supportive family in the Orientation Team which helped me get through some rough days.
My favorite moments from Orientation are the training activities for Orientation Leaders. Through different sessions, we create a special bond that comes in extremely useful during busy times at Orientation, when we need immediate and efficient communication among us in order to effectively help others.
You write SEO articles for More of Rome, a tour operator here in Rome. Tell us a bit about that.
I was contacted by More of Rome shortly after completing a Web Design course. The acronym SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” What I do is basically insert strong keywords in the articles I write, to make sure that the website I write for is one of the first results you find on your Google search. Every week I write an article about famous sights in Rome, and the fun and unique things to do while exploring the city. I truly enjoy this job because it allows me to continuously practice my writing in English. In fact, it has made me a better and faster writer.
What class has given you the most in terms of personal enrichment?
As much as I like putting the things I learn into practice, the Media, Culture and Society course is the one class that has personally enriched me the most (so far) in my JCU career. Professor Kwame Phillips challenged us with topics that might seem obvious when you first look at them, but that aren’t at all. The professor’s knowledge is what made me like the class so much. Thanks to a paper I wrote and suggestions from the professor, I already found the perfect topic for my Com thesis next year: the Attention Economy. Attention is viewed as one of the most important currencies of the 21st century, and thus the “Attention Economy” refers to the creation of revenue from the exchange of attention. In our society, we have transitioned from an economy of information to one of attention. So in the end what matters now is grabbing the attention of consumers, as opposed to giving them information.
What advice would you give to incoming JCU students?
My number one advice to those reading this is to get involved with JCU student life. It can be hard at times to find a balance between academics and extra-curricular activities, but as you learn to manage your time well, it gets easier. It’s essential to be involved in order to build a network of contacts. Put yourself out there, and make the most out of your JCU experience!