Libbey Coghlan “It’s been absolutely fabulous! Since 2001, the Academy has made so many of my dreams come true.”

The shining arc that Libbey Coghlan has blazed at SMC’s Academy of Entertainment & Technology is best described in her own words. “First I went for an internship for Fox Searchlab—the directors’ mentoring program for Fox Searchlight Pictures. Then I interned with the Marketing Challenge Project that sells new movies from the Sundance Filmmakers Lab,” says Libbey . “And I just returned from Washington, DC, where I did a four-month broadcast internship at the DC Television Center. But the best thing that’s happened,” she adds, “is that one of the movie trailers I created went to the 2004 Berlin International Film Festival, where it was seen by a lot of people.”

Phew! It’s obviously been a whirlwind ride for Libbey. And if those successes don’t impress you, how about the ‘toolbox’ she’s assembled to tackle the world of film creation and editing? “I’ve learned Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, and Pro Tools,” she rattles off breathlessly. “And in my night class tonight, I’ll be launching off into Houdini for special effects and composites. These are all huge programs, and I’m constantly overwhelmed by their updates. But you’ve got to adapt and commit yourself because it’s all, actually, a complete lifestyle.”

Libbey credits two people in particular for her meteoric moments at the Academy. “Warren Heaton is my primary instructor, and he’s absolutely brilliant. He perfectly melds art with technology. Then,” she adds with a laugh, “all you have to do is work your butt off! And Gloria Mottler—the Intern Coordinator—has made so many things happen. She just said, ‘What is it you want to do, Libbey?’ I feel blessed to have had her come into my life.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.