Since 2018, Daniel Levinson Wilk has led students at the Fashion Institute of Technology in creating a television interview show called Behind the Screens at FIT. The television show is shot in the context of a course on the labor history of American movies and television, and guests from industry attend many class meetings. Students research the guests, conduct each interview, film it, and later edit it into an episode of the show. Most traditional Hollywood interview shows focus on actors and directors, but Behind the Screens at FIT is more interested in investigating the wide range of labor that goes into making movies and television. Past guests have included producers, costume designers, art directors, lighting designers, makeup artists, explosives experts, and screenwriters.
This course assignment is meant to give students a hands-on approach to learning about labor conditions in the film and television industries, yesterday and today. Guests discuss their schooling, how they got their first jobs, networking, facing discrimination at work, work/life balance, mid-career transitions, collaboration, and other aspects of their occupations.
In this presentation, Dr. Levinson Wilk will show clips from the television show and discuss it as a model for teaching art and design students in all fields the histories of their careers.