Plaza Returning to Ringling College

Aubrey Plaza will meet with students of Ringling College of Art and Design today to launch the sixth season of the Ringling College Studio Lab, when her recent feature film Life After Beth will screen and she and director Jeff Baena will participate in a Q&A. Plaza, of course, has been to Ringling before, visiting last March. Before going to tonight’s event, you can read our coverage from last year:

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From the March 26, 2013 edition of SRQ Daily:

Actress Aubrey Plaza wasn’t expecting to do a cold read on scripts when she visited the Ringling College of Art and Design. But she was even more surprised to find the writing was good. “Two in particular felt like professional scripts,” she said. “I couldn’t believe they were written by students.”

The Parks and Recreation star was at Ringling as part of this year’s Digital Filmmaking Studio Lab and said she was stunned by the level of talent at the Sarasota college. Plaza attended a number of classes to work with students, and also did a Q&A session with students following a screening of her film Safety Not Guaranteed. She also sat down with SRQ Daily, where she said the rising film community in Sarasota had enormous promise.

“It feels like it could become an Austin, Texas,” she said. “It already has a film festival, and it definitely feels like something can happen here. It feels like there is an energy around, and from what I’ve seen, it’s an interesting place to shoot movies, too.”

Plaza said there are thriving film communities in places like Seattle and Portland where many filmmakers feel no need to move to Hollywood. That said, she did advise that anyone interested in a job in television try the Los Angeles lifestyle out.

An alumna of New York University’s film school, Plaza said the students at Ringling are clearly getting a top-notch film education. Impressed by the editing bays, animation studios and pool of talent at the school, Plaza said the trip to Ringling made her wish she’d paid more attention in class when she a student.

“I felt like I was right back in school along with those guys,” she said of the Ringling students. “I was learning more from them than they did from me.” At the student Q&A, Plaza was peppered with as many questions about how she got a paige job at NBC and an internship at Saturday Night Live as she did questions about any of her roles. She did advise that students focus the bulk of their attention of creating good product.

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As for tonight’s Plaza appearance, Plaza is expected to show up after the screening, around 8pm. SRQ Backlot will be there so look for video of the Q&A sometime Friday.

“I’m excited to bring this movie to Ringling,” said Plaza. “It’s a very special place.”

“It’s a thrill to showcase our film we worked so hard on,” added Baena. Offering advice to aspiring creative, Baena added “Whatever opportunity presents itself, take advantage of it. Look for opportunities and do a good job so you have a good reputation… know what your strengths and weaknesses are… and always be authentic and honest and true.”

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