Day 3: Bill Walton, Fox Sports, LA Sports Museum and Santa Monica Pier

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By Erika Larsen
Today marks the third full day of SU being in LA!! It has been several very long days, but they have been valuable days nonetheless. This morning was our earliest day of the week. We all had to be up and out at 6 am, and needless to say it was a pretty rough morning. I was pretty cranky as I was getting out of bed and preparing for the day, dreading the two hour long car ride we had to take to get to the Ritz. Although it was a very rough three hours, what we experienced when we got there made up for the rough morning.

As we got to the 5-star hotel overseeing the beautiful Laguna Beach, we were in a rush to get to the conference room to meet with Bill Walton. I was not sure what to expect as we entered the room, and little did I know what we were about to hear and experience was going to change my life in the sport industry forever. Bill Walton is a big, tall, friendly looking guy who was one of UCLA’s most reknown players in the history of the school. Years ago, he had the privilege of playing for the best coach ever known, John Wooden. Just by hearing Mr. Walton talk about his life I was able to distinguish how John Wooden had an amazing impact on his life. Mr. Walton gave us very empowering words about the industry and life in general, and what we need to do to be successful and differentiate ourselves from other people in sports. One of the most remarkable things he said to us that will always stick in my head is, “Nobody makes it to the top themselves.” Mr. Walton made it evident that we are all capable of being successful in the industry, but in order to live a positive life we had to create a culture of ‘yes.’ Instead of always trying to ask questions you will get told no, change your outlook on life and ask questions where you will be told yes. He also expressed his passion he has for life and being successful which was extremely inspiring and will forever leave an impact on my career path in sports.

​Although it was a rough morning getting to the Roth Conference, we will all treasure this experience forever. We all left the Roth Conference pumped up and ready to take on anything, with a new positive mindset about life. Bill Walton had overcome so many things in life, from the 37 surgeries on his body, to leading his team to it’s first national championship in the Final Four, and then making his imprint on the NBA. We will all take this experience with us for the rest of our lives, and we are privileged to have had the opportunity to meet with such a remarkable person.

By Meghan Grassadonia

Today after meeting with Bill Walton, we traveled to FOX Studio Lot. They normally do not give tours to the public so this was a great experience for all of us, and we were all very grateful for this opportunity. When we arrived we met with our tour guide, Michael, who also works in the security department for FOX. The studio originally was 390 acres, which included Century City. Today, the lot is fifty-five acres and holds one hundred and fifty-four buildings. Rupert Murdoch bought it in 1985 and since then FOX has built seven new buildings. Seven thousand employees work for FOX Studios. It has nineteen sound stages and they only produce TV shows. They only produce TV shows on set because they ultimately make more money than movies do. Although they do not film any movies on the lot, they do have films sent to them for post production. They have the number one post production building on the planet. It is normally booked three to four years in advance. Sounds and music are added to the films in post production. We were able to go into one of the production rooms called the Foley Stage, and see them adding sounds to a new film that is coming out soon called The Maze Runner. The process involved one employee playing the movie scene while the other employee in a different room made noises with props. The sounds he made with the props ended up fitting the scene. Seeing this was so exciting because none of us knew that this was how sound and noises were added to movies for a dramatic effect.

Along with seeing the post production studio, we learned about the different shows that are produced on the studio. Some examples are New Girl, Bones, and Modern Family. When we first arrived, we walked through a set of a New York City street. We saw the restaurant that the cast of Bones goes to many times during the show. We also saw the steps to the bar and apartment door from How I Met Your Mother. Speaking of How I Met Your Mother, our tour guide told us that they have just finished filming the show and they are planning the Pilot for How I Met Your Father. Also while walking around the studio we actually were able to see some of the actors and actresses from Modern Family. The cast was in the studio today because they were doing a table reading. We also got the experience to go on the set of New Girl. It was so exciting to see an actual TV show set and how small they are in comparison to how they look on TV. We learned that the different cameras that are used to film can make the rooms look much bigger depending on the angle they are used at. Even though sports were not involved in the tour at all, sports and entertainment are similar in how competitive the industries are. It was such a great experience to see the entertainment side of TV especially since sports and entertainment go hand in hand together. The tour gave us an idea of how we must become creative and stand out to become successful in the sport industry.

By Ben Rechler

Today was something special.We started the day by having a meeting with Bill Walton, to having a tour of Fox Studios, followed by meeting with the Senior Vice President of Fox Sports, where he gave us a tour of Fox Sports studios. Then, we ended the day with seeing the most remarkable private baseball collection at the LA Sports Museum. Today was something I will never forget for the rest of my life.

The opportunity to have Bill Walton speak to our group was one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. To say it was inspirational was an understatement. To me, what stood out was when Bill Walton explained that his biggest challenge was his speech impediment. He explained that he struggled extremely hard communicating with the media, his teammates and everyone around him because of his stutter. I was in awe when he stated that, “I couldn’t even say hello till I was 28.” I found it so remarkable that he had a speaking problem and would never even suspect a minor speaking problem from him at all and the fact that he struggled to speak that much till he was 28 was incredible to me. Walton spoke extremely well and was very articulate with his words. The fact that he overcame such a tough obstacle was remarkable to me because not only did he overcome his obstacle, he mastered his obstacle. Walton became an anchor for many years and now publicly speaks.

From hearing about Coach Wooden yesterday, it seemed that Walton and Wooden were vey similar, as they share a lot of the same thoughts and beliefs. For example, Walton has now dedicated his entire life to help people. He is apart of Connect, which is an organization that has volunteers who help the economy. He also is apart of Roth Capital, which is a company that is very active with philanthropy. For example, they buy wheel chairs for people who have lost limbs, as well as people who were in Iraq and were in terrible accidents. He has also created the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which provides prostatic body parts. Walton and Wooden are similar because both have dedicated their lives for others. It was often stressed that Wooden spent his life helping others and caring for others. He could have coached in the NBA or have other positions in the sport industry where he would have made a lot more money, but that’s not what he cared about. What Wooden cared about the most was helping those who played for him and making use of every day. Just like Wooden, Walton stressed that, “One never knows how things will work out” and that it is important to “make each day your masterpiece.” Walton and Wooden both love to learn. Walton explained how he always loves to read and values every day he has. Just like Walton, one of Coach Wooden’s most famous quotes is “ Today is the most important day of your life. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is dependent on today’s preparation. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Both had very similar beliefs on how important each day is and how one should make the best of every day. Walton and Wooden are both very bright and had a very different way of thinking then most. An interesting quote that Walton said was, “When everybody thinks alike, then no body thinks.” This was a very interesting thought and made me realize it is important to stand out and not just think the same as others.

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Departure!March 12th, 2016
LA here we come!
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