Meet Samantha Douglas!
Samantha is a member of the Class of ’14 who has achieved remarkable success in the entertainment industry. Samantha currently holds the position of Manager of Visual Development at Marvel Studios. Her recent projects include Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Samantha’s role involves supporting concept artists and character designers, facilitating comic book research, formulating visual and development ideas, and collaborating with filmmakers to present Visual Development assets.
The Chapman Community Experience
When Samantha was in high school, the idea of attending a large university with tens of thousands of undergraduates felt daunting. So, she looked for a place where she could excel academically and feel a sense of community. Her search led her to Chapman University, where she instantly felt a sense of welcome and belonging. Samantha reflects, “I found a strong sense of community at Chapman and feel so fortunate to have spent my college years there.”
Chapman University and the Argyros School of Business and Economics provided Samantha with valuable resources that equipped her for the real world and the competitive job market. She made the most of the school’s resources, from the career center to student counseling, to prepare herself for the post-graduation journey. Samantha emphasizes, “The resources provided by Chapman are only meant to help further your career and education, so I am glad I took advantage of as many of those resources as I could.”
A Marvel-ous Career!
Fast forward to today, and Samantha is thriving as the Manager of Visual Development at Marvel Studios, the powerhouse behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As mentioned before, her impressive portfolio includes working on projects like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Samantha’s role is essential in shaping the MCU’s visual identity.
She describes her role in the following words: “My role specifically involves supporting those artists with comic book research, formulating visual and development ideas, interfacing with filmmakers to present Visual Development assets, and making sure my department is informed about the evolving story developments across the MCU to guarantee a unique design language for each project.”
Before her role at Marvel, Samantha’s career journey included experiences at Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures. These previous roles gave her experience in many different facets of the entertainment industry and provided opportunities for networking with colleagues across the industry. They were essential on her journey to Marvel Studios.
Samantha joined her sorority, Alpha Phi, during her first year and became highly involved on campus. This early involvement played a crucial role in helping her discover her passions and desires for her future. She reflects on her involvement, saying, “Being involved on campus as a freshman and sophomore really helped me figure out what I wanted out of my time at Chapman.”
Samantha also found her very own support system at Chapman, which consisted of teachers, friends, and fellow students, “I feel truly lucky to have gained a sense of belonging and community at Chapman.”
Samantha’s favorite class, Industry Insiders, was a supplementary course at Dodge College. Though she wasn’t a film student, this course played a pivotal role in sparking her interest in the entertainment industry. Through film screenings and discussions with industry professionals, Samantha gained valuable insights into the entertainment industry.
Advice for Aspiring Entertainment Professionals
For students and recent graduates seeking a similar path in the entertainment industry, Samantha offers this advice: “Be flexible. There aren’t a set of steps or rules to follow to get you to where you want to be, and I think that goes for any industry.” Samantha’s journey was far from linear, and she encourages others to embrace diverse experiences and opportunities. She emphasizes that, while some may recommend starting at a talent agency, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.
Samantha Douglas‘ journey from Chapman to Marvel Studios is a testament to the power of hard work, determination, community, and the resources Chapman University provides. We look forward to witnessing Samantha’s continued success and are confident she will continue to shine brightly in her future endeavors!