Christopher Molnar

Molnar finds way from MUTV to NCIS: LA

Written by Sarah Emery
Chris Molnar, right, poses with Chris O'Donnell at a NCIS-LA wrap party.

Chris Molnar, right, poses with Chris O'Donnell at a NCIS-LA wrap party.

When Christopher Molnar graduated from Miami University in 2004, he knew exactly where he wanted to go.

The Springfield, Ohio, native had always had a passion for film. Within a few weeks of moving to the City of Angels and sending resumes to every production company in town, Molnar was employed.

Twelve years later, Molnar has worked his way up from a post-production coordinator on NCIS to a Producer on NCIS: Los Angeles, one of the top network shows on television. Molnar is responsible for the post-production aspects of the show, which includes everything from visual effects to color correction to contacting production companies in Russia to get international footage.

“My job is basically to finish the show video-wise: color correction, second-unit directing, special effects,” Molnar stated in a phone interview. He added that he often serves as a liaison between various departments at NCIS: LA.

Ideally, Molnar would like to eventually run production for television and/or film. He tries to do one to two side projects every year to get better at all aspects of production. One of these projects, a web series entitled “We Don’t Hate It Here,” premiered Feb. 1 and was promoted by NCIS: LA star LL Cool J.

Before he moved to LA and considered celebrities like Mark Harmon and LL Cool J as colleagues, though, Molnar was a driven and involved student at Miami University. A mass communication major with a minor in management, Molnar was involved in many Mass Communication ventures, including MUTV News Segments and a sitcom produced by students.

Molnar shined as a member of Stage Left, Miami University’s only student-run musical theater organization on campus. Since 1991, Stage Left has produced two to three performances annually, with students of all majors in charge of every aspect of the shows.

While a member of Stage Left, Molnar was involved in many popular shows, including “Anything Goes,” “Into the Woods” and “Godspell.” Molnar also served as President of Stage Left and helped create the wooden cow, affectionately named Babs, that is still considered the unofficial mascot of the organization over a decade later.

Molnar’s Miami legacy extends far beyond student organizations. For the past few years, he has hosted Miami University students participating in the Inside Hollywood program, providing them the opportunity to see firsthand what goes into producing a network television show.

Professor of Media & Culture and Assistant Department Chair Howard Kleiman, has worked with Molnar through the Inside Hollywood program and is grateful for the opportunities Molnar has provided Miami University students.

“He’s been a tremendous friend to the Inside Hollywood program,” Kleiman said. “He’s been very good about networking with students and is emblematic of the terrific alumni that Miami has.”

Molnar is grateful for the experiences that Miami has provided him, and he encourages students interested in the media industry to take advantage of the availability of fairly inexpensive cameras and editing software and create their own projects.

“It’s really easy to do things on your own,” he advises. “My best advice is to show initiative, work hard and don’t procrastinate.”