Stu­dents get hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence in film class

Antelope Valley Press - - Front Page - By JULIE DRAKE Val­ley Press Staff Writer

LAN­CASTER — Stu­dents in An­te­lope Val­ley Col­lege’s Film and Tele­vi­sion pro­gram get hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence in dif­fer­ent as­pects of film-mak­ing to help them trans­fer to a four-year univer­sity or get an en­try-level job in the film in­dus­try.

Stu­dents learn core skills, in­clud­ing screen writ­ing, cin­e­matog­ra­phy, light­ing, edit­ing and di­rect­ing. The pro­gram also cov­ers the less glam­orous side of film-mak­ing such as per­mits, pa­per­work and in­surance, safety and lo­ca­tion scout­ing and use.

The Film and Tele­vi­sion

pro­gram started in the fall of 2018 with 32 stu­dents who de­clared it their ma­jor. This year, 118 stu­dents de­clared Film and Tele­vi­sion their ma­jor.

“It was some­thing that I’ve al­ways wanted to do,” In­struc­tor Kevin North said. “The lead­er­ship for our depart­ment and the school, in gen­eral, was at a point where it was re­ally sup­port­ive.”

Film & Tele­vi­sion is part of the Arts and Hu­man­i­ties Depart­ment. Dean Duane Ram­sey was sup­port­ive of see­ing the pro­gram grow. So, too, was Visual Arts Depart­ment Chair­per­son Lisa Karl­stein, North said.

He has been teach­ing film and tele­vi­sion his whole ca­reer at AV

Col­lege. North and all of the in­struc­tors in the pro­gram are part-time in­struc­tors.

Stu­dents of­ten ex­pressed a de­sire to ma­jor in film, but with no film pro­gram in place, they set­tled for some­thing else like dig­i­tal me­dia. North de­vel­oped the curriculum for the pro­gram based on state re­quire­ments for an as­so­ciates de­gree in film.

“I up­dated some of our classes and then also wrote an ad­di­tional class curriculum-wise to set up the path­way so it was sim­i­lar to what the state was do­ing,” he said.

The pro­gram’s re­quired cour­ses are In­tro­duc­tion to Film, In­tro­duc­tion to Screen writ­ing, Be­gin­ning Au­dio

Pro­duc­tion and In­tro­duc­tion to Dig­i­tal Film-mak­ing. The re­quired pro­gram elec­tives are In­tro­duc­tion to Tele­vi­sion, In­ter­cul­tural & Women’s Film and African Amer­i­can Cin­ema.

Stu­dents who com­plete the pro­gram can earn an as­so­ciates de­gree in Film Pro­duc­tion.

Stu­dents In the Film Pro­duc­tion class pro­duce two films in the se­mes­ter, when they take the class. At the end of each se­mes­ter, there is a stu­dent film show­case. Stu­dent films run any­where be­tween five and 10 min­utes each. Stu­dents work on a pro­ject in a four- or five-per­son crew with

mem­bers swap­ping po­si­tions.

North re­quires stu­dents to cap­tion their work — the only pro­gram that does so.

“On the col­lege cam­pus it’s re­quired that ev­ery­thing we show to the public be cap­tioned any­way,” he said.

There are also in­dus­try jobs in cap­tion­ing.

“It’s a good skill to know and a good habit to get into,” North said.

His stu­dents are in­ter­ested in all as­pects of film, some want to be di­rec­tors, screen­writ­ers, pro­duc­ers or cin­e­matog­ra­phers.

Film stu­dent Arek Kouy­oumjian wants to be a pro­ducer.

“I like kind of tack­ling all parts of pro­duc­tion as op­posed to fo­cus­ing ex­actly on one,” he said. “As a pro­ducer I’ve seen you have a hand in all parts of a pro­duc­tion.”

Kouy­oumjian orig­i­nally started in the dig­i­tal me­dia pro­gram at AV Col­lege.

“I was taking the classes be­fore the pro­gram ex­isted,” he said.

Kouy­oumjian changed his ma­jor to Film and Tele­vi­sion after the pro­gram was ap­proved.

“You know that feel­ing that you get when you know that this is the thing that you want to do? Ever since the pro­gram popped up that’s been it, like 100% through the whole thing,” he said.

Stu­dent Brooke Nor­iega, who will grad­u­ate in 2020, joined the pro­gram as a screen­writer.

“This se­mes­ter, I took both the au­dio pro­duc­tion class and the film-mak­ing class,” she said. “Al­though I’ve been in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try for 10 years, it blew me away.”

Nor­iega, an ac­tress, mu­si­cian and com­poser, said North is pas­sion­ate about the pro­gram.

“Ev­ery class he teaches it makes me not want to miss it … What he teaches is not just one as­pect of film and tele­vi­sion, it’s ev­ery sin­gle job be­cause ev­ery sin­gle job is im­por­tant,” she said. “It re­ally helped me learn how im­por­tant every­body is to a set.”

North’s midterm as­sign­ment this past se­mes­ter was a two- to five-minute si­lent film.

“As a writer, I had no idea what I was go­ing to do,” Nor­iega said. “So I thought out­side of the box.”

Her film, “Crayons,” is about the loss of in­no­cence as a young child learns about smok­ing at a early age. She also wrote an orig­i­nal score for the film.

Film pro­duc­tion stu­dents use Sony high-def­i­ni­tion cam­eras and pro­fes­sional-grade equip­ment. North se­cured a Perkins Grant worth be­tween $25,000 and $30,000 to get the ba­sic cam­era and au­dio equip­ment needed to get started. He suc­cess­fully ap­plied for an­other Perkins Grant this year worth about $60,000.

“My goal is to up­date some of the cam­era equip­ment and to get some new equip­ment that we weren’t able to get the first time,” North said in an email. “I want our stu­dents to have ac­cess to and ex­pe­ri­ence with the types of equip­ment that is con­sid­ered in­dus­try stan­dard. This will help them when they trans­fer to the Univer­sity or with en­try level jobs in the in­dus­try.”

Photo Cour­tesy Kevin North

An­te­lope Val­ley Col­lege film in­struc­tor Kevin North (left, kneel­ing) holds a movie cam­era while stu­dent Joanell Wil­liams (seated) and stu­dent Rylee Flores holds a boom mi­cro­phone.

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