Point Loma Nazarene University
Contact: Jonathan Pickett (661) 433-5814
Point TV: Channel 23
Advisor: Alan Hueth (619) 849-2358
Date: February 18, 2016
Written by: Jonathan Pickett
Two special guests visit Media Communication course
Students were treated to two guest appearances on Monday, February 15th in their Field Production course - both who have work experience and insight that were beneficial for students to hear about.
The first guest speaker was Director of the Los Angeles Film Studies Center, Rebecca Ver Straten-McSparran. After students fueled up on coffee and cupcakes, courtesy of Rebecca and her husband, she went on to explain the inner workings of LAFSC, as well as show the students their facilities and the community apartments where students stay when they spend a semester in the program.
Following Rebecca’s appearance was former PLNU student Hilary Zeber, who is now a producer at AwesomenessTV, a media and entertainment company owned by Dreamworks. She talked about the path that led to her working for a show called “Top 5 Live” and being promoted to associate producer in less than year - all starting with a simple online application and an interview in LA.
Jacob Boyd is a senior Media Communication major with a concentration in Film Studies, who will be heading to LAFSC in the fall to study for a semester.
“Having Rebecca come to class and talk about the program was a great way for film students to get excited for what’s in store,” said Boyd. “Not only do they have top-notch facilities and technology for the students, but it seems like they genuinely care about the lives of LAFSC alums.”
The art of collaboration is a huge focus at LAFSC, among the other film production-related classes. According to Rebecca, this is because working collaboratively in Hollywood is such an important skill to have if you want to go into the film industry.
“In our Hollywood Production workshop, students choose teams and collaborate in order to make budgeted, film festival-ready short films,” Rebecca said.
Additionally, Rebecca talked about the LAFSC’s role in the students lives once they graduate from the center, because according to her, that is when her job is just starting.
“We offer all sorts of post-graduate resources for our students like short film grants, connections in the industry, referrals to production companies, mentorships - we just want to maintain that relationship with our students to ensure their success.”
Hilary Zeber was also getting students excited for the future as she talked about her experience so far as a Dreamworks employee. After being hired as an assistant producer, Zeber realized that many of the things she did with Point TV benefitted her by giving her the edge and experience over other candidates.
“Lots of what I’m doing with AwesomenessTV is just like what I did here, just on a larger scale,” Zeber said.
She didn’t come without specifics though. According to Zeber, students should always do more than was asked of them, and then ask to do some more, because that is the kind of work ethic that professional television and film producers see value in students who are just starting their careers. And for positions like Assistant Producer, when they see someone step up and they see their strengths, they’ll give more responsibilities, which is how she landed her recent promotion to Associate Producer.
Zeber ended on another note of encouragement: “We have lots of good internships, plus there’s room for growth within Dreamworks, so if you apply, I’ll make sure to put in a word for a fellow Point TV student!”
For information regarding Point TV, contact Alan Hueth at AlanHueth@pointloma.edu or Jonathan Pickett at firstname.lastname@example.org.