Student Work

At Miami University in Ohio, I teach in the Film Studies and Media and Communication majors as well as an introductory-level service course I designed, “Foundations of Production,” for all majors in my department, Media, Journalism & Film.  Building on past iterations of my production teaching, the course introduces students majoring in Strategic Communication, Journalism, Film Studies, and Media and Communication to key elements of production practice, including sessions on sound design, composition, continuity and montage editing principles, voiceover writing and performance, handheld camerawork, interviewing, and fiction film workflow.  I also teach a research preparation, 300-level seminar titled “Film Theory,” a hybrid studies/production film genres course titled “Star Wars and Science Fiction,” a study-away class in Los Angeles for junior and senior production students to meet Miami alumni working in the film industry titled “Inside Hollywood,” and special topics courses on documentary production and activist engagements with media making.  See, for example, the 43-minute, collaborative film Generation COVID: Coming of Age While Six Feet Apart (2020), created by students in my “Documentary Production” special topics course in the spring of 2020, here:

As the ASPIRE Fellow in Socially Engaged Media at UCLA from 2014-2017, I developed interdisciplinary digital media production courses for students in liberal arts majors.  These included “Documentary Production for Social Change: Mobility in Los Angeles,” cross-listed in Disability Studies and Urban Planning, “Diasporic Nonfiction: Media Engagements with Memory and Displacement,” cross-listed in Chicana/o Studies and African-American Studies, and “Making Films About Food,” part of a year long Freshman Cluster course titled “Food: A Lens on Environment and Sustainability.”  I taught critical media literacy through collaborative production practice to highly diverse groups of students, and have employed this approach in both seminars and lecture courses.

Twenty-student seminars included undergraduates from as many as seventeen different majors.  Project-based assignments led students to represent the activities of community organizations committed to social justice activism in Los Angeles.  Across the quarter, as students developed capacities to critique, shoot, edit, and distribute issue-focused documentary works, they also learned about the missions, strategies, and ideas at the center of the organizations they documented.  At the end of each course, students organized a public screening and discussion of their work, and conducted a social media outreach campaign to involve stakeholders from campus and the community.  A number of these works screened at other venues on campus and in the greater Los Angeles region.  Many of the students who took a course have pursued independent projects with me in subsequent quarters, or worked on the issues at the center of their film projects in other ways.  Several examples of student work are below.

Selects from the final project films completed for the freshman seminar course “Making Films about Food,” part of the yearlong cluster “Food: A lens on environment and sustainability.”  Screened publicly at UCLA as “The 5F Project: Five Fabulous Films on Figuring Out Food” (students’ title choice) in the spring of 2016.

Under Construction

By Andrene Scott, Vladimir Santos, Anthony Elder, Isaura Rivera-Anagnos

Documents aspects of the campaign “Do You See Me Now?” the Los Angeles Black Worker Center has developed to empower and raise awareness of the lack of Black workers hired at construction sites in the L.A. County.

Access Game

By Matthew Marcos, Yazmine Mihojevich, Bill Nipper, Subi Ross, Suzanna Tran, and Kevin Waitkuweit

Students with disabilities encounter many challenges commuting to and from UCLA as well as accessing different parts of the university campus. This is the story of one student’s journey.