Media industry professionals gave Southern California students a reality check Saturday at College of the Canyons. More than 200 students, from junior high, high school and colleges came to the Valencia campus to get an up-close and personal chance to see if this was the career they really wanted.
“It’s a community event that really reaches out to area students no matter what their ages are, so that they can see what the media industry is all about,” said COC’s New Media Program Coordinator, Dave Brill.
For the past three months, Brill and West Ranch High School’s WRTV advisor Jennifer Overdevest planned to move the event hosted for two years at West Ranch to a larger venue at College of the Canyons.
“We wanted to elevate it to the next level,” Brill said. “We wanted to bring in not only high school and junior high school students, but college-level students as well.”
Multitudes of students filled the hallways and classrooms on the third floor of Mentry Hall, where various monitors and displays lined the building’s corridors.
Eighteen presenters, all from different professional media-related backgrounds, including TV and radio news, episodic show production and other industry crews patiently answered questions from the curious students.
“The students are really passionate about what they’re doing – if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be here,” said Industry Music Video Producer J.B. Adkins.
As a part of his presentation, Adkins launched his students into a real-life scenario where they wrote, produced and directed a music video of their own, each responsible for a different role in the creative process
“I made them do it because that’s the only way you’re going to learn – to be involved,” Adkins said.
KABC news anchor Phillip Palmer explained to students how he didn’t take the traditional path to becoming a news anchor, and how he didn’t expect them to either.
“Don’t do what I do, simply because you want to be on television. Do what I do because you love to tell stories,” Palmer said.
He explained to his audience how he started out in sports and moved on to radio.
“There’s so many different avenues that you can go into the media, whether it’s screenwriting, or being an author or even writing for television,” Palmer said.
The joint partnership between West Ranch High School’s media program and College of Canyon’s Media Entertainment Arts department made for a great venue for students to learn and interact and for the presenters to assist them in making their aspirations into a reality, Brill said.
Instructor Jon LaCroix teaches sound engineering at COC and founded his own music production company. He found the opportunity to teach a different age group unique.
“Hopefully they got a reality check on the way things actually are,” LaCroix said
“Pencils came out. I think they understood the difference between textbook knowledge and actual real world knowledge from a trained professional,” he added.