Santa Barbara High MAD Academy Students Get Firsthand Experience on Commercial Product Shoot
LA production company teaches students how to use equipment, storytelling and editing for commercial footage.
By Brooke Holland, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @NoozhawkNews | May 28, 2018 | 3:14 p.m.
It’s not every day that high school students have an opportunity to film a Maserati commercial inside a photo studio with backdrops and professional lighting setups. With the help of a Los Angeles-based production company, it’s something that more than 20 Santa Barbara High School’s Multimedia Arts & Design Academy experienced firsthand on Thursday.
MAD Academy students are juggling multiple roles under the tutelage of a crew from Stept Studios, a company that produces commercial spots, branded content, and documentary films. Santa Barbara High students are doing plenty on the day-long shoot and production process. From lighting and logistics to using hand-held cameras, storytelling and more, the group is gaining hands-on film experience for a career after graduation.
“You smile when you see the footage come out after all of the work you have put in,” said SBHS student Kai Wilkinson, 17. “It’s surreal because I’m shooting with cameras that they use to film movies. It’s what I dream of doing. I want to be a film director. I’m getting a stable foundation for film school. It’s setting me up for my career path.”
His classmate, junior Forest Dempsey, said the skills learned through the workshop are instrumental to future success. “It’s awesome to be presented with this type of opportunity,” Dempsey, 17, said. “We are lucky to have the professionals showing us how it’s done in the industry. It’s cool to get an inside view.” The educational workshop was set up by Patrick Hall, a 2015 MAD Academy graduate who works full-time as the lead editor and visual effects supervisor at Stept Studios.
“The success that I’ve had so far in my career would not have been possible without the teachers and mentors I had at the MAD Academy,” Hall said in an email. “I want to give back to a place that gave me so much, and in doing so I hope I can inspire other creatives, other companies, and other people to give back as well.”
The students spent their day filming the car and learning how to tell the product’s story visually. They also worked with the post-production crew to edit the footage for the car commercial. “The students get a chance to shoot, edit and walk away with their own version of the commercial,” MAD’s director Dan Williams said. “We have never had an entire studio show up with every aspect to make this happen.”
— Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Download the full story here.