Film production course incorporates hands-on learning

The radio, television and film production program that is offered on campus gives students the ability to hone their craft and work towards a dynamic career in the media industry.

The RTVF 350 class, also known as Intermediate Film and Digital Cinema Production, provides students with the opportunity to produce, direct and work within a team-based environment to create narrative and documentary films.

“It’s a department with a lot of heart,” said Lauren Wagner, radio, television and film professor and instructor of RTVF 350.

Students are not just limited to work on their projects on campus, but are also able to shoot their films at various locations.

“It is a capstone class which incorporates digital media,” Wagner said.

For some students, the course offers them a chance to show who they are.

Anthony Wells, 25, a broadcast journalism major, learned the basics of camera work and terminology by taking RTVF 330 Basic Film and Video Camera Techniques.

“Being part of the radio station gave me the ability to express myself and put my voice out there,” Wells said.

Wagner said she advises students to take this prerequisite before attempting RTVF 350.

Wells, who only had previous experience making music, said that being able to put a story together and see his vision in film gave him that push to eventually pursue a career in both television and radio.

“I fell in love with the camera,” Wells said.

Wells said by taking RTVF 350, you get to apply the skill you learn and learn how to do it correctly.

He said he plans on interning with radio station 97.5 iHeartRadio and to network with people in that field.  

From a young age, Rachel Dirksen, 20, film and digital cinema and production major, has had a passion in writing about fictional characters and telling stories.  

“People fascinate me and I’ve written stories my whole life,”  Dirksen said.

“I wanted to get into film because I liked the aspect in pitching ideas, working with a production crew and learning how to direct,” Dirksen said.

She also co-owns a business with her fiancé called Forever Forward Productions, which films promotional videos for corporations and weddings.

Wagner said her goal is to have her students gain marketable skills after completing their degree.

“I want students to find their own voice and hold their own,” Wagner said.

Wagner always considered herself a film nerd. She began an education in film at Cosumnes River College.

From there, she graduated from University of Southern California, worked in television and dwelled into freelance work.  

“I love seeing the growth and the team coming together,” Wagner said.

Professor BJ  Snowden and Professor Wagner are here to guide students if they want to pursue an education in radio, television or film.

Screening of the students’ films from this fall semester will be displayed on Dec. 11 at the library room 111. Doors will open at 6 p.m.