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From the Director

A Great Start A little over four years ago, we created the University of Oregon Cinema

Studies Program as an experiment.

The idea was to develop a major that would bring excellent faculty from across campus with expertise in

film and media to offer our undergraduates a degree that blended a

“Today, with more than 300 majors, new faculty arriving every year, and a growing group of successful alumni making their mark on the world, Oregon’s Cinema Studies is clearly here to stay.” Michael Aronson Director, Cinema Studies Associate Professor, English

cinema-focused liberal

This is our first annual publication,

a way of showcasing what makes our program so unusual and so

exciting. Whether you’re a potential

student deciding where to go

and what to do, one of our alumni


what’s happened

arts education with

since you’ve left for

creative work in digital

a job in Portland or

filmmaking. Today, with

Los Angeles, or one of

more than 300 ma-

our many friends and donors

jors, new faculty

who have helped make this all

arriving every

possible, I know you’ll find much

year, and a growing

in the following pages to learn and

group of success-

enjoy. We are proud of our accom-

ful alumni making

plishments and look forward to our

their mark on the world,

shared future in Cinema Studies.

Oregon’s Cinema Studies is clearly here to stay.

Go Ducks!

Photo by: Joshua Rainey


History of Cinema Studies INSIDE


8 16 20 22 24

Scholar Partners Collaborating to create the Cinema Studies Program Campus and Community Developing film partnerships to enhance learning opportunities Students in the Spotlight Students making the most of their education on campus Student Internships Connecting students to media-focused opportunities Working Filmmaker Series Sharing work, career, and professional advice Alumni Focus Catching up with alumni making their mark in cinema


Congratulations Class of 2014


Oregon in Ireland


Learning the Craft


Mentoring Future Filmmakers



A publicity photo from UO’s first student film, Ed’s Coed (1929).


he Cinema Studies Program officially enrolled its first students in January 2010, but the study of media on the UO campus has a long history. Cinema Studies pays tribute to its founding scholars, to show how their dynamic spirit lives on in our interdisciplinary program and its fantastic faculty. From early collaborations with the Library to lively scholarly and production activity on campus, Cinema Studies is proud of its history and the new faculty members who are building its future.


University Archives Photographic Collection

University Archives Photographic Collection

1929 n n1951 The first feature-length motion picture made Acclaimed film director James Ivory graduates by college students, Ed’s Coed, is filmed on the UO campus.

from UO. Experimental filmmaker Maya Deren visits campus.

Department to address campus demand; some of these films, audio, and equipment remain part of the library’s collection today. The first AV Department head, Don Hunter, worked as a crew member on Ed’s Coed after school—he was an 8th grader!

an independent filmmaker renowned for his socially engaged documentaries and teaching.

1946 n UO Library establishes an Audiovisual

1953 n James Blue graduates from UO. Blue becomes 1956 n UO Film Society organizes to present foreign, classic, documentary, and experimental 16mm films that are otherwise unavailable to the public.

1959 n n2009 Theater professor Horace Robinson teaches


“Appreciation of the Motion Picture” in the Speech Department, perhaps the first film class taught on campus.

1967 n The AV Department helps the UO Film Society acquire basic film equipment (cameras, editing equipment, microphones, etc.) and eventually becomes the Center for Media & Educational Technology (CMET).


Photo by: Michael Mcdermott

Photo by: Joshua Rainey

The current Cinema Studies Program begins. Kathleen Karlyn is named the program’s first director. Construction of the Cinema Studies Lab begins to provide a shared space for classes, production, and editing. The same year, the Cinema Pacific Film Festival debuts to highlight the University’s exceptional strengths in Pacific Rim film studies.

Sergio Rigoletto joins the Cinema Studies and Romance Languages faculty. Rigoletto’s expertise includes Italian cinema, star studies, and transnational queer cinemas. He is the co-editor of Popular Italian Cinema and recently published the book Masculinity and Italian Cinema: Sexual Politics, Social Conflict and Male Crisis in the 1970s, which explores representations of gender and sexuality in 1970s Italian film. Professor Rigoletto teaches courses including gender and sexuality in European Cinema, Italian post-war cinema, stars and performance, and realism.

n2010 Photo by: Michael Mcdermott

Bill Cadbury teaches “Film as Literature,” the first film class offered in the English Department.

1976 n A Film Studies major emerges in the Speech

Department, teaching theory and production to undergraduate and graduate students.


n2013 Photo by: Amanda Garcia

Cinema Studies officially launches with 58 declared majors; it quickly becomes the fastest growing major on campus. The program is unique: its inter-unit structure unites faculty and courses from the College of Arts & Sciences, Architecture and Allied Arts, and the School of Journalism and Communication.

n2011 University Archives Photographic Collection


John Belushi inside the EMU Fishbowl while on campus filming Animal House.

1981 n Film Studies merges with Telecommunications and is renamed Telecommunication and Film (TcF). The impressive TcF faculty body includes Carl Bybee, Bill Cadbury, Kathleen Karlyn, Julia Lesage, Deanna Robinson, Ellen Seiter, Janet Wasko, and Bill Willingham.

1992 n Due to state budget cuts, TcF is dissolved.

Faculty are re-distributed across campus, and media courses are offered by a variety of units, from the School of Journalism and Communication to the English Department.

1996 n Without Limits, a film about the life of

Steve Prefontaine, shoots on campus and in Eugene.

Photo Courtesy Adrenaline Film Project

With more than 300 declared majors, Cinema Studies expands to include an administrative office in McKenzie Hall. The Cinema Studies presence remains in Knight Library as the multimedia hub that houses the computer lab (pictured above), equipment room, and multimedia instructors.

Photo by: Joshua Rainey

Katharina Loew is the first new faculty member hired by Cinema Studies, in collaboration with the German and Scandinavian Department. Loew’s expertise includes silent cinema, film technology, and special effects. She has published on early 3-D cinema (1910s!) and is now working on a book about special effects and early German film. Professor Loew teaches Cinema Studies courses on Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Nazi cinema, and film theory and is planning courses about Charlie Chaplin and special effects.

Photo courtesy: Daniel Steinhart

Daniel Steinhart joins the Cinema Studies Program and School of Journalism and Communication faculty. Professor Steinhart received his Ph.D. in Cinema & Media Studies from UCLA and is working on a book about the internationalization of Hollywood production and location shooting in the post– World War II era. His research and teaching include production cultures, film style, and the history and practice of film curation.






roducing a great film requires the collaboration of many individuals, each bringing a unique set of skills to the project. It makes sense then, that a program seeking to produce great media scholars would also embrace collaboration. The Cinema Studies Program is an active partnership between the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Architecture and Allied Arts, and the School of Journalism and Communication. This collaboration is unique to Oregon: Cinema Studies majors take their courses across three different schools rather than from one department or program within one school. Because the study of cinema is a multidisciplinary 6 | CINEMA STUDIES



process, Cinema Studies majors learn to understand the medium from a variety of disciplinary angles and perspectives. The courses offered by these three partners form the core of the major, providing a dynamic approach that grounds students in the foundations of cinema history, theory, and production. After studying the fundamentals of film and media scholarship, students can chart their own paths through the major with a wide selection of courses. By graduation, a Cinema Studies major will have gained expertise from across the University in everything from experimental animation to silent Korean cinema. The Cinema Studies partnership extends


far beyond course offerings. For example, the three Cinema Studies partners have collaborated on a variety of unique events, including a Working Filmmaker Series; talks by internationally recognized cinema scholars; film screenings organized in collaboration with the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and the locally-owned Bijou Theater; one-day symposia like “Women Working in Media”; and the “What is Documentary?” conference held at the Portland Turnbull Center. As a result of this dynamic partnership, Cinema Studies students are prepared to navigate the ever-changing media industry and shape—rather than simply react to— these changes. n



Faculty in the School of Journalism and Communication draw on their research and background in the economic, political and cultural aspects of film and other media to ensure that students understand these various relationships. Several SOJC faculty partners are active as both scholars and filmmakers. The SOJC offers courses in everything from the Disney company and reality television to Latin American cinema and new media. Documentary filmmaking is also a mainstay of the program. Last year, Drs. Gabriela Martinez and Janet Wasko organized the “What is Documentary?” conference at the Portland Turnbull Center, which featured panel discussions by local newscasters and producers to highlight the gender divisions pervasive in mainstream media.

Faculty from across CAS departments conduct research and teach courses that primarily focus on the historical, aesthetic, and cultural aspects of cinema. Courses like History of Motion Picture, Philosophy of Film, The Films of Akira Kurosawa, Media Aesthetics, and Nordic Cinema teach students critical thinking and analysis skills through close readings of film and television programs as well as research and writing skills.

Peter Alilunas Assistant Professor SOJC

Sangita Gopal Associate Professor English

Cinema Studies Program Faculty from SOJC include:

Gabriela Martinez Associate Professor SOJC Daniel Miller Associate Professor SOJC Biswarup Sen Assistant Professor SOJC

Daniel Steinhart Assistant Professor SOJC; Cinema Studies Janet Wasko Professor SOJC

Cinema Studies Program Faculty from CAS include: Michael Allan Assistant Professor Comparative Literature

Michael Aronson Cinema Studies Director Associate Professor English

Dong Hoon Kim Assistant Professor, Korean Literature East Asian Languages & Literature

Katharina Loew Assistant Professor German & Scandinavian; Cinema Studies Quinn Miller Assistant Professor English

Priscilla Peña Ovalle Cinema Studies Associate Director Associate Professor English

Sergio Rigoletto Assistant Professor Romance Languages; Cinema Studies

SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AND ALLIED ARTS (AAA) Faculty in the School of Architecture and Allied Arts complete this unique partnership with expertise in art-focused media production as well as the historical and theoretical analysis of cinema-as-art. As cinema undergoes its historical transition from analog film to digital media, these scholars and artists lead students into the future and provide historical context through courses such as New Media Art and Digital Discourses, Introduction to Animation, Time-Based Digital Arts, Experimental Film, and Video Art. Some of the important contributions of AAA were highlighted this year by visits from working filmmakers David Waingarten and Daniel Meyers of Portland’s Second Story Interactive Studio. Waingarten and Meyers emphasized that Second Story’s interactive multimedia installations and online applications would not be possible without the collaboration of people with backgrounds in filmmaking, digital arts, and communication. Cinema Studies Program Faculty from AAA include: Michael Bray Career Instructor Department of Art

Keith Eggener Director of Undergraduate Studies Marion D. Ross Distinguished Professor of Architectural History Dept. of the History of Art & Architecture Richard Herskowitz Cinema Pacific Director Instructor Arts & Administration Euan Macdonald Professor of Practice Department of Art

In Memoriam: Kartz Ucci, Associate Professor of Digital Arts in the Department of Art, joined Oregon’s faculty in 2004 and was a major contributor to the founding of the interdisciplinary Cinema Studies major. Her enthusiasm and vibrant personality, which imparted an exciting mix of talent and passion to her teaching, was critical to the successful early establishment of the major. Her participation was instrumental in making the connection between Cinema Studies and Digital Arts in the School of Architecture and Allied Arts; she was a vital connection for Cinema Studies students interested in pursuing digital media. Professor Ucci passed away from cancer on October 6, 2013, and her loss was deeply felt across campus as well as in the art community. Kartz was a true artist in every sense of the word. Her vision and enthusiasm made Cinema Studies richer, more exciting, and ultimately truer to our shared idea of a program celebrated for its multiplicity of vision and practice. We pay tribute to Kartz Ucci as a contributing founder of the Cinema Studies major, as a teacher, a passionate artist, and wonderful person. CINEMA STUDIES | 7


Ed Schiessl, co-owner, Bijou Art Cinemas

Photo by: Dr. André Sirois



ver the past four years, Cinema Studies has cultivated partnerships with film campus groups and community partners to enhance student learning opportunities. Cinema Studies regularly collaborates with various departments across campus to co-sponsor film screenings and scholar speaking engagements. With the support of the campus community partners, the program’s connection with cinema scholars and professionals will expand as Cinema Studies continues to grow.

Community Partners The Bijou Art Cinemas was the clear choice when Cinema Studies

sought a Eugene-based organization to celebrate the community’s love of celluloid. Ed Schiessl, co-owner of the Bijou, worked with Cinema Studies to coordinate 16mm and 35mm film screenings with course offerings on campus. In addition, Cinema Studies faculty have introduced several films to audiences at the theater. As the major grows, so does Cinema Studies’ collaboration with the Bijou Art Cinemas. Portland is the hub of film production in Oregon, and Cinema Studies has partnered with the Northwest Film Center at the Portland Art Museum to cultivate opportunities for students—from tours and film festivals to a unique 16mm film classroom experience.

Campus Groups Michael Aronson, Director of Cinema Studies, serves as advisor to the ASUO student film club on campus, the University Film Organization (UFO). With his assistance, the club won $10,000 in funding in 2013 to create a promotional short film as part of a national competition sponsored by Hyundai. Cinema Studies is a major sponsor of Cinema Pacific, an annual week-long film and speaker series open to campus and the community. As part of Cinema Pacific, Cinema Studies actively supports the Adrenaline Film Festival, a 72-hour film competition that provides a unique opportunity and venue for select Cinema Studies students to showcase their filmmaking skills. n

Cinema Pacific & Adrenaline Film Project

Cinema Studies supports film festival with annual contribution STORY BY: RICHARD HERSKOWITZ

In 2009, Richard Herskowitz came to the University of Oregon, having spent the prior 27 years as director of the Virginia Film Festival and Cornell Cinema. Cinema Studies was on the verge of emerging as a program. University officials liked the idea of creating a festival, serving the University and the wider community that would highlight the University’s exceptional strengths in Pacific Rim film studies. Cinema Pacific was born with Herskowitz as director and Larissa Ennis, a UO English Ph.D., as operations manager. Students edit in the Cinema Studies lab during the Adrenaline Film Project. Photo Courtesy Adrenaline Film Project


On April 27, 2014, Herskowitz and Ennis wrapped up their fifth Cinema Pacific. Assisting them, as always,

was a team of Arts and Administration graduate students and Cinema Studies undergrads. Over its five years, the festival has brought to Eugene significant international filmmakers, including Guillermo Arriaga, Alex Gibney, Lynn Shelton, David Linde, Terence Chang, and Daniel Wu. The festival has become a popular annual event because of its engaging mix of films with live performances, multimedia installations, and, above all, filmmaking opportunities. The annual Adrenaline Film Project, in which 36 aspiring filmmakers work with 3 professional filmmakers to complete 12 short films in 72 hours, sells out every year. Find out more at

University Film Organization

The official student film club of the UO Cinema Studies Program STORY BY: SAMANTHA STENDAL

Bijou Art Cinemas

Bijou Metro

Photo by: Joshua Rainey

The Bijou Art Cinemas fill an important niche in the Eugene film community. In 2012, when Cinema Studies was looking for a place to show the Film on Film series, the Bijou was the only available venue to show movies on celluloid. The Film on Film series—created by Assistant Professor Katharina Loew, German & Scandinavian and Cinema Studies, and Lesli Larson, Director of Communications and Marketing, Knight Library—was organized by Cinema Studies to share the unique experience of watching a movie on film.

The University Film Organization (UFO) offers its members hands-on filmmaking experience through student-run productions as well as weekly workshops covering various aspects of the film industry. Students who join UFO can expect to visit film studios and film festivals while connecting with fellow student filmmakers passionate about cinema. Cinema Studies supports UFO in developing film projects. Last fall, UFO created a video for the Hyundai “Lens of Loyalty” film contest, a national competition of 25 select university film programs. The University Film Organization, one of the competition’s seven finalists, earned a $10,000 grant to produce their video. Since completing the Hyundai video, UFO has finished three “official UFO” short films, as well as several outside film projects. Any University of Oregon student may join UFO to collaborate on student films. More information about UFO can be found at

“Cinema in the City” students with NW Film Instructor Bushra Azzouz Photo by: Dr. André Sirois

Portland Art Museum - NW Film Center The Portland Art Museum’s NW Film Center has been an important connection between Oregon’s Cinema Studies Program and the Portland film community. Together, Cinema Studies and the Northwest Film Center have annually sponsored UO students at the NW Film Festival and provided tours of the Center’s impressive facilities. In summer 2012 and 2013, instructors from the NW

Film Center and Cinema Studies collaborated to offer a four-credit course, “Cinema in the City,” to UO undergraduates. The class, taught by Dr. André Sirois and Bushra Azzouz, gave students a unique opportunity to create a 16mm soundscape project on the streets of Portland. Cinema Studies looks forward to future collaboration with NW Film!

UFO members Kory Kast, Codi Roberts, and Ethan Arlt Photo Courtesy UFO



Students walk through ancient burial mounds at Br煤 na B贸inne, Ireland, during the Summer 2014 Study Abroad Program.

“Studying abroad is one of the great opportunities college students can participate in, regardless of where or what they study.”


Dr. Michael Aronson Director, Cinema Studies

he crowd outside the theater was buzz-

would, like the major itself, blend critical studies

film at a great film festival. As I looked around

Contemporary Cinema and Digital Filmmaking at

ing with the kind of collective energy that comes from having just shared a great

the throng of cinephiles for my Oregon students, I found most of them clustered in an animated group chatting with Jack Reynor and Will

Poulter, the young stars of the film Glassland, an

intense urban Dublin thriller that had just had its world premiere at the 2014 Galway Film Fleadh. “Fleadh,” pronounced similarly to ‘flaw,’ is the

Irish word for festival, and we were all there as

part of Cinema Studies’ inaugural study abroad summer program in Ireland.

Studying abroad is one of the great

opportunities college students can experience, regardless of where or what they study. But we wanted to give our Oregon students

the chance to immerse themselves in an

international summer cinema program that

with creative production work. Students enrolled in the five-week program take courses on Irish

the Institute of Art, Design and Technology, the home of Ireland’s National Film School, based

just outside Dublin’s city center. The dramatic

beauty of Ireland is a well-known attraction, but we also chose the country for its vibrant film-

making community, the Film School’s excellent

resources, and the opportunity to study a cinema that richly reflects its complex national history and identity. Many of the students who went

this summer said it was one of the best experiences they’ve had while at college, and

we look forward to offering it

as an annual feature of Cinema Studies at Oregon. n

Left to right: Dr. AndrĂŠ Sirois, Career Instructor & Multimedia Supervisor; Monica De Leon; Claire Haines; Matthew Thill; Sierra Swan; Kevin May, Avid Certified Instructor & Multimedia Assistant; Jenna Townsend; Blaine Bailey; Alex Paiz. Photo by: Joshua Rainey



he Cinema Studies Production Team brings together student videographers and Cinema Studies staff to film and edit interviews, event coverage, and promotional videos for the Cinema Studies Program and other units on campus. This valuable learning experience supports students with a rewarding employment opportunity: they train in cinematography and sound-recording techniques by working directly with clients and collaborating with various professionals and students. Kevin May, the Cinema Studies Multimedia Assistant, advises the team and guides the editing process to help students refine and sharpen their focus on aesthetics, narrative, and audience. 12 | CINEMA STUDIES


The Production Team, initially formed in the fall of 2013, now includes one student assistant producer and six student videographers and editors. The team began by covering the Working Filmmaker events and conducting interviews with campus speakers. Last fall, the team interviewed Pixar Animation Studios Film Editor Greg Snyder and First Assistant Editor CJ Hsu as well as David Waingarten and Daniel Meyers, Creative Directors from the Portland-based interactive media company Second Story Interactive Studios. In addition to highlighting internship opportunities and new classes, the Production Team regularly interviews Cinema Studies faculty and students about their experiences in the

program. These videos, posted on the Cinema Studies Vimeo Channel, are also featured on the program’s website. For the 2014-15 school year, Cinema Studies has expanded the team of student videographers to cover a wider variety of events and speakers and produce other informational and promotional videos for both Cinema Studies and potential clients around campus. What began as a small group of students filming events has now become a powerful training ground for the Cinema Studies Program and a vital production resource for the University and its community. n

“What began as a small group of students filming events has now become a powerful training ground for the Cinema Studies Program and a vital production resource for the University and its community.”

Sierra Swan

Photo by: Joshua Rainey

Kevin May Avid Certified Instructor Multimedia Assistant Kevin May

Photo by: Joshua Rainey

Blaine Bailey

Photo by: Callie Gisler

Instructor Dr. André Sirois and student Matthew Thill Photo by: Joshua Rainey




ifty-three students crossed the stage as the cheers of families and friends filled the room to mark their graduation from the Cinema Studies Program. Nearly 500 guests celebrated the outstanding achievements of the Cinema Studies Class of 2014. At the commencement ceremony, Cinema Studies Director Dr. Michael Aronson spoke about the value of hard work and encouraged graduates to be persistent and follow their dreams. “I hope you’ll make mistakes. If you’re making mistakes, it means you’re out there doing



“For me, it was more than just a major. It was a close group of peers and faculty that I could rely on for feedback, collaboration, and support.” Maura Turner something. And the mistakes themselves can be transformative,” Aronson said. Maura Turner says she and her fellow graduates were buzzing with nervous excitement before entering the Ballroom. “There was a feeling of accomplishment and

love in the room. These were friends that I had spent the last couple years getting to know, working with, laughing with, and creating with.” The newest graduates of the program join the 200 Cinema Studies alumni who have graduated from the program since the spring of 2010, many hoping to pursue a dream of telling stories through film and media. “For me, it was more than just a major,” said Turner. “It was a close group of peers and faculty that I could rely on for feedback, collaboration, and support.” n

Faculty and graduates of the class of 2014 Zachary Twardowski 2014 Essay Scholarship Recipient


During commencement, Cinema Studies proudly awards Merchant Ivory Scholarships to undergraduate students who demonstrate extraordinary skill and creativity in research and writing. These annual awards, the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Award and the James Ivory Essay Award, are made possible by the generous support of famed director James Ivory through the Merchant Ivory Foundation.

Trace Cabot 2013 SCMS Scholarship Recipient

James Ivory’s connection with the University of Oregon began when he left Klamath Falls to study at the UO’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts. His ambition was to become a movie set designer, but after earning his degree in 1951, he went on to achieve international success as one of the most influential and respected film directors of his generation. In addition, Ivory has been honored with several prestigious university awards: the Pioneer Award (1993), the School of Architecture and Allied Arts Ellis F. Lawrence Medal (1999), and the Distinguished Alumni Award (2010). Ivory’s generous support of the Cinema Studies Program has funded five scholarships in the past three years. Cinema Studies congratulates each of the past recipients: Samuel Gehrke (2012); Zach Goldstein (2012); Trace Cabot (2013); Meghan Hodge (2013); and Zachary Twardowski (2014). CINEMA STUDIES | 15



A dynamic program of theory and practice, the University of Oregon Cinema Studies Program is home to students whose interests, talents, and skills permeate every niche of the film industry. Students immerse themselves, inside and outside the classroom, to take full advantage of what the program has to offer. Here are three outstanding students who are making the most of their time on campus.

Sam Stendal

Photo by: Peabody Awards, Licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0)


Photo by: Joshua Rainey

For University of Oregon student Brad Burke, making zombie movies became reality when Davey Porter Pictures, a studio in Corvallis, Oregon, picked up his zombie trilogy, Zompocalypse, for production. Did we mention it’s a musical? The “crazy” decision was met with outstanding support from family, friends, and Cinema Studies faculty. Burke serves as Director of Photography for the studio, working long days between Corvallis and Portland, Oregon. “I’m usually the first one on set and the last one to leave the studio,” he explains. Burke’s current role keeps him involved in almost every aspect of the production process. Zompocalypse has taught Burke the hard skills of film production, and he would not hesitate to encourage other students to follow in his footsteps. “The best way to get into film is by actually working on a film,” says Burke. “You’re able to build priceless connections and learn things that, quite honestly, are almost impossible to teach without physically doing them.” “Film has always been my dream. It was really an easy choice,” says Burke, whose love for writing and filming began in elementary school. He will continue his work as a director on six different films between 2014 and 2018 while completing his education. n


Photo by: Joshua Rainey

University of Oregon junior Jordyn Roach’s college career has been nothing short of “award winning.” To achieve her goal of a “thorough theoretical and practical background in filmmaking practices,” she is double majoring in Applied Physics and Cinema Studies. Outside the classroom, Roach hones her skills by producing shorts and animated films and has already earned several distinguished honors. In 2013, her short film This is a Girl received 2nd Runner Up and Cisco’s Award for Most Innovative Film at the Girls Impact the World Film Festival. The following year, Roach was awarded the Brave New Beauty Award for her animation work, titled “Broken Beauty.” “I want to become a film director capable of working in the avant-garde, blockbuster, and documentary styles,” says Roach. After graduating from the UO in 2016, Roach hopes to attend a graduate film school to further her education and career. n


Photoby: by: Peabody Peabordy Awrds, Photo Awards lincensedunder under Creative Commons BY 3.0) Licensed Creative Commons (CC(CC BY 3.0)

For University of Oregon student Sam Stendal, a love for filmmaking and visual storytelling began early in her life. That passion made the University’s Cinema Studies major an easy choice when Stendal made her decision to enroll at the UO. In her junior year, Stendal’s talent was nationally recognized when she and fellow UO student Aaron Blanton won a 2014 Peabody award for their short video response to the Steubenville, Ohio rape case. The video, titled “A Needed Response,” has garnered over nine million views on YouTube since it was posted in March 2013 and gained national media attention as the first viral YouTube video to earn a Peabody award. Stendal explains, “I wanted to create a video that would show a new standard for everyone: that it is not okay to take advantage of others. I am extremely surprised that the video has received as much attention as it has. I am glad that a message focused around respect can travel so far.” The accomplishment has helped Stendal participate in many conversations around a topic about which she is passionate. After completing her Cinema Studies degree, Stendal plans to continue her career in film production, while pursing her own personal projects on the side. n



PHOTOS BY: JOSHUA RAINEY The future of a filmmaker is built in and outside the classroom. This fact is one that has inspired many industry professionals to give back as mentors to current students. The Cinema Studies Program helps connect its students with professionals, in Oregon and across the country.

“It is extremely important for all new filmmakers to have a mentor.” Juliana Lukasik Principal & Director @Large Films Inc.

“Having a mentor can help orient students in the industry. It’s an important resource for students, no matter what stage they might be in,“ explained Shauna Riedel-Bash, UO Cinema Studies Program Student Services Assistant Director. “The Cinema Studies Program is fortunate to have a great professional network of mentors to support it and its students.” Mentors help students realize what they are capable of as young professionals and future filmmakers. “It is extremely important for all new filmmakers to have a mentor,” said Juliana Lukasik, Principal and Director of @Large Films Inc., a Portland-based production company. Lukasik began mentoring Cinema Studies students after visiting campus as a guest speaker; now she regularly invites students to join her at @Large Films Inc. for “job shadowing” and other career opportunities. Lukasik understands how a mentor might have impacted her own career. In the 15 years before her debut as a director, Lukasik never had the opportunity to work alongside a female director. According to Lukasik, female directors make up only five percent of the directorial population.


“I really never considered it an option for myself until I owned the production company. Women need to see other women directing,” said Lukasik. Many University of Oregon alumni have found a way to give back to the Cinema Studies Program by mentoring students. For Pixar Film Editor Greg Snyder, early mentorship “helped [him] get to where [he] is today.” Snyder graduated from the University of Oregon in 1992 and has remained connected with the school and campus throughout his career. “It’s a gift that people give when [they mentor]. That gift was given to me, and it’s nice to give it back,” said Snyder. Snyder and CJ Hsu, who works alongside Snyder at Pixar and attended the UO in the early 1990s, visited the University of Oregon campus in December 2013 as part of the Cinema Studies Program’s Working Filmmaker Series. “Mentorship can show students that they can succeed after school,” explained Hsu. In his role as a First Assistant Editor, Hsu is a key asset in the success of Pixar’s editorial team. Hsu has shown students an important side of the editorial process that young filmmakers might not have previously understood or considered. More importantly, Hsu’s role as a mentor has helped students see that “struggling in the beginning is all right, and it’s something that we all have to go through.” Through campus visits, job shadow opportunities, and one-on-one sessions, professionals like Lukasik, Snyder, and Hsu play important roles in the education of Cinema Studies students. Mentorship enriches the program’s academic curriculum while guiding students toward potential careers after graduation. Industry professionals interested in becoming mentors are encouraged to contact Shauna Riedel-Bash, Student Services Assistant Director, through email: n

CJ Hsu, First Assistant Editor Pixar Animation Studios

“It’s a gift that people give when [they mentor]. That gift was given to me, and it’s nice to give it back.” Greg Synder, Film Editor Pixar Animation Studios

Greg Snyder speaks with students during the Working Filmmaker Series.

Cinema Studies Digital Network Cinema Studies is pleased to announce the premiere of the UO Cinema Studies Digital Network. This private Facebook group provides members with the ability to share employment and internship opportunities while networking with friends of the program, such as alumni, industry professionals, and select current Cinema Studies majors. The UO Cinema Studies Digital Network is an excellent way to build lasting professional connections and develop career opportunities. Alumni and professionals are invited to join the group at: Cinema Studies students can schedule an appointment with Student Services Assistant Director Shauna Riedel-Bash at to learn how to become a member.

Juliana Lukasik (center) with Cinema Studies students CINEMA STUDIES | 19



In today’s professional world, internship experience is essential for success. The University of Oregon Cinema Studies Program helps connect its students to mediafocused internship opportunities in Oregon and across the country. Christina Hernandez, Kate Schnabel, and Leslie Seder are three Cinema Studies students who made the most of their internship opportunities in 2014.


Mention Portland and most people will think of one of Oregon’s biggest claims to fame, the award-winning television show Portlandia. Kate Schnabel, a 2014 University of Oregon Cinema Studies graduate, started as a Portlandia intern during her sophomore year and knows the show well. “After interning for the show, I got hired on the next season as the line producer’s assistant and have been doing that ever since,” explained Schnabel. Schnabel’s work includes managing Portlandia’s intern team and handling a large spectrum of administrative work, from assisting with the show’s accounting to accommodating the needs of guest stars. For Schnabel, acquiring an internship early on in her college career opened the door for post-grad success. “I was so worried about not having a job when I graduated. Now I’m working on my third season,” she said. “It’s best to get started early because it just gets harder the longer you wait.” The experience is also helping Schnabel prepare for the next big step in her life. “I plan to work my way up and hopefully someday be a producer myself,” she said. n Photo by: Shauna Riedel-Bash


The Wang Family Invests in Cinema Studies Students STORY BY: AUDRA MAHONEY

Emil and Patricia Wang, along with their daughter Katie Wang (Cinema Studies class of 2012), generously established the Wang Family Fund to support undergraduates in the Cinema Studies Program. The fund, created to build an alumni support network and to help develop professional opportunities, has significantly increased job and internship opportunities for Cinema Studies students. “The Wang Family Fund has expanded employer relationships and increased internship opportu-

Photo by: Joshua Rainey

One of the most difficult internships to get is with Disney, but University of Oregon student Christina Hernandez beat out the competition for a place in the Disney College Program in January 2014. The Cinema Studies major committed to a six-month Florida-based internship working up-closeand-personal with one of the world’s bestknown entertainment companies. “I think my favorite part of the internship has been being able to witness, up close, all the technology and different parts that make the biggest show on earth work,” says Hernandez about her work as a cast member at the Lights, Motors, Action!® Extreme Stunt Show® at Hollywood Studios. Hernandez’s internship put her at the forefront of one of the park’s most popular shows: she worked to seat audience members and manage a 5,000-seat stadium. “Because I’ve done theater for so long, it’s a very familiar process getting ready for a show.” This time, however, Hernandez gained valuable experience with the physical logistics of operating a production. Learning how to seat audience members might seem far from her dreams in cinema production, but it is not. Getting your foot in the door, learning about the many facets of the industry, networking, demonstrating that you can do whatever needs to be done—these are all important steps toward jump-starting a dream career in film production. Hernandez grew up in Oregon and realized her love of film and performance through experiences in high school. After finishing her degree at the UO, Hernandez hopes to complete a professional internship with Disney Studios, followed by a career in film and performance in a major city. n

Traveling the world might be on every student’s bucket list, but Cinema Studies major Leslie Seder got to do it aboard The World as an “enrichment/stage & broadcast intern” in the summer of 2014. A luxury ship comprised of privately owned apartments, The World carries its residents, guests, and crew on a continuous journey to exotic ports across the globe. Seder met the mega-yacht and crew in May 2014 in Cairns, Australia, and then visited multiple countries, including Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, as well as Indonesia, Singapore, and other ports throughout Asia. “I knew that it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I would be crazy to pass up,” she explained. “So, I applied, had two interviews with the company, and eventually was hired!” Seder worked with a team of professionals to create a daily television show— from start to finish. “Every day was different in this position,” Seder recalls, from venturing into a port city for filming to long hours back on the ship editing a show for air the next day. Seder assisted with events onboard the ship as well. From cultural performances to guest lecturers and film screenings, anything that involved the Stage & Broadcast Department provided Seder with the opportunity to contribute. “Basically everyday was different in this position, which I think is a great way to learn all the different responsibilities very quickly onboard the ship, as well as time management skills.” According to Seder, there was “no better work experience than actually getting in there and working.” After graduation, Seder hopes to pursue film as an assistant director or production coordinator. n

nities about 600% in the past three years,” says Shauna Riedel-Bash, Cinema Studies Student Services Assistant Director. The Wang donation has helped students make connections, learn professional skills, and gain invaluable experience working in the industry as interns. Many of these internships have then led to the students’ first jobs after graduation. Recent Cinema Studies alumni have been hired as Production Assistants on the sets of Portlandia (Comedy Central), Grimm (NBC), and Leverage (TNT); as Assistant Editors at the entertainment marketing agency Trailer Park, Inc.; and as an Associate Producer at Sawhorse Productions. Cinema Studies sends a special thank-you to the Wang family for investing in the futures of Cinema Studies students.


Photo by: Joshua Rainey


Juliana Lukasik

Director and Principal of @Large Films Inc. Juliana Lukasik shared her experience as a female director and owner of a commercial production company in Portland, Oregon, with the Cinema Studies professional development class. She lunched with a small group of aspiring filmmakers and gave valuable insight into the lifestyle of commercial producers and the stability of the field. Lukasik offered advice on getting started in the industry, particularly for women, such as how to find entry-level positions and what she looks for when hiring.


The 2013-14 installment of the Working Filmmaker Series connected students with industry professionals who share their work, career trajectory and professional advice. Photo by: Joshua Rainey

Pixar Animation Studios

Pixar Animation Studios Film Editor Greg Snyder (above right) and First Assistant Editor CJ Hsu (above left) graciously shared experiences of editing film with over 200 students and community members at the largest Working Filmmaker presentation of the 2013-2014 academic year. Snyder and Hsu discussed footage from Monsters University® and shared their advice for pursuing a career in the animation industry. After the event, Snyder and Hsu—both of whom attended UO in the 1990s—lunched with a small group of select students who plan to become editors. 22 | CINEMA STUDIES

Dave and Nancy Petrone Invest in Cinema Studies The Working Filmmaker Series was made possible by their generous donation. Photo by: Joshua Rainey

Marc Marrie

Executive Producer and Partner Marc Marrie from Arts & Science, a commercial production company, came to campus to discuss what it takes to make a living producing national TV commercials. Students viewed behind-the-scenes footage of the steps involved to create some of his company’s recent work—the 2014 Super Bowl spot for the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the 2014 Visa spot celebrating the inclusion of women’s ski jumping in the Winter Olympics, which garnered nearly 3 million views on YouTube.

Photo by: Joshua Rainey

Matt Piedmont

Returning series participant, Emmy-winning writer, director, and producer Matt Piedmont shared his experience writing for Saturday Night Live with students for the final Working Filmmaker presentation of the year. He offered a personal view of his career, from working his way up in the industry as an instant ramen–eating page for NBC before breaking into the writing room of SNL. Piedmont also discussed his more recent work as the creator and director of the TV mini-series The Spoils of Babylon. He concluded his visit with an intimate discussion about writing for comedy television with advanced screenwriting students.


In 2010, Dave and Nancy Petrone invested in the future of Cinema Studies students by establishing the Cinema Studies Working Filmmaker Series, a unique experience that has allowed students to interact with and learn directly from industry professionals. The program has been a tremendous success. Attendance has continued to grow, and important industry relationships, from Portland to Los Angeles, have grown into internship and job opportunities for Cinema Studies students—all thanks to the Petrones’ generous donation. The Working Filmmaker Series has brought a wide range of industry professionals to share their media-making experiences with the UO campus: • Film editors from Pixar Animation Studios discussed the post-production process of making Monsters University®. • Production crew from the Oregon television show Portlandia explained a variety of on-set responsibilities to students.

Photo by: Callie Gisler

Portland Filmmakers

Working professionals from Portlandia and others in the Portland area discussed a variety of careers possible in the media industry. The speakers included Peggy Knoebel (above), Portlandia’s First Assistant Camera; Kevin Sullivan, Portlandia’s Co-Producer; Steven Weisman, freelance Screenwriter/Producer and Portlandia Production Coordinator; and Tyson Wisbrock, a film and commercial Director of Photography. The speakers shared their career paths with an audience of enthusiastic students. The panel broke into smaller workshops to discuss their specialties—from the role of a producer to how to be a great PA, as well as the details of the camera department (What’s in that giant bag the AC hauls around?).

Photo by: Joshua Rainey

Second Story Interactive Studios

The Creative Directors of the Portland-based, interactive media company Second Story came to campus to discuss their awardwinning interactive displays, featured at the University’s Ford Alumni Center. Working at the intersection of storytelling and architecture, David Waingarten (above right), a registered architect and 2007 graduate of the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts Masters Program, and Daniel Meyers (above left), whose extensive storytelling background draws on his experiences as a feature filmmaker, musician, and writer, shared career advice and their vision for the future of digital media with students.

• Stephanie Drachkovitch, Executive Vice President of 44 Blue Productions, detailed the process of reality television production and ran an in-depth workshop for students on story pitching for nonfiction television. • Music video director Todd Angkasuwan showed how to treat, pitch, and create music videos for popular artists like Snoop Dogg, T-Pain, and RZA. • Matt Piedmont, screenwriter, director and Emmy Award-winning writer for Saturday Night Live, shared his journey breaking into writing for television and major motion pictures. These first-hand experiences generate incredible enthusiasm and invaluably broaden student career goals. Cinema Studies sends a special thank-you to the Petrones for making the Working Filmmaker Series possible. CINEMA STUDIES | 23


Graduating in Cinema Studies is, of course, only the beginning, and Aaron Blanton ’13, Melanie Bowman ’13, and Sabrina Gimenez ’13 are three young professionals who are already leaving their marks on the film industry. What have these three alumni been up to since graduation day?

Melanie Bowman

Photo by: Keri Piccolla


Photo by: Joshua Rainey

A Eugene native, Aaron Blanton did not know he would become a University of Oregon Cinema Studies student. But when the program launched during his sophomore year, declaring the major was an easy choice. Blanton knew his “big calling in life” was directing independent films, so he lent his passion and ideas to the new program. Blanton was also involved in building the University Film Organization, the largest collegiate film club in the Pacific Northwest. With Cinema Studies major Samantha Stendal, Blanton produced the viral YouTube video “A Needed Response,” which has garnered over nine million views on YouTube since it was posted in March 2013. Stendal and Blanton earned a 2014 Peabody Award for the video, the first Peabody ever awarded to a viral video. “It’s the broadcast industry’s Pulitzer Prize,” explained Blanton. Since “A Needed Response,” Blanton has found himself collaborating with the creators of the documentary The Invisible War (2012), the social media site Upworthy, and the nonprofit group End Rape on Campus. Blanton has just moved from Seattle into a full-time editing job at Harvard University. “We’re living in a weird time to be filmmakers. As cinema students, we should be putting all of our attention toward writing the best content we can,” explains Blanton. “Don’t touch that camera until you have a great story and something important to say. The rest is a cakewalk.”n

Photo by: Tracy Chase

Photo by: Nate Udall

When Melanie Bowman first enrolled at the University of Oregon, it wasn’t for filmmaking. She began as an Anthropology major, but the newly established Cinema Studies Program quickly caught her eye— and resurrected a longtime interest in film production at the same time. During her time on campus, Bowman enrolled in as many hands-on classes as she could and interned as the Cinema Pacific Film Fest Production Coordinator. “My internship was a huge launching pad for my success. It taught me how to successfully navigate the logistics of a major film event,” said Bowman. During the spring break of her senior year, Bowman found herself in Los Angeles for informational interviews. Networking with UO alumni and professionals working in the film industry, Bowman set up a meeting with Sawhorse Productions. “The rest, as they say, is history,” said Bowman. Bowman soon accepted an unpaid Assistant Editing internship with the company. She quickly climbed her way up and currently works as a full-time Producer for Sawhorse Productions. She produces a wide range of digital content for Conde Nast Entertainment—Teen Vogue, Glamour, Vanity Fair, GQ, and Golf Digest. “I heard a lot of the same advice in college: ‘You have to be a production assistant for two years,’” explained Bowman. “I decided I didn’t have to follow those rules. Don’t be afraid of your lack of experience; embrace the parts of you that are marketable and trust that everything else comes with time.” n

After graduating from high school in Nevada, Sabrina Gimenez never planned to move to Oregon. But when she stepped onto campus as a University of Oregon freshman in 2009, the Cinema Studies major immediately sparked her interest. She decided on a double major in English and Cinema Studies. After graduation, Gimenez focused on utilizing her professional resources. “I kept track of my contacts and mentors and who they mentioned they knew at certain places,” explained Gimenez. When an Assistant Editor position opened at Trailer Park, Inc., the new graduate’s professional network proved to be a powerful tool. Four days after contacting her mentor for an introduction, Gimenez found herself with an interview; three weeks later, she had a full-time job offer. Trailer Park, Inc. is a theatrical advertising and marketing agency located on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California. “My job is very communication-heavy, and I’m always on my toes in case anything happens!” said Gimenez. Recent projects included films such as Monsters University® and Frozen®. After landing a position that “most 22-year-olds only dream of getting,” Gimenez has already started an incredibly promising career. “I am a firm believer in chasing after what you want,” she said. “Most importantly, be pragmatic in all you do if you look for these industry jobs. I couldn’t be more happy with my career post grad.” n


Thank you, friends of Cinema Studies ! These generous donors have made it possible for Cinema Studies to continuously achieve its goals. John D. & Susan Ansen Robert A. Berry Christopher J. Collins Dr. J. Thomas Duncan Frank A. Gajes-Dadulla Dr. Mark D. & Mrs. Joyce P. Gall Steven A. & Joy Nickel Gehlen Ana M. Haase-Reed Kathryn A. Hickey Ericka Hoffman James F. Ivory Arrow Kruse Errol K. Loving Dr. Perry W. Ma Kathleen W. Montague Angela O. Pascal David M. & Nancy L. Petrone Michael P. Richards Cathy A. Sarkowsky William J. & Lynette J. Schamber, Jr. Gregory P. Snyder Michael O. Stearns Silicon Valley Community Foundation (Wang Family) Simon & Pauline Thaler Bonnie L. Thompson Neil & Heather Tolchinsky Phyllis H. Winters David Wright & Sarah Hunt Wright


Your support of Cinema Studies at the University of Oregon has allowed the program to experience outstanding growth since launching in 2010 with just 58 students. Today, the program serves more than 300 majors, providing our students with the richness of a liberal arts education that intertwines cinema’s rich history and theory with practical state-of-theart production skills—and your donations of time and resources helped make this possible! Cinema Studies is committed to continuing to enrich student experience and growth by providing opportunities to learn from and work with industry professionals, including our own alumni. Supporting Cinema Studies provides endless opportunities for the program, for our students and our faculty. Students are eager for internship opportunities, and we welcome your assistance in making connections to professionals across the industry. To get involved with Cinema Studies students by becoming a mentor, providing a job shadow opportunity, or offering an internship position, please contact Shauna Riedel-Bash, Student Services Assistant Director, at or 541.346.8613. Opportunities to Support Cinema Studies

Student Internships: In highly competitive media-related industries, employers want to hire individuals with relevant work experience. For undergraduates, this is best accomplished through internships. Student Mentorship: Providing students with advice and guidance is an invaluable resource to students in their overall educational development.

Equipment and Technology: To prepare students for careers in mediarelated industries, the program must maintain up-to-date equipment and the latest technology.

Speaker Series: Cinema Studies hosts professionals, scholars, and artists from media-related industries as speakers in large campus-wide events, as well as small class workshops, greatly enriching the program and the student experience. Filmmakers-in-Residence: Short-term residencies by professional filmmakers and artists inspire students to pursue their dreams. Enhanced Library Collections: Building on existing cinema-related research materials held by the UO Libraries will enhance teaching and research.

Endowed Faculty Support: Ongoing support provides faculty with resources for developing and sustaining a strong curriculum with continuing education and research.

A gift to Cinema Studies, whether large or small, has the ability to touch every one of our students. We appreciate your interest and support! For more information on how you can support the UO’s Cinema Studies Program, please contact Mary Ann Ayson, Director of Development, at or 541.346.3903.

Annual giving reminder

If you are contacted by UO Annual Giving and decide to make a contribution to the University, consider designating the Cinema Studies Program as a recipient of your gift. Such gifts make a difference in what the Program can do to enhance educational opportunities for our students and provide valuable research and instructional resources for our faculty.

If you wish to make a contribution now, please make your check payable to the University of Oregon Foundation, designated for the Cinema Studies Program, and send it directly to the University of Oregon Foundation, 1720 East 13th Avenue, Suite 410, Eugene, OR 97403-2253, or donate online through the UO Foundation at: Thank you!

Cinema Studies publication contributors Cinema Studies Director Michael Aronson Associate Professor of English Associate Director Priscilla Peña Ovalle Associate Professor of English Rose Guess ‘11

Photo By: Michael Mcdermott

Thank you, students!

Contributors Keri Aronson Director of Development, UO Libraries Kay Bailey Cinema Studies Office Coordinator

The Cinema Studies Program would like to sincerely thank the talented, creative, and dedicated group of student employees who helped make this publication possible. Callie Gisler, 2013-14 Social Media Student Assistant, helped launch the publication by skillfully developing the overall design concept and by conducting interviews and writing many of the publication’s articles. Yolanda Saetern, our talented and creative Graphic Design Student Assistant, artfully brought the Cinema Studies story to life from cover to cover. New to the Cinema Studies team, Hannah Osborn, 2014-15 Social Media Student Assistant, jumped right in and wrote articles and created the publication website. Kate Tallman has been a creative, dependable part of our team since Spring 2013, and her photographs of the Irish countryside are featured in the study abroad article. Zach Silva joined Cinema Studies in Spring 2014 and has been an excellent ambassador for the program, promoting Cinema Studies during IntroDUCKtion. With the newest additions to the student team, Maddie Dunkelberg and Skylar Ojeda, Cinema Studies might just have the best student employees on the planet! Thank you!

Connect with Cinema Studies

Callie Gisler Class of 2014 Richard Herskowitz Cinema Pacific Director; Instructor Lesli Larson Director of Library Comm. & Marketing Audra Mahoney Cinema Studies Office Manager Kevin May Instructor; Multimedia Assistant Hannah Osborn Class of 2015 Shauna Riedel-Bash Student Services Asst. Director; Instructor

Office 201 McKenzie Hall 541-346-8104

Multimedia Center 267 Knight Library 541-346-8172

Equipment Room 18 Knight Library 541-346-7820

Steve Rust Assistant to the Director 2013-14 Instructor


Online Magazine

Social Media

Sam Stendal Class of 2015; UFO President

Back Cover: Matthew Thill, Maura Turner, and Kyle Sorvig celebrate after the 2014 commencement ceremony.

Photo Courtesy UO Communications

An equal-opportunity, affirmative-action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This publication will be made available in accessible formats upon request. Accommodations for people with disabilities will be provided if requested in advance by calling 541-346-8104 or emailing the department at ©2014 University of Oregon DES1012-153e

Production Manager Michelle Wright Media Coordinator Design and Production Callie Gisler Class of 2014 Yolanda Saetern Class of 2016 Photography Joshua Rainey Photography

Cinema Studies is an interdisciplinary major with courses from the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Architecture and Allied Arts, and the School of Journalism and Communication. For more information, contact Shauna Riedel-Bash at; or visit us in 201 McKenzie Hall.

Cinema Studies Magazine  

An annual publication of the University of Oregon Cinema Studies Program.

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