USC School of Cinematic Arts Overview Video

Client - USC School of Cinematic Arts | Directed by - Cassandra Brooksbank | Produced by - JP Castel & Tristan Deburgh

The USC SCA Overview Video was developed in collaboration with the USC School of Cinematic Arts Public Relations & Admissions departments and is the main promotional material for on-the-road and online marketing. The project features the many growing fields of study at the university as well as industry renowned alumni who have helped shaped USC to be one of "the best film schools in the world."

Official Release - USC School of Cinematic Arts Website -

Producer's Notes

The USC SCA Overview video was another collaboration between Apex Cinema LLC & Poison Inc. Productions and provided a unique series of production challenges. I remember when we first sat down with USC to talk about the theme of the project we immediately began to agree that the real challenge was going to be presenting the campus and facilities in a new way. The great thing about the USC Film School is that it is a beautiful campus, however it has been featured many times and we spent a lot of our focus on how to create a unique new perspective or high production value on a small budget. I've worked with director Cassie Brooksbank a few times before and I’m always surprised by her ability to create amazingly unique ideas. It is always an exciting challenge to try and piece together rigs and a comprehensive shooting schedule to fit here vision.


We shot the majority of the project during the 2013 summer session over 19 production days. One of the biggest challenge when looking at the budget and schedule was how to fit a lot of our dolly & crane shots during the few days we had for exteriors. We ended up flying the camera on a Chapman dolly for over a week and covered just about every room and inch of the campus. We also rented a 30’ crane for 10 hours and grabbed some amazing large crane shots over the facility that are featured heavily in the final cut. 


One of my fondest memories from the shoot was the final statue shot at the end of the film. I remember when Cassie first described the shot it was so complex that we literally walked around the fountain as she explained it. Essentially Cassie wanted to dolly, crane, and circle the statue one and half times which meant that everything would be displayed and that the camera system had to be completely mobile. After discussing the shot with our exterior DoP Philips Shum we decided to mount a 10’ intel-a-jib on the mitchell plate of the chapman and create a circle track that would encompass the statue. When we initially started to tech the shot we realized that the stingers powering the crane head were going to be present throughout the frame and therefore had to be wrapped around the base of the fountain in the opposite direction of travel. All in all it took about 4 people to wrangle the stingers alone and 10 people to finally capture the shot. But our hope is that it would be a lasting inspiration for incoming filmmakers and I think it really came together in the end. 



Here is a look at the crazy rig we had put together to achieve the shot! 

That's our Director Cassie Brooksbank, Director of Photograhpy Philips Shum on the head controls, First AC Andy Chen on the preston focus, amazing Dolley Grip Greg, and myself opperating the crane, broken hand and all.

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