Students at the Pinnacle

I will be adding some pictures we have snapped over the last couple of years in some future posts just to show the NOVA Cinema students hard at work/play.  However, I wanted to start with this one because it really says so much in just one shot.  It is a still frame from a couple seconds of video shot by former student Jake Simpson while working with some of our current students (Eugene Rose, Anthony Peznola, Qiyanna Evans, Ashley Kelly, Bryan Dover, Cheryl Anne Fries, and Malcolm Tatman) while filming out in South Dakota this past October.  We will give you more of the behind-the-scenes story (and pictures) in future posts but this one shot at night shows the determination of these incredible students as they filmed all day long in harsh ever-changing weather elements (two separate freak snow storms) and scaling several hills/mountains up and down (with equipment) in slippery footing and clay-baked earth just to get to and from “set” each day.  They were excellent professionals and this one picture shows their determination to make it to the top…literally and figuratively!!!

Jake Simpson doing great work

I didn’t know how to otherwise title this post but Cinema student Jake Simpson has been working on a lot of projects recently to really hone his craft.

As I will tell any of our students, if you are interested in the production side of film, then you really need to get out there and do some real-world work, which is why the new Cinema AFA degree will offer both an internship component but also a portfolio so you can highlight your work, making you more marketable in the film industry and more desirable as a transfer student.

And I am really proud of so many of my students who continue to work in the field and make their dreams come true and Jake is the most recent example with his excellent cinematography on a new feature-length film still in principal photography: “Talons of the Phoenix.”

I do not know the plot of the film except it is a period piece set in WWII but based on Jake’s excellent work, it will be a film we will surely profile and push when it is launched to the public.  In the meantime, check out these wonderful screen grabs and you can already get the emotion of the film, as well as, Jake’s emerging film style:

Great looking shots!

Hopefully we will speak more to Jake in the future and find out more about this production and all the hard work being put into the production by the entire cast and crew.  All my best to all of them.

In addition, a big congratulations to Jake on his recent nomination for best cinematography at the Hollywood Dreams Film Festival in Las Vegas.

Now, if we can get all these talented students working together, there is no end to what they can accomplish.

“Down” Music Video Official Release Day

Unfortunately, we had to wait to show this video because the song was not officially released until today but here is the music video for the song “Down” by Ohio’s own Cameron Pierson.  She is signed to local record label Potomac Records and I think our students would agree that it was a delight to work with her and Lyrion Neely on the making of this video.

We wish nothing but success for both of them.

Finally, a new post and new videos

Okay, it has been a busy summer and we did not have a chance to get anything posted during that time.  However, with a new semester comes new news.  We are feverishly working on a new cinema degree (Associates of Fine Arts) to begin in the fall of 2017.  Finally, students will be able to attend NOVA and get a degree in what they love – film!

We will keep you updated on the progress but we are moving in the right direction.

Also, we had three projects our students were working on in the spring and we are finally starting to see them come online…

The students completed a short film based on a screenplay from a writer in London.  Check it out here and in the “Videos” page of this blog:

Also, the students did a commercial for Hometowne Auto & Tire.  If you visit their Facebook page, you can see it posted there (and I encourage you to do so and watch all their other exciting content – they are a wonderful company built on the platform of excellent customer service); but, here is also a direct link to their Youtube posting of the video:

And, finally, the students completed a music video for exciting up and coming artist Cameron Pierson of Ohio, who is signed to local record label Potomac Records.  The song and video will be officially released on October 4th, so you will have to come back then for its premiere.

Filming Time


The students in PHT 131 (Video II) have been very busy lately with their end of the semester film shoots.  They wrapped the shoot for their narrative piece (a short film based on a script from a London screenplay artist) two weeks ago and that has entered post production.  In addition, this past weekend, they shot a music video for artist Cameron Pierson of Ohio, who is signed to a label with our local Potomac Records (see location still above).

See her Facebook page here:

Then, the class filmed yesterday with the assistance of the Video I class (PHT 130) for a commercial for Hometowne Auto & Tire:

We will soon post all three videos to this blog site once all post production has been completed.  We will also post more stills from the shoots but here are some pictures from the set of the music video for “Down,” by Cameron Pierson with special guest Lyrion Neely.

[Pictures courtesy of Jason Pierson]

Photo Apr 09, 10 20 15 PM

Photo Apr 09, 4 33 46 PMPhoto Apr 09, 5 23 39 PMPhoto Apr 09, 9 25 05 PMPhoto Apr 09, 4 57 00 PMPhoto Apr 09, 3 07 49 PMPhoto Apr 09, 3 58 10 PMPhoto Apr 09, 2 12 48 PMPhoto Apr 09, 3 57 07 PMPhoto Apr 09, 11 19 40 PMPhoto Apr 09, 7 55 06 PMPhoto Apr 09, 8 15 48 PMPhoto Apr 09, 4 36 17 PMPhoto Apr 09, 9 27 30 PMPhoto Apr 09, 10 31 14 PMPhoto Apr 09, 7 52 51 PMPhoto Apr 09, 4 43 04 PMPhoto Apr 09, 11 03 02 PMPhoto Apr 09, 10 19 59 PM

Another Great Student Film


I encourage you to check out this latest video from the creative minds that brought you “Smellovision,” Paige Fischer and Meghan Oney (with some special acting from some talented family members).

I will be adding it soon to the Video section of this blog (along with some other newer additions from this semester – so check back soon) but I wanted to give you a look at the great art that is coming from our campus.

The video was completed for CST 250 (Art of the Film).

NOVA Woodbridge Film Program 2014 Promo Video

Here is our promotional video from September’s film shoot.

We tried to give it a Film Noir feeling and actually added grain to the final grading and converted it to black and white to stay with the era.

(Watch it in HD if the settings do not default to it)

Spring class registration starts next week, so I hope potential students will be interested in our classes here at Woodbridge.


Natural Lens Flare

In a recent class discussion, we discussed the use of lens flares in post-production work to imitate the natural flares exposed through cinematography.  The use (and sometimes overuse) of lens flares, whether natural or fabricated, is a debatable topic one way or the other.

However, while filming our recent music video this past weekend, two of our students were excited by this shot…a natural flare:


It still remains to be seen if this shot will make it in the final cut but it is exciting to watch the experimentation by student filmmakers.  Sometimes, it is the mistakes that make for the best results.

Film Students Work On Music Video

Just one more teaser as everyone waits for the promotional video.

I am posting a picture from a video shoot our Video I (PHT 130) students did for local band Karla and the Brotherhood yesterday afternoon.

I really think our students learned a lot being “on set” and getting hands-on experience working in this environment.

We appreciate the hospitality of the band and look forward to filming them on the 23rd as well.

Hopefully the band will have two new music videos by the end of the year.