There’s Something for Everyone at USC’s Campus Television Station

Group photo of Trojan Vision students
The Morning Brew production crew/Photo Courtesy Chandrea Miller

BY Chandrea Miller

There’s an audible buzz of excitement coming from inside USC’s Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts.

“Three, two, one,” a voice can be heard shouting from inside the control room of USC’s official campus television station, Trojan Vision. “And we’re back.”

Back to producing in-studio television shows after three semesters of virtual learning due to the pandemic.

“The students were anxious to come back,” said Kathleen Dowdey, Program Director for Trojan Vision. “They were really enthusiastic.”

On this Tuesday morning nearly two dozen students and volunteers are busy producing The Morning Brew. It’s part of the Practicum in Television Production course, through the USC School of Cinematic Arts, that teaches basic concepts of multi-camera television production.

This class is open to all students from any school or department in the university, something that attracted architecture graduate student Chizoba Ibeanusi who serves as the current director of The Morning Brew.

“I’ve always used film as a medium in architecture for doing drawings, models represented in film or motion picture GIFs,” Ibeanusi said. “It’s also helped me to be able to speak about my architecture work, pitch ideas and communicate on the spot, plus I really enjoy the opportunity to take a class at USC’s prestigious film school.”

Showrunner and School of Cinematic Arts senior, Sophia Mazzella, joined Trojan Vision the first semester of her freshman year. She says the experience has not only taught her production skills, but practical skills.


Showrunner Sophia Mazzella
Showrunner Sophia Mazzella/Photo Courtesy Chandrea Miller

“It teaches you how to be adaptable, it teaches you how to work on a deadline, it’s all about practical experience,” Mazzella said. “You don’t have to have any interest in going into the entertainment industry to be in this class and get things from it.”

Students who enroll in the class are taught how to produce 30-minute multi-camera television shows. Sophomore Tanishq Babel has been learning how to operate the studio camera.


Camera-Op Tanishq Babel
Camera Operator Tanishq Babel/Photo Courtesy Chandrea Miller

“I literally had no experience and every week I’m able to immerse myself in roles that I’ve never imagined before,” Babel said. “I’m learning so much.”

Trojan Vision currently produces six television shows that range from sketch comedy to news. The program’s director invites everyone to take advantage of the cutting edge skills that are taught at the campus television station.

Program Director Kathleen Dowdey on set
Program Director Kathleen Dowdey on set (far left)/Photo Courtesy Chandrea Miller

“Any career you’re entering, you must be a good a spokesperson,” Dowdey said. “If you can say something succinctly and engagingly–a skill we don’t necessarily learn naturally–it will make you stand out from the other people who can’t.”

Now, Trojan Vision is debuting a new course: Practicum in Podcast Production .

Computer and microphone
Podcast/Photo Courtesy iStock

This class will give students hands-on experience in video podcast production. They will learn how to develop, produce, shoot, record, edit, release and promote video podcast episodes.

CTPR 404 is one of the core courses offered in USC’s new Podcasting Minor, a multidisciplinary program from the School of Cinematic Arts, the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the School of Dramatic Arts.

“Our fall semester podcast class filled up immediately,” Dowdey said. “No matter what your major is, if you can produce a podcast, that’s a skill that’s in high demand in almost all fields.”

For more information on courses CTPR 409 Practicum in Television Production or CTPR 404 Practicum in Podcast Production, contact Trojan Vision .