SVCTE | Student Spotlight: Megumi Ikeda
Name: Megumi Ikeda
SVCTE Video Production Student 2017-2019
Education: Leland High School (2015 - 2019) & California State University, Northridge (CSUN) (2019 - 2022)
Major: Cinema and Television Arts (Emerging Media Option)
Minor: Computer Science
How are your first two years of college going?
My time on campus during my first year went amazing! I joined a total of four organizations, from film-related clubs, greeks to cultural clubs. went to downtown LA nearly every weekend to attend and volunteer at film-related events with the friends I made through these clubs and classes. I also worked at the CSUN Sports Broadcast (very similar to CreaTV) to film live sports games held at CSUN.
In 2020, after COVID-19 hit, I spent most of my time working under three new jobs I took on at CSUN. Towards the beginning of 2020, I landed a job as a Multimedia Production assistant under CSUN IT to shoot and edit videos and as complete minor design tasks. After realizing my interest in motion design (animation for advertisements for those of you who aren’t familiar) later in the year, I was able to land a motion designer / video editor job under Associated Students, one of the most competitive workplaces at CSUN. Around the same time, I started working under IntersectLA, a creative marketing agency, as a motion designer / video editor.
Working at these jobs, I have produced motion design packages for concerts featuring Diplo and event trailers for speaker events featuring Yara Shahidi. I currently lead a client project at IntersectLA where I manage the team by producing product highlight videos for King Nutronics, the industry leader of temperature calibration products. I recently got chosen to lead IntersectLA’s biggest client yet, Medtronic, and I’m super excited to work with them in the upcoming months. It can be busy at times, but I love motion design work and creating videos for clients.
Now before this turns into a summary of my resume, I’ll get to answering the rest of the questions your students have. As you can see, I didn’t take a traditional film route, but film classes are the same no matter what option you choose within the Cinema and Television Arts major, so I should provide some insight.
What are your classes like?
Before COVID, my film classes were relatively small, with class sizes ranging from 20-50 people per room. Large lecture halls are usually reserved for general education classes. My favorite class was held inside theatres where we watched a new movie every other class. My classes are all on Zoom now, and with my full-time student schedule, I attend around 15 hours of class every week. As for the content in terms of the film classes, I would argue that the things you learn during your lowerclassmen years have already been taught to you to a certain degree in Mr. Furtado’s class.
How are living conditions in LA?
I like the location of Northridge because it is close enough to downtown LA without being constantly surrounded by people and noise. However, I will note that it is definitely difficult to get around without a car. Local bus services are available, but it will take three times as long to get somewhere instead of driving. Even with a car, traffic in LA is quite a headache. The dorms at CSUN, especially the apartment-style dorms are amazing, and I had the luxury of all the space it came with. Also, it can get extremely hot in Northridge, with some weeks hitting over 100 degrees every day. I’ve given quite the precaution here, but I genuinely loved living there in a new environment.
Outside of school, how many people have you been able to network with within the industry?
I’m not the best to answer this question, especially since I currently head towards a path of motion design / video post-production rather than film, but I would say you have to go out of your way to make connections outside of school. This means that you have to actively seek opportunities to volunteer at film festivals, cold message people, and attend events that lead to networking. I have cold emailed more motion designers than I can count, and these are the people from who I have received the best advice that has led me closer to opportunities for me to grow as a creative. Connections with industry professionals are not something handed to you, so I wouldn’t wait around. With that being said, networking within the university is also very important, especially during your lowerclassmen years. Internships and job opportunities often look for experience in the field, and it is easier to get jobs within the college first before branching out.
What is your overall enjoyment of the industry?
This one is something I really can’t speak about from personal experience.During my later months of freshman year, I did realize that I didn’t want to pursue traditional story-based filmmaking. This isn’t because of any opinions of the industry, but rather what felt right to me. I do love the motion design industry, though; animation of this kind has applications in a wide variety of industries and requires collaboration with marketing strategists, designers, and clients.
How do you feel your classes have prepared you for the industry? Have they not?
As said previously, much of the content that Mr. Furtado goes over during his classes is exactly what gets taught during lowerclassmen years of college. Although my career path isn’t traditional film, I have found that knowing the basics of video production, camera operation, and having years of technical skills from premiere pro brings me to great advantage over other students. Learning from class helps, but nothing is as useful as getting your hands dirty and working on projects.
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