“Everybody Plays,” a public service announcement (PSA) produced by seniors in California State University, Dominguez Hills’ (CSUDH) Digital Media Arts (DMA) program, was played before thousands of basketball fans at the Jan. 8 Los Angeles Clippers versus Miami Heat game at the Staples Center.
The PSA was chosen from four student-produced pieces, all of who were enrolled in the DMA 346 Client-Based Production Workshop in spring 2016, the final course in a four-semester sequence required for the DMA Television Arts degree option.
The PSA submissions were requested by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (LA Parks), which is one of the DMA program’s frequent clients. All student work completed for clients through the DMA program is done for free.
The “Everybody Plays” PSA ran after LA Parks staff members were introduced during the Clippers’ pre-game festivities, according to CSUDH alumna Shelly Guzman (’16, B.A., digital media arts), who served as producer for the PSA.
“It was great to see it up there, but it was shown without any fanfare, like they would show any other PSA,” said Guzman, a Lawndale resident. “They treated it like a professional PSA, which I appreciated. And it made me feel like a professional.”
Along with Guzman, the student production team for “Everybody Plays” was DMA graduates Jeremy Robles, Nicole Faye Go, and Marlon Abram. They, and all four teams, were instructed by the client to focus their PSA’s on various topics the city wanted to highlight, from showcasing the different parks in the city, to the hard work city employees put into maintaining the parks.
“Our PSA was about people coming together, gender equality, and the need for kids to get moving—to get off their smart phones and get out there,” said Guzman. “The storyline consists of young girls in the park who want to play soccer, and then they see a group of boys just sitting there staring at their smart phones on the sideline. So they go up and ask them if they want to join in.”
The DMA 346 course has proven popular among local industry, non-profits and city agencies, as well as groups on campus that—along with no cost—are familiar with the quality of the work its students produce. As a graded course assignment, a critical component of the project is the requirement that the students please the client and achieve the client’s goals, according to DMA professor and department chair George Vinovich.
“Word spreads real fast when you can have a professional PSA made for free. We have community organizations and campus groups come to our class and make a pitch,” said Vinovich. “This class is the first time our students produce a project in which a client tells them, ‘These are our needs, and this is how it needs to be made. It’s a real-world, work experience for them.”
When they graduate from CSUDH, the students leave with all their projects on a demo reel, which demonstrates the range and scope of the work they have done.
After Guzman graduated she joined some of her DMA classmates—now partners—to form their own production business.
“We have made a couple music videos over the past eight months or so, and I am doing freelance video editing for an event company,” said Guzman. “In the coming year we hope to make more music videos, and maybe some short documentaries.”