On their home turf, four proud Toro alumni were honored for their video production prowess during the 2017 CSU Media Arts Festival (MAF), which took place on Nov. 4 at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) for the first time in the festival’s 27-year history. The MAF was hosted by CSUDH’s College of Arts and Humanities and the Digital Media Arts Department.
Hosted at a different California State University (CSU) campus each year, the MAF provides talented students studying film, broadcasting, video, screenwriting, and new media from throughout the 23-campus CSU system the opportunity to showcase their work for their peers, faculty, and industry professionals, while competing for awards. This year the festival received 192 entries from 19 CSU campuses, and 27 finalists from nine campuses were chosen to present their work.
CSUDH Digital Media Arts (DMA) alumni Nicholas Thompson and Erik Decker were honored with a third place win at the festival in the “music video” category for their adaptation of Christina Sofina’s song, “So Natural.” Popular in Russia, the would-be U.S. pop star was “really excited” to better visually represent her music, compared to just “putting on iTunes,” or being featured on social media, according to Decker. They filmed the piece in Death Valley.
“The (MAF) ceremony took place on my birthday, so it was pretty epic at the end of the night to hear that I got an award—I was stoked,” said Decker, who, along with Thompson, graduated in spring 2017 with his bachelor’s degree in DMA. For the past four months, Decker has been working as a video producer for Revel Systems, a point of sale platform developer, and hopes to work in feature films in the future.
DMA alumni Jon Domingo and Ruben Bautista took fifth place in the “promotional” category at the festival for their public service announcement (PSA) “Just Like Mommy,” which powerfully depicts the generational effects of domestic abuse on children.
“Winning the award caught me by surprise because a lot of my colleagues put together a lot of really great content for their PSAs,” said Domingo, who, along with Bautista, graduated in spring 2017, with his bachelor’s degree in DMA. Domingo currently produces social media content for the company Premium Auto Styling, utilizing “many of the same skills” he learned in the DMA program.
“It’s [domestic abuse] an important message, so just knowing that our PSA’s message was well received and captured a lot of attention was a really great feeling,” Domingo said.