Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Tula Goenka, Associate Professor
Michael Schoonmaker, Chair TRF
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Film and Media Studies | Radio | Television
Created in 2009, the Syracuse University Los Angeles Semester Program has allowed students interested in the media and entertainment world to spend a semester working, living, and playing in Los Angeles. Despite being a well-constructed and impressive experience, the SULA program is still very much in its infancy. The purpose of this Capstone was to film, edit, and distribute a short promotional video that may be used by the program for recruiting initiatives.
The target audience for this project is current Syracuse University students considering the Los Angeles Semester Program, prospective Syracuse University students seeking additional benefits of studying at SU, and parents of these students. A promotional video of this nature must be brief enough to engage this audience for its entire duration, and entice the audience to ask for more. For this very reason, these videos are often referred to in the entertainment business as “teasers.” At the same time, a promotional video of this nature must provide ample details about the mechanics of the program, and clearly lay out benefits of enrolling. It is this dichotomy, and careful balance between disclosure and enticement that makes creating promotional videos a unique challenge in the realm of video production.
Once a concept for the video was decided, mostly based on the criteria above, on-camera interviews were conducted with several alumni in the Los Angeles area. Additional interviews were conducted with professors of the Los Angeles Semester Program, as well as the program director. Footage was also taken of the program facilities and the surrounding area, as well as tourist attractions in Los Angeles, to be used as secondary ‘B-roll’ intercut with the interviews. Additional interviews were conducted on the Syracuse University campus during both the Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 semesters. All footage was imported into a nonlinear editing program where it was organized and sorted into select sequences. These sequences were used to create the final edited product.
The Syracuse University Los Angeles Semester Program is an invaluable opportunity for many students interested in the entertainment world. It provides true real-world learning in a manner that any on-campus program would be hard pressed to emulate. Still, the program is one of the least known to the University community and beyond, and many misconceptions about it persist. This project was undertaken to share the benefits of the program with a wider audience in an effort to assist in its future growth, while presenting unique creative challenges in video production and editing.
Slavin, Bradley, "Syracuse University Los Angeles: A Promotional Video" (2014). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 740.
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