Yesterday, Tuesday, November 19, was a very exciting day for me.  It was not the typical Tuesday, because I got to shoot my own film on a Sound Stage, and then after my classes in the afternoon, I got to attend a lecture given by former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura Bush on campus!  I also got to go downtown for dinner at LA Live for my friend’s birthday!

In the morning, I got prepared and headed to the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) to check out my soundstage.  There are certain classes in the film school that allow students to acquire a production number, which entitles them to rent soundstages and rooms in SCA, to hire SAG actors, to use camera and lighting equipment, and to use editing software.  I am currently taking Creating Poetic Cinema, CTPR 457, which allows me to do all of these things.  When I got to my soundstage, I rigged a set with lights, and strings.  The concept of my film shoot was to connect a girl to strings, as if she was a marionette.

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The great thing about the film community here, just like the Engineering community, is that people are always willing to help each other.  I had a couple of friends help me on set, which made my life so much easier!  Working on a soundstage was a really unique and exciting experience, and relatable to my experience with Engineering.  While setting up a set, it’s important to think about power supply, which means knowledge of voltage and current and power are essential to being safe.  Also, being on set means actively problem solving.  I had to figure out how to make it appear as if my actress was a marionette, which required me to set up a system of lights and stands.

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After my film shoot, I headed to my sorority house for lunch and then to my Dynamics class.  In class, we learned about rigid bodies and submitted our homework assignments.  I had worked on my homework assignment with a couple of my friends in the class.

After class, it was time to line up to hear President George W. Bush and Laura Bush speak at Bovard Auditorium.  This was an incredible opportunity offered to students, and I was lucky enough to be invited to attend.  The lecture was very interesting – the President spoke about his experience after the Presidency, the legacy he hopes he left, the beliefs and policies he still supports, and his experience leading the country through September 11th.  I had goosebumps throughout the entire lecture; I couldn’t believe I was sitting 7 rows away from a former President of the United States.  What I found very interesting about the lecture was the support and respect President Bush received, regardless of the political persuasion of the people in attendance.

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Once the lecture ended, I went back to my house to work on homework before my friends picked me up and took me to LA Live for my friend’s birthday dinner!

Overall, it was a really fantastic day, made possible by the opportunities available to students at USC.

Samantha Kaplan-2015

Samantha Kaplan-2015

Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2015, Learn more on her profile here!