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Media Mash provides alumni connections, community impact 

Among the many hands-on learning opportunities Pacific’s Media X students can experience is the annual Media Mash, in which Pacific alumni and filmmaker Chris Schueler and producer Dean Butler return to campus and lead intensive production projects. It’s an opportunity to take advantage of the connections students make at Pacific while creating a real impact on the community. 

This October marked the third Media Mash. Students created promotional videos for local nonprofit groups. Media X major Matthew Ford ’24 gives us his take on the experience: 

What is Media Mash? 

Media Mash starts over the course of a weekend, beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday. Don’t worry about catching breakfast. One of the instructors, Pacific alum Chris Schueler, always brings enough coffee and donuts to hold you over. You eat some donuts, maybe get some coffee, and sit down with the rest of your peers and prepare for the unrivaled energy that Chris can bring to any subject.  

Media Mash takes place over a month, but you only fully meet up with instructors twice — once in the beginning and again at the end.  During the first weekend, Chris gives an energetic lecture about the process and craft of documentary filmmaking. He breaks down the three P’s (pre-production, production, post-production) for documentaries and provides a deep dive into the psychology of interviewing and looking out for the right soundbites for your film project.  

Producing ads for nonprofits 

On that first Sunday, we broke into two groups for each of the local nonprofits. Each group made a video for the nonprofits to use for advertisement. My group was working for the nonprofit Unbound Stockton, an organization hoping to start a charter school. Our team was made up of myself and classmates Xander Beck and Achish Enriquez.  

That afternoon, we met with spokespeople for Unbound Stockton. We learned that what’s unique about about Unbound Stockton is their schedule. Between Monday and Thursday, it’s like any other school, but on Friday, they take kids out and help the community in the hope of building better bonds and roots in Stockton.  

My group and I started brainstorming ideas for the video. After our spokesperson left, I became the liaison between our group and him. Our imaginations ran wild soon after we found how amazing our team member, Achish, is with motion graphics. And it became a great part of our video in the end.  

Alumni connection 

The experience and knowledge that Chris has is immense and working with a successful filmmaker was incredible. Besides the obvious knowledge that we gained from the lectures, Chris provided great examples of soft skills in dealing with hiccups and problems that will always come your way when starting a big project such as this one.

Another amazing Pacific alum joined us later during the month, Dean Butler. Hearing Dean and Chris talk about the college and hearing the differences between then and now was incredible. Having that connection with two industry professionals who also attended Pacific was invaluable and a great motivation for our future endeavors. 

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