Lights, Camera, Action!


Mary-Grace McNutt

David Duncan, instructor of digital media technology, peers through his camera in anticipation for the Movie Pre-Production class this spring.

Gary Jackson, Contributing Writer

Let’s face it. Everyone has dreamed or thought about being in a movie, whether that is in the form of acting, writing, directing, producing, or audio work. There are many fun aspects to movie production and USAO is offering an opportunity for students to possibly be the next Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, or Woody Allen. If being a part of a movie has caught your attention, then the Communication department’s new class is just for you.

Movie Pre-Production, registered on MyUSAO as COMM 2903, has a limit of 30 students and is a pre-requisite for the independent summer class. The independent study course over the five-week term is where students, staff, and faculty will shoot and produce their own movie.

“I call it fantasy island because if you want to be in a movie or see what it’s like, you’ll get that opportunity in this class,” said David Duncan, instructor of digital media technology.

All students from any major are welcome to join this class. If it sounds intimidating to join the class, don’t worry about the feelings of pressure. Ashton Kutcher, Will Ferrell, and Courtney Cox are famous actors and actresses who went to college and didn’t study theatre. This class will teach and demonstrate all movie aspects for the students, and guarantees a fun time.

Dr. J.C. Casey, professor of Communications at USAO for three decades, will co-teach this class with Duncan, who also boasts over two decades of experience in the field of video content. Dr. Casey and Duncan have co-taught this class before, 22 years ago, when they produced the movie “Broken Silence: Madness in Drover Town.” After two decades, this movie was showcased again to drum up interest for this upcoming set of classes.

Dr. Casey said she looks at the class as a planning period before filming and production begins for the movie in the independent study period this upcoming summer. She wants to look at the script and student input, critique, and brainstorm sessions for the project. Students will also be tasked with planning where specific scenes will be filmed and what various characters should wear. Duncan said he will look to teach students about acting, directing, filming, producing, and writing for the motion picture.

Gary Jackson is a second-year Communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.