SPC student embraces new experiences in cinema, video production

LEVELLAND – When she became a cinema and video production major at South Plains College, Caitlyn Olivas did not expect the exposure she would get to the various learning experiences the program has to offer.

Olivas, who is wrapping up her last semester at the college, became invested in video production during her freshman year of high school. Since she liked to draw, she thought she wanted to get into animation, but her classes in high school shifted her interests.

“Once I sat behind a computer and started experimenting with video, photography and animation, I found I loved working with a camera,” the Lubbock native said.

Cailyn OlivasDuring her sophomore year of high school, Olivas took classes at the Byron Martin Advanced Technology Center in Lubbock. This is where she learned about running a newscast, serving as a floor manager and operating a TV news camera.

“I decided that this is the best career for me,” she said. “If I’m going to be pursuing a career for the rest of my life, I better enjoy it.”

When she left high school, Olivas thought she knew a lot about video production but quickly realized there is more to the field.

“SPC has so much newer technology here than what I had back in high school,” she said. “It was just having to get a camera, messing around with it and learning new stuff every day.”

In addition to running the live shows, Olivas said she has enjoyed getting the chance to try news tasks that offer hands-on experience. Shooting short films, running the lights and designing graphics are just some of the other tasks students can do if they are not interested in operating a camera.

Olivas has constantly taken advantage of the new learning experiences in the program. With the advancement of video production technology, she said there will always be a new tool to learn.

“Learning something every single day with this new technology was one of the biggest challenges I had when I got here,” she said.

Greg Cook, associate professor of video production technology, and Andrew Taylor, instructor in cinema and video productions, are a few faculty members Olivas said helped her overcome challenges and ignited her passion for the field.

In a male-dominated field, Olivas said she was hesitant, at first, to provide her perspective on class topics.

“It just took time to be more vocal about what I wanted to contribute,” she said.

With hopes of working at a news station and helping behind the scenes of a movie someday, Olivas said it is important for her to take advantage of new learning experiences, which will connect her with great people in the field.

“It’s up to the person,” she said regarding the opportunities for students in the program. “This field is more diverse than what people think it is.”

Cinema and Video Production Technology

SPC’s two-year associate degree program in cinema and video production is designed to keep pace with the needs of a thriving entertainment industry. Get the skills needed to produce cinematic masterpieces, commercials, music videos, live concerts and compelling graphics. SPC provides hands-on training using production equipment that is the industry standard. Students receive training in a multitude of live broadcast and post-production techniques and can hone their skills with group and individual work.

Cinema and video production is a part of the Creative Arts Department. Sound, graphics and music are all critical to great video production. Plus, the music program provides a great client relationship for creating real-world productions. Students begin learning production techniques by creating short-form productions including music videos and commercials. During the second year, projects include full-scale music concerts, movie shoots and various show genres.