David Viramontes

David Viramontes

BA, Media Arts + Practice '18

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As a MA+P student, what is your primary interest and how has the School of Cinematic Arts (and the Division) helped to shape that interest? I had always wanted to be a USC student and when I wasn't accepted right out of high school, I committed to applying as a transfer and after a couple years of hard work I was accepted. I knew I wanted to take some SCA classes that I couldn't find at any other university but I also found that Media Arts + Practice was a great space for combining my interest in a wide variety of digital technologies as well as incorporating a practical critical underpinning.

What advice do you have for prospective students looking at applying for MA+P? I recommend the MA+P program to all prospective cinema students. Not only do they encourage boundary-pushing storytelling through emerging technologies, but the professors and support staff are some of the friendliest, most welcoming people on campus.

How has the School of Cinematic Arts prepared you so far for a career in your discipline? One of my favorite classes that I've taken was a 2-semester documentary course taught by MA+P professor Michael Bodie. He instructed relative novices on how to use a camera all the way through shooting a short documentary. My work in that class is one of the pieces I'm most proud of making but it also sparked an interest in documentary filmmaking that I've developed over all of my classes since and I look forward to continue working in the documentary field after graduating.

What have been the biggest challenges for you at USC? Getting out of my comfort zone has always been a challenge for me but even more so as USC. It can be daunting to present your work when you're surrounded by incredibly talented classmates but SCA and the university in general have proven to be a welcoming place.

What in your past has given you inspiration or a unique point of view that you bring to USC? A part of myself that I realized is a deep well for my creative endeavors is my Latino heritage. Telling those stories and seeing that culture on screen in something I made was powerful. It made me realize that I could use my creative voice to tell a story about people that haven't been visible.

Are there any projects you’re working on right now? Where can people find out more about your work? I'm currently developing my thesis project for MA+P about the issue of gentrification in Boyle Heights. It will be on display in the Media Arts + Practice thesis show in March.