April 4, 2012

DKA Gives Back

School of Cinematic Arts Fraternity Teaches Youth

The students of West Vernon Elementary

Working in the entertainment industry certainly isn’t for the selfish. Every film, video game or media installation takes an army to produce, and collaboration is key to each project’s success.

The men and women of the professional fraternity Delta Kappa Alpha have taken the concept of collaboration one step further by approaching the world of philanthropy. Recently, DKA members visited West Vernon Elementary School in order to teach short filmmaking to the next generation of media makers, or in this case, gifted fourth and fifth graders.

“[Each week] we had a group of about five DKA members teaching these kids the different aspects of filmmaking,” said Mark Romano, the Mentorship Chair of DKA’s Philanthropy Committee. “It was beginning to end; how to write a story, the three act structure, we broke into small groups and everyone came up with their own story, how to use a camera, act, put on makeup and, eventually, how to edit. We made four short films and two music videos and two movies that they all worked on together.”

DKA’s work at West Vernon included a screening at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, which was enthusiastically received by the elementary school students.

“It’s an extension of what we do for each other” said Andy Dulman, an SCA student and President of Delta Kappa Alpha. “We want to pay forward the opportunities that we’ve been blessed with and to try to share the same kind of gifts, inspirations, mentors and the great teachers we’ve had that have gotten us here. You know, because it hasn’t been just us by ourselves.”

Delta Kappa Alpha was established at the University of Southern California in 1936 by a group of Cinematography students interested in pursuing the Dramatic, Kinematic and Aesthetic properties of Motion Picture.  Today, DKA is a co-ed, non-profit organization comprised of students from every discipline within the School of Cinematic Arts.

DKA members at Keen LA

Within the last 75 years, DKA has been a significant component of the school’s identity and growth. Since its revival in 2009, DKA has become nationally organized with a focus on structure, communication and perspective.  In the preliminary stages of every idea, project and event, the leadership of Delta Kappa Alpha works extremely closely with faculty advisor Brenda Goodman and the SCA administration to ensure seamless communication and unparalleled collaboration between faculty, staff, and students.  

Additionally, this professional fraternity offers opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to participate in off-campus educational activities, collaboration with future colleagues from DKA chapters in different cinema schools, hosting annual banquets honoring industry professionals and providing annual conferences and retreats for alumni members to maintain friendships and celebrate their SCA beginnings.