field trips

Advanced Studies Filmmaking Students Visit Adaptive Studios


On Friday, some of our talented Advanced Filmmaking students had the opportunity to take a most extraordinary site visit to Adaptive Studios, an innovative content creation studio and distribution company that is redefining the way that stories are sourced, produced, and shared. The field trip came about because of the generous invitation of Brittany Turner, Vice President of Digital. The students piled into our van and took a trip to Culver City’s Hayden Tract neighborhood, a hub of high-end design, architectural, and media companies. When we arrived, we were received so warmly by the entire Adaptive team. The co-founder of the studio, Perrin Chiles, told us the origin story of Adaptive as an inspired idea that first began to take shape as a proverbial garage-based business, and through innovation and great team-building, has evolved into the media powerhouse that it has so quickly become. We were treated to content across their platforms, from trailers that they’ve produced for the novels they’ve published including the recent Air, television content including Project Greenlight, to excerpts from feature film content that they have released, including the original film Coin Heist. It was such an inspiring and inclusive visit, and the students were delighted to be welcomed by the team, to learn about the cutting edge of content sourcing and distribution, and to share with the executives their own ideas and inspirations. Venice Arts strives to provide exposure to the creative professional world for our young people, and this visit to Adaptive Studios was an unforgettably powerful manifestation of that mission.

A very special thank you to Brittany Turner, Vice President of Digital, who initiated this marvelous visit, and to the entire Adaptive Studios team for their incredible hospitality! Our students are still glowing from the experience!

- Christian

Open Studio 2 Pays a Visit to Zambezi LA


Fresh off of finishing their own creative marketing endeavor for LADWP, our Open Studio 2 workshop took a very special field trip to Zambezi LA, an advertising and marketing agency.

The whirlwind trip featured a diverse group of presentations, including Zambezi's Head of Digital and Chief Editor. Open Studio 2 Teaching Artist Scott Oshima said of the trip,"This kind of exposure helps break down psychological barriers to working in the arts or creative industries; it shows the students that they can pursue their passions, and there is a place for them."

A huge THANK YOU to the incredible team at Zambezi LA for opening your doors to our youth.

Behind the Scenes at the Natural History Museum of LA


The images in this gallery represent the culmination of a Summer photography workshop for students, ages 14–18.

Students took a deep dive into the inner workings of the Natural History Museum and its departments of crustacea, herpetology, malacology, mammalogy, and ornithology. Students learned about the museum collections as they honed their unique style and technical abilities in researching, writing, interviewing, and environmental portraiture!

Venice Arts' Film Students Visit The Mission for Hands On Special Effects Learning


During the third week of our Fall 2015 semester, our intermediate-level film students enjoyed a very special experience: a visit to The Mission Studios in the heart of Abbot Kinney. The Mission is a super high-end visual effects studio specializing in commercials, film and digital content, and founder Michael Pardee gave our enthusiastic students the warmest possible welcome. He was so gracious with the students as he brought us to various VFX suites, each dedicated to a specific set of tools and workflow. Our first stop was a wonderland of powerful computer generated animation. The digital artists working at those stations showed the students some original animated shows that were developed in-house at Mission. These animated characters were 100% computer generated, and mimicked the imperfections of clay-based stop-motion animation to a staggering degree of realism. It was amazing, and the students (who each had experience working with actual claymation) were blown away by the capabilities of digital art. Before we left that first room, several of the students had already made up their minds about becoming animators as a career – it was that cool of an experience.

Michael brought us through the rest of the stunning facilities, including the fabulous outdoor courtyard, a kind of urban oasis and respite that the students loved. Our next stops were to large suites dedicated to digital compositing using heavyweight tools including Smoke and Flame. VFX artists and producers brought us through several workflows in the layering of effects to take a standard commercial shot and, with the addition of visual elements, to create fantastic new worlds. We saw this process at work on national spots that the students were already familiar with and loved, and the experience of having content creators take them backwards through the process was truly empowering for them. 

For the students, the net result of the visit is that they have a much deeper understanding that the filmmaking tools and processes that they are currently learning at Venice Arts are closely related to the most cutting-edge tools in the industry, and that the skills they are learning today can lead them to a future as expansive as they can imagine. As the students climbed into the Venice Arts van, donning the sweet Mission shades given to them by Michael Pardee as instantly cherished swag, I could see that their creativity and their imaginations were thoroughly expanded. Very special thanks to Michael Pardee and the entire Mission staff for their incredible hospitality!


Venice Arts' Grammy Awards Experience


This past Sunday, many of you might have tuned in for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. If so, you saw many great performances that included the use of lighting, special effects, and professional camera work. Youth participants of our Art Mentoring Program were invited to observe the Grammy Awards’ dress rehearsal to get a better understanding of a live television broadcast.

The invitation for students from our Advanced and Intermediate film workshops to experience this special opportunity came from Jody Roth, who works at CBS and who is a Volunteer Mentor for our Reel Visions class. The rehearsal consisted of running through the entire program, including the performances, to ensure that the live show went smoothly when it aired. During the rehearsal, Jody explained to the students the general proceedings of the program while we were treated to live performances by some of the most popular current music artists such as Beyoncé and Daft Punk. The performances also included legendary musicians such as Stevie Wonder and The Beatles’ Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. This experience was a favorable circumstance for the students to witness the extensive work and effort that goes into putting on a live television event to be aired nationally!

This was an entertaining and informative way for the students to experience film and television production in a professional environment, and the students and I had a great time. A huge thanks to Jody for making this wonderful opportunity possible for our students!

VA Students Attend What's Going On...NOW Youth Summit in Washington DC


This week Venice Arts Advanced Studies students Chris & Jocelyn travelled to Washington, DC, with our Art Mentoring Program Manager, Cathy, to attend the Kennedy Center's What's Going On...NOW Youth Summit. The four-day summit gathers with representatives from Washington, D.C. and seven youth groups around the country. Jocelyn & Chris are touring sites at the nation's capital, convening with peers from other youth media arts organizations around the country, and screening their films at a showcase at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage. The celebration will culminate with a concert by John Legend, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, and the National Symphony Orchestra, coming together to reimagine Gaye’s performance in an evening-length concert. We are so excited that our students have this amazing opportunity to explore, learn, and share their work! 

Using Marvin Gaye’s music as a catalyst, the Kennedy Center’s campaign asks: “How have things changed in the last 40 years? What’s going on…now?” Young people can go to and share their own creative perspectives on the similarities and differences between Marvin Gaye's “then” and their own “now.” They can upload video, photos, poems, music - whatever art form inspires their own creative expression. Several videos by Venice Arts students have been shared on the site. 

Check out these galleries of work by Jocelyn and Chris, featuring their films that will be screened at the Kennedy Center.