SOU Digital Cinema launches Crew Experience

SOU Digital Cinema program launches “The Crew Experience”

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University’s Digital Cinema program has launched its new “Crew Experience” initiative with a crowdfunding campaign through the SOU Foundation on IndieGoGo. The campaign had raised more than a third of its $6,000 goal in less than 24 hours.

Crew Experience is the benchmark project of juniors and seniors in SOU’s Digital Cinema bachelor’s degree program. Students earn 12 upper-division credits in a 10-week production immersion –leaving the classroom behind to learn on location in a professional filmmaking environment, under the supervision of faculty and industry mentors.

This year’s Crew Experience project will be “Eight and Sand,” a short film set partly in a fictional family-run theme park called Train Town. The film – a story of two half-sisters trying to honor their mother’s dying wish – will be submitted to various film festivals.

The one-of-a-kind Crew Experience immersion training will prepare students for “below-the-line jobs” – or production work – in the film and television industry. It is the only such academic program in the Pacific Northwest.

“The fact that this exists here – in southern Oregon, in a smaller school – is fantastic,” said Randy Cordray, a veteran television producer whose credits include “The Office,” in a recent interview with SOU’s The Siskiyou student newspaper.

Students in the Digital Cinema program’s Entrepreneurial Producing class have launched the crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo themselves, in cooperation with the SOU Foundation. Crowdfunding for independent cinema is considered an essential professional skill. All contributions to the campaign are considered tax-deductible donations in support of SOU’s educational mission.

Digital Cinema students will use money raised in the campaign to cast union-represented talent, secure filming locations and pay for props, set dressing and wardrobe. It will also be used to buy digital storage space, feed the cast and crew, score and license music for the film, and send the completed project to film festivals.

The Crew Experience is designed to emulate, as closely as possible, a large-scale professional production.

SOU’s Digital Cinema program offers a world-class film school education at an affordable price and with no portfolio requirement for admission. The program is hands-on, student-centered and focused on cultivating career pathways for students. “Moviemaker” magazine has named Ashland a “best place to live and work as a moviemaker” for seven consecutive years.

For more information about Crew Experience: contact Andrew Gay, an associate professor at SOU and coordinator of the Digital Cinema program, at (541) 552-6669 or