Academy of Art University Teams Up with the San Francisco Police Department to Make Innovative Commercials

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Students from Academy of Art University's film school collaborated with the San Francisco Police Department to create television commercials for the SFPD's recruiting campaign.

Once you do your first professional shoot, no matter what you do, it opens doors to other things

Students from Academy of Art University's film school collaborated with the San Francisco Police Department to create television commercials for the SFPD's recruiting campaign. A crew made up of new students, graduates, faculty and industry professionals filmed all over San Francisco to capture the lives and interests of San Francisco police officers.

The SFPD approached Academy of Art University to help them jumpstart an advertising campaign to recruit for their police academy. The department wanted the commercials to portray the uniqueness of the San Francisco force and highlight their personal interests while showcasing the beautiful San Francisco landscape. Commercials were shot at Crissy Field, Golden Gate Park, Potrero Hill, a boat on the San Francisco Bay and other locations all within three days.

Students from instructor Rich Cascio's Cine 1 class developed the concept for the commercials. Academy film instructor Curran Engel served as Executive Producer while Cascio was both the Director and Director of Photography (D.P.). A few students from the Cine 1 class served Production Assistants (P.A.). For some, this was their first professional shoot ever and a learning experience they will never forget.

"Once you do your first professional shoot, no matter what you do, it opens doors to other things," said Adam Kaufmann, who got another gig as a P.A. through people he met while working on the commercials.

These students also had the unique opportunity to learn directly from experienced Academy of Art University alumni. Charis Villagomez started as a P.A., but became the Assistant Producer as the project developed.

"I learned a lot from the Producer, Kacie Velie, who was a former student at the Academy," she said. "She was very helpful and taught me a lot of things I wasn't familiar with."

Velie, who graduated last spring, thought the collaboration was an excellent way for the Academy to work with the San Francisco community. She also enjoyed hearing the San Francisco police officers' ideas.

"It was very cool to work with the police department," she said. "They were really helpful. I think its great that they utilized student filmmakers."

This is not the first time, however, that the Academy of Art University has worked with the SFPD. As a gesture of appreciation for their sacrifice and commitment to the San Francisco community, the Academy of Art University annually awards scholarships to family members of San Francisco Police Department and San Francisco Fire Department officials.

This summer the Academy held a banquet for the San Francisco Police Department & Fire Department, where scholarships were presented to the deserving recipients. San Francisco Police Department Chief Heather Fong, Commander Sylvia Harper and San Francisco Police Officers Association Vice President Kevin Martin were in attendance.

About Academy of Art University, San Francisco:
Academy of Art University has one of the top film schools in the nation. Whether you are looking for an acting school, film directing school, cinematography school, film production school, or screenwriting program, the Academy offers every type of film study paired with motion picture industry resources.
With more than 10,000 students, Academy of Art University is the nation's largest private art and design university. Established in 1929, the school offers accredited AA, BFA, M.Arch and MFA programs, as well as continuing art education with classes in copywriting, fashion merchandising, interior design, new media, computer animation, sculpture, graphic design, cinematography, interior design, digital photography and car design. Students can also enroll in a flexible online degree program in art and design.
The Academy is an accredited member the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), ACICS, NASAD, Council for Interior Design Accreditation (BFA-IAD), NAAB (M-ARCH).

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