Hard Work Pays Off for ROAR

ROAR Studios, Loyola Marymount University’s student-run video production house, has once again received national honors for the original content they create on campus.

Behind the Scoreboard: Errol Smith” received the award for Best Video Vodcast at this year’s National Student Production Awards, which are given out by College Broadcasters, Inc. (CBI). “Behind the Scoreboard” profiles student-athletes, and the award-winning episode focused on Smith following in his father’s footsteps toward becoming a professional tennis player.

“This award really exemplifies all of the hard work that the students have been putting in for the last year and a half,” says Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, the assistant director of Student Media at LMU. “Winning a national award like this really shows how much the students have been working and how much this work is starting to pay off.”

CBI, the national organization of college broadcasters, nominated ROAR Studios in two categories this year — “Geeks and Greeks” was also nominated for Best Video Comedy.

Ryan Pawlak, the general manager for ROAR Studios, says he agrees with Blaize-Hopkins about ROAR’s hard work.

“Winning this award showed the ROAR staff that the work we are doing here does make a nationwide impact,” he says. “It really boosts staff morale.”

Pawlak, a junior Recording Arts major from Santa Cruz, got involved with ROAR during his freshman year as a production intern. He then worked his way up to being a producer that led to him becoming the general manager.

Studios Formerly Known As

ROAR went through a complete rebranding this semester. ROAR Studios changed its name from ROAR Network because the students decided that the former title was too focused on the television side of their productions.

ROAR Studios is the students’ attempt to show the university and community that their initial focus is digital first. This rebranding was a way for ROAR students to make sure people know that they do a lot of different things like short films, music videos, web series, comedy shorts and talk shows.

Blaize-Hopkins adds that the quality of ROAR Studios’ content has improved going into this semester. ROAR has introduced weekly workshops for directing, editing, shooting and writing to ensure that the staff is on the same page when it comes to the quality of work they are creating.

In going forth with new initiatives, ROAR Studios plans to continue with ROAR Talks, which is a program where industry professionals in news and entertainment come to speak to students and members of the LMU community.

Already this semester, ROAR Talks has featured film producer Grant Curtis; Raamla Mohamed, the executive script supervisor for ABC’s Scandal; Carlos Hopkins, an executive producer for KNBC; and Lang Fisher, a writer for The Mindy Project, 30 Rock and the Onion News Network. ROAR Talks has also scheduled to bring in Colleen Williams, an anchor for KNBC.

Coming Up Next

Moving forward, ROAR plans to create more opportunities for students who are not on their staff by expanding their Greenlight Division. This division provides an opportunity for students who are not involved in ROAR Studios to be able to pitch their ideas for ROAR to produce their content.

“In the future, I would like to see ROAR explore different genres like drama or sci-fi,” says Pawlak. “I would also really like to see us produce content that makes an impact in terms of social justice issues.”

Blaize-Hopkins notes that the best thing about ROAR is how it gives students the opportunity to have real-world experience in film, television, production and management outside of the classroom.

“It is also incredible to know that you can have so much fun with so many other creative people while creating content and actually making a difference on campus,” Pawlak adds.

By Nathalie Rubin