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Film & Television Major Follows his Vision

Christopher Togami, March 15, 2007
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When film and television major J.R. Rogers graduates from Pacific Union College this June, he will leave behind a mark that anyone in the 125-year history of the college would be proud of. In addition to his senior project of producing the video version of the three weeks of prayer this year, which he anticipates will soon be broadcast to millions via the Loma Linda Broadcasting Network, Rogers has begun developing several projects that will allow the growing visual arts department to continue offering top-level opportunities to its students.

Rogers has been both in and around the field of broadcast production for nearly 13 years. He is responsible for obtaining program information for each week-of-prayer, transferring that information into an appropriate film script, organizing the crew and making sure that the film aspect of each program runs smoothly and on time. “I decided to make my senior project work around my abilities,” says the Southern California native. “Most seniors shoot a film or a documentary. That’s not something that I’m good at, so I decided to make my project something that I could do and do well.”

Something else that Rogers does well is follow his visions. With the help of Terry Cantrell, instructor in film and television, Rogers has begun creating a mobile broadcast trailer to use for multi-camera and off-campus shoots. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to have for the school,” says Rogers of the 8.5 x 20-foot trailer, which was purchased by the department in December and is currently being outfitted with power, lighting and racks on which to mount the gear.

While the broadcast trailer is entering the final stages of completion, the journey hasn’t necessarily been an easy one. When Rogers noticed that expenditures were beginning to exceed the trailer’s modest budget, he began pursuing in-kind gifts from local businesses. It took calls to numerous RV stores in Napa before he reached Jody Shavlik at Dan Shavlik’s RV. By the time Rogers had finished introducing himself and his project, Jody was laughing and said, “My husband and I are alumni of PUC. I’ll see what we can do.” About four days later, Rogers had a new air conditioning/heating unit for the top of the trailer.

Rogers is also a volunteer at the local fire department and will be receiving an associate’s degree in emergency management from a college in Maryland along with his PUC bachelor’s degree in film and television. He is trying to find a way to balance his passions for film and firefighting. “I have finally come to somewhat of a compromise on the matter,” says Rogers of his future. “After I graduate this year I am going to go to paramedic school and then go full-time into firefighting. However, with full-time firefighting, you only work a few days a week, so the remaining few I hope to pursue something in the broadcast world since television is my favorite part of the film and television world.”