by Greg Vandermause

Media arts senior Sam Shubert spent his fall semester studying at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center (LAFSC) in California. LAFSC is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU), which Bethany Lutheran College joined in 2017. LAFSC specializes in film production. Students learn to shoot and edit while being guided by faculty who are working professionals and highly regarded experts in their field. Our media arts program pushes students to develop a professional network, which was one of the main benefits of Sam’s experience at LAFSC.

“This was definitely a good move for me. I’ve been fortunate to meet a lot of people and it’s a great networking opportunity. It has really helped me and my fellow classmates get our feet wet and get to know some people out in LA.”
– Sam Shubert

After extending his college career by one semester as result of his time at LAFSC, Sam is set to graduate from Bethany in May 2019 . “I went to LA because it’s closer to what I’m looking for career-wise”, said Shubert. Part of the 16-credit semester at LAFSC is the required internship. Once students are accepted into the program they work with the coordinator to find an internship. Sam interned at AbelCine in Burbank, CA, a film production rental house where he gained experience with some of the top film cameras in the industry. In addition to the internship, Sam had a full slate of courses which included a Hollywood production workshop, a narrative storytelling class, and a faith and artistic development course, which focused on how faith can play a role in your development in the industry.

Another highlight we are excited to share is that Sam was able to work with Bethany alumnus Marcus Taplin (‘11) on a commercial shoot while in LA. It’s important for our students to make these connections, and his experience with a high end shooter like Marcus is wonderful to see.

While LA may seem far from Mankato, Sam fit in quite nicely and met several students from other Minnesota colleges who also enjoyed a semester in CA. Sam encourages other students interested in LAFSC or other programs to do their homework and research beforehand. Sam spent his first three years at Bethany involved with its Minnesota State hockey broadcast program, an experience that helped prepare him for LAFSC. “A lot of the terminology and equipment knowledge I’ve gained through the broadcast was very helpful in learning the film side”, he explained. We are looking further into building a semester off campus into the media arts program for students looking to specialize in film.