Last summer, I taught a production workshop class at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena and was very impressed with their film program and the students. I knew the Film department Chair Ross LaManna, having hired him as a screenwriter several times over the years. But the teaching experience got me thinking about the role of film schools in today’s entertainment industry, and I hoped Ross could help explain it to me. Continue reading
Filmmaker, cinematographer and music video director Jon Jon Augustavo (MFA ’12 Film), recognized for his dynamic and evocative narrative style, is a three-time MTV Video Music Award-winner best known for his collaborations with rap duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on their Grammy Award-winning “Thrift Shop” and chart-topping hit, “Same Love.” The latter alone has generated more than 125 million views on YouTube.
In fact, of all the work he has done, Augustavo is proudest of “Same Love,” a marriage equality anthem whose groundbreaking rise on the pop charts was noted by The New York Times. “I originally thought I just needed to make a great story,” said Augustavo. “I didn’t think there were any social ramifications. But we put it out right before the vote for same-sex marriage in Washington,” a reference to his and the band’s support for Referendum 74 on their home state ballot in 2012. “And months afterward, the emails I received, the people I met who said that it was so important to them — I’ve never had that experience in my life. I could stop making anything right now and I’d be happy to at least have done that.”
Recent Art Center Film alumnus Jon Jon Augustavo has more than one reason to celebrate. The music video “Thrift Shop” that he directed for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis—with 324 million YouTube views and counting—has been nominated for BET Music Video of the Year.
On top of that, their second music video collaboration, “Can’t Hold Us,” has racked up nearly 44 million views on YouTube in six short weeks. Both songs made it to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, and “Can’t Hold Us” is now four weeks into holding top spot.
But Augustavo sees that success in a more humbling light.