Typically known for its on-air programming, USC’s award-winning television station Trojan Vision took home two top honors from this year’s American Video Association (AVA) Awards, which recognized work by the station’s special productions unit.
The international awards competition, which celebrates audiovisual projects created by advertising agencies, film production studios and public relations firms, honored Trojan Vision with a gold award for its Trojan Safety 101 video and a platinum award for its online promotional video for Longo Lexus, a Southern California car dealership.
“Every single day, these students surprise me,” said Don Tillman, founder of Trojan Vision. “We get the best of the best working for Trojan Vision, and the students are extremely creative. The result comes in the form of these awards.”
Trojan Safety 101 is a nine-minute public-service announcement designed to highlight some of the major safety issues that can arise on a college campus. The USC Department of Public Safety commissioned Trojan Vision to create the short film to raise awareness about campus safety at upcoming orientation sessions. The five-person crew spent more than two months last summer on the project, which included pre-production, casting, shooting and editing.
“The commitment the students make is unbelievable,” Tillman said. “The number of hours and amount of brain power that they put into these projects, on top of their school work, is remarkable. Because of that, when they enter the real world, they can hit the ground running.”
Trojan Vision also received a platinum award for work on a two-minute video for Longo Lexus’ website.
This marks only the second time in Trojan Vision’s 14-year history that the AVA has recognized the student-run television station with a platinum award.
Nathaniel Schermerhorn, executive producer for the special productions unit and a junior majoring in psychology and film production, directed and produced both projects.
“When most people hear of Trojan Vision, they think of our television on-air programming, but that special productions unit is our hidden gem,” he said. “I hope people on campus begin to see that this is a fully functional student production company that runs like any other professional outside company. We are getting that real-world experience outside of the studio and, as students, that is invaluable.”