A young artist sitting at a desk says “it is what makes me different.” A man at a construction site says “it is what makes me unique.” A teenager in a classroom says “it is why our voices are allowed to be heard.”
The images and messages are simple, yet striking, and are part of a public service announcement created by Cal State Northridge multimedia student Jason Moore that took third place in the television category in a national competition by the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Education Foundation on “what freedom of speech means to me.”
By taking third, Moore’s 30-second public service announcement (PSA) is available for use by television stations across the country. There were more than 100 entries in the competition.
Moore, a senior in CSUN’s Department of Cinema and Television Arts, said he was surprised at the win and honored that his work may be viewed by people from California to Maine.
“Freedom of speech is one is those things that I don’t think that people really think about; they sort of just take it for granted,” Moore said. “It plays such an important role in nearly every aspect of our lives and most people don’t realize it, or even think about it.”
Cinema and television arts professor Mary C. Schaffer, head of CSUN’s multimedia option, said she was not surprised to hear Moore took top honors in the NAB Education Foundation competition.
“His PSA is extremely powerful,” Schaffer said. “He is an extremely passionate student and that is reflected in his work.”
Schaffer said Moore created the PSA all on his own, asking faculty to briefly review his script just days before he was scheduled to shoot it.
“None of us knew that he was even going to enter the contest until we saw his script, and even then we only made a few recommendations,” she said. “The thing about Jason is that he really has direction and is very focused. He really wants to work in the field of production, and he takes his education very seriously.
“There is no doubt in my mind that he will be a producer. He already is.”
Moore, 21, of Sylmar, works full time and carries an average course load of 16 units a semester. He said the idea for the public service announcement grew from conversations he had with friends about freedom of speech. Within a couple of weeks, he had cemented his concept and written a script. He shot and edited the whole project in a week.
“It just really came together,” he said. “When you’re doing something and you feel passionate about it, like freedom of speech, then things kind of fall into place.”
The freedom of speech contest was presented by the NAB Education Foundation and the Broadcast Education Association, with major funding from the McCormick Foundation.
Cal State Northridge’s Department of Cinema and Television Arts has an international reputation for producing dedicated and talented industry professionals who recognize the value of hard work as they learn and continue to perfect their crafts. The department’s alumni work in all aspects of the industry, from writing, producing and directing to manning cameras and having the final say in what project