Training Tomorrow’s TV Crews


Photo by Andrew Cox

Teacher Jesus-Octavio Oropeza demonstrates taking profile shots to his digital media students.

by Andrew Cox, Reporter

Behind every video feed, there’s an entire teamoperators, editors, producersand each member contributes a unique set of skills and training. The audiovisual production class aims to give students the skills they’ll need to succeed in the video industry and its new teacher, Jesus-Octavio Oropeza, brings a wealth of real-world production experience into the course.

“This is my 17th year teaching,” Oropeza said. “On the side, I’ve been doing a lot of TV work, editing and some legal work.”

When not in the classroom, Oropeza works as a freelance producer for a variety of organizations, working on in-house shows for the Dallas Cowboys and instant replays for SMU’s sporting events, among many others. Through this work, he’s been introduced to a small, tight-knit group of professionals from across the country who share his passion.

“I’ve worked in Cleveland, [filming] a paintball tournament and it’s the same people there that I’ll run into when I’m doing a Stars game,” Oropeza said. “It’s a small community and you get to know all these people and you get to see how things work.”

He hopes to take advantage of the multitude of experiences he’s had while producing and incorporate this knowledge into how he teaches the class.

“I’ve always been drawn to helping other people learn how to do certain things within the video industry,” Oropeza said.

Additionally, Oropeza is a legally certified video specialist which has given him first-hand experience recording depositions and creating content for trials. He utilizes these skills in teaching his business law class, one of three courses he is responsible for.
“I’m trying to bring that into the classroom and give [students] examples of true life experiences that are actually happening,” Oropeza said.

Oropeza hopes to teach a more advanced class on video, which would prepare students for a full-time job in the industry once they graduate.

“I’d like to eventually get to where the students are helping create content that is going to be shown at football games,” Oropeza said.

While Oropeza’s dream class isn’t offered yet, in the meantime he hopes to continue to use his experiences to help his students succeed in their future goals.

“It’s not work,” Oropeza said. “It’s a passion.”