Creating a Film & Media Arts Program With LUMIX

California’s Mater Dei High School implements LUMIX cameras into its curriculum

With the rise of streaming channels, video sharing sites, and social media influencers, there’s never been such a demand for content creators. As a result, forward thinking K – 12 schools are starting advanced programs to prepare students for film and media – whether it’s for college study, or jobs in the film and broadcast industry.

Founded in 1950, Mater Dei High School is a private, Catholic, co-educational secondary school in Santa Ana, California. With over 2,200 students, Mater Dei is perhaps best known for its sports programs, especially its nationally top ranked Monarchs football team. (Several of its alumni have won the Heisman Trophy, including former NFL quarterback Matt Leinart and future NFL draft pick Bryce Young.) The school is now putting greater focus on its arts program, which looks to match its sports programs by building a new performing arts center, concentrating on theater, choir, music, instrumental music, and the film and television program.

The Mater Dei Film & Media Arts program is headed by Andrew Roberts, who joined Mater Dei in 2016. A thirty year veteran of the entertainment industry, Roberts has worked in all aspects of entertainment, including theater, concerts, comedy, and dance performances. In the mid 2000s, he moved into grip work, which eventually brought him to cameras.

As the director of the program, Roberts has focused on growing the advanced television production classes and writing curriculum for the program. When first joining Mater Dei, Roberts was not a LUMIX user but had the opportunity to borrow a GH5 from the school’s marketing program. “I do a lot of personal photography on my own,” explained Roberts. “I said to the department chair, ‘Hey, I’m going away to the mountains this weekend, can I borrow this?’ By the end of the day Saturday, I knew that I needed to get a LUMIX of my own. We went from a department of one LUMIX to now exclusively using LUMIX cameras.” Roberts currently shoots with his own LUMIX S5 and S1H for photography and film projects.