Editor’s Note:    Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa is another example of an outstanding film and video program located right here in Orange County.  

When I decided to become a producer, the first course I took was at OCC about how to effectively create and market an idea to turn a concept into a funded project, the forerunner of today’s Film & Video A112.  I still use much of what I learned there. I had the pleasure of working with William Hall (Department Chair from 1992-2008) on a television pilot, In The Credits, in conjunction with several of his more advanced students.  The results were professional in every aspect.  That’s the caliber of the kids and education they receive at OCC.  Many of them are ready to work professionally, even before they complete the program.

When I approached Bill about doing a story about their program, in typical form he defined the program by relating stories about some of the amazing kids who have been through the OCC program.

OCS:    How would you describe the program you offer at OCC?
Bill Hall:    We continue to have great success with our graduates.  Let me give you some examples:


Claudia Huerta began as an intern with James Cameron 10 years ago and was hired following her internship. She was involved in Avatar from the very beginning and was the Assistant Editor. She got a very big credit at the end of the film. She is in red standing right in front of Cameron.


Andrew Loschin graduated 15 years ago and has been involved as a special effects editor on dozens of action films from I Robot thru all X Men films. He was Senior Effects Editor on this year’s Tron.

Will Geiger graduated 15 years ago and had directed two low budget features but most recently was hired by well known producer Linda Schuler Doner, to direct the latest Free Willy film for Warner Bros.


 Ryan Simpkins was a TV major here and graduated in '01. He has continually worked in Reality TV working up now to the Supervising Producer for American Idol, the #1 rated show on TV. He credits his experience in TV classes here at OCC to giving him both the skills and work ethic to survive and advance in Hollywood.

Sandra Hagblom graduated last Spring and immediately went to work for  one of the most famous music video directors, Jonus Akerlund.  Her very first assignment as his assistant was Lady Gaga's "Telephone" video featuring Gaga and Beyonce. This is a huge director and huge musical stars to work for.

Editor’s Note:    Bill Hall was a producer and director with broadcast credits in over 600 programs with six Emmy nominations.  He spent much of that time at NBC,  During his term as head of the department, he oversaw the construction of the modern facilities that provide an environment that allows students to work with equipment and studios that they can expect to find when they look for work.

OCS:   How well prepared are your students to enter the industry as a productive worker?
Bill Hall:    Although we stay as current as possible on technology that is only part of the successful equation for our students.  Regardless of the final delivery of a finished production - movies, TV, Internet, mobile devices - the key is telling a compelling story. No fancy editing or technology smoke-and-mirrors can replace a well told story. Students are already predisposed to technology, it's storytelling that needs to be taught.  Secondly, we place a major emphasis on "work ethic"; reliability, hard work, honesty.  Rarely do students enter the film/video industry at anything other than an entry level job so they will be judged initially on their work ethic. Can they make themselves indispensible to a Producer or Director or Editor?

OCS:    You’ve been a successful producer and director at the network level for some 25 years.  What made you choose to change to teaching the future “Bill Halls” and how different is it from what you used to do?
Bill Hall:    I was very fortunate in my career in Hollywood.  When I was a film student at San Diego State I dreamed of going to Hollywood.  I started at the very bottom giving tours at NBC and within short order was hired by one of the biggest TV Producers in the business.  I learned about TV show development and production and had direct contact with some of the biggest stars around; John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Gene Kelly and many others, including a very close 4  month period with the legendary Orson Welles.  As things happen in Hollywood nothing lasts forever and I moved on to another production company where the owner gave me many opportunities to advance, going from Associate Producer to Co-Producer to Director that put me in the Director's Guild of America - DGA.  I had the opportunity to direct TV shows, films, commercials and documentaries across the entire US and Western Europe.  But after over 600 productions the thrill just wasn't there.  I needed a new challenge.  That lead me to education and Orange Coast College where I was hired to both teach and take charge of the building of a new production facility that we have today.  I am very proud of the facility, the faculty, (many of whom have active careers in Hollywood) and the daily challenge of training and motivating students to be future contributors to this ever evolving industry.

For more information about this outstanding program, please visit


Saturday, July 20, 2024