Profiles & Spotlights

Program Spotlight: Media Production

If you’re like me, you have no idea what most other programs at Ryerson are like. I mean, I have a vague idea of what nursing students do, or those getting their Bachelor in Social Work, but that’s just because I watch a lot of Grey’s Anatomy.

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There’s a lot of baseball and sexual tension, right?

But because we’re a cool school, we have loads of programs that are either completely unique or super rare. Like, what’s Creative Industries? Entrepreneurship? Retail Management? And even cooler, we’re here to give you a spotlight on different students in these different programs!

First up is Reid Neilsen. I asked him if he could chat about his program, and he said “I’d love to be an ambassador for the best program at Ryerson.” He’s a third-year student in Ryerson’s Media Production program, the only degree program of its kind in Canada.

In Media Production, formerly known as Radio and Television Arts, students can specialize in different areas, whether it be TV production, music, or digital media. With guest lectures from artists ranging from Deadmau5 to Elan Mastai, you’ve got students who want to be next Spielberg and students who want to be the next Zuckerberg.

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Photo by the amazing Maggie Prelude

Reid Neilsen! What interested you in Media Production at Ryerson?

I’ve always been interested in media production, starting when I got my aunt’s old VHS camera when I was 8. My friend Brendan and I worked on a YouTube channel in high school that ended up with over 40 videos by the time we graduated. After leaving high school there wasn’t anything else I really liked doing enough to pursue other than making videos, so here I am.

How do you like it so far?

RTA has some really amazing courses and my only problem is that I can’t take all of them! If I had my way I wouldn’t be in a single English or Liberal Studies and would instead take all the broadcasting courses. My favorite class the program has to offer is called Independent Production, which I have this semester. Indie production pretty much says “Hey, whattaya wanna do? A short film, record an album, design a website? Sounds awesome, go ahead!” There really needs to be more classes in the education system like this, that instead of telling you what to know, ask you what you’d like to explore and then allow you to do just that!

What are you doing for that course?

My project for indie production is going to be a web series of about four episodes exploring the idea of a relationship with drug abuse being represented as a relationship with a woman. I’m planning to get all cool and metaphorical and hope to quickly pound through a feature-film-calibre story in about twenty minutes worth of episodes. 

That’s amazing. Are you doing anything like that outside of class?

It’s only kind of outside of school, because technically it’s run through the university, but I work as a video producer for RTA Productions. The production company run out of my department is a fantastic idea because it lets students like me get hours of experience in the field as well as getting paid for my time. More programs like RTA Productions should run to allow students to gain experience while also making money. RTA Productions has allowed me to make my job hours work for me and my career instead of putting useless hours in waiting tables, which I’ve done. That isn’t my future!

What advice would you give to first years just coming in?

My advice to first years is the same as it was to the grade 9’s in high school, get involved! You’re going to find yourself with way more spare time on your hands than when you had 8 hour high school, and you can utilize it by volunteering on upper year productions. Every experience is good experience and the more people you know the better. Who you know is just as, if not more, important than what you know. Take advantage of the facilities and just make as much stuff as you can while you’re still under the roof of the RCC.

Thanks Reid! If you wanna check out some of his work, here’s a link to a video he produced for the TARA awards, Welcome to the RTA School of Media.

Got any questions? Think your program needs some representation and YOU want to be the one to do so? Comment below or email rustudentlife@gmail.com and let us know!

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