Cerritos College Film Student Wins Media Arts Award


Michele Ervin is the Category Winner of State Competition

Cerritos College film student Michele Ervin has been named the winner in the film category of the annual Media Arts Award Competition on April 24. Ervin’s film "THE DAY SHIFT" was selected from a field of 38 entries by a faculty screening committee and an industry panel of judges.

The annual competition is conducted by the Multimedia & Entertainment Initiative (MEI) of the Economic and Workforce Development Program of the California Community Colleges. The entries for the competition come from community colleges all across California. 

“I had what I call my ‘freeze in time moment’ that feels like time just stops and afterward you can’t remember what happened,” says Ervin, of Cerritos. “It was a tremendous feeling.”

“THE DAY SHIFT” is a drama about a homeless man and a mysterious woman who are not what they appear to be. Ervin’s husband Larry Ervin played the lead character in the film. Ervin recalls the filming on location, “it was fun watching the reaction of people... Larry was dressed as a homeless man and people thought he was real.”

Ervin hopes to become a screenwriter and a producer. To achieve these goals, she plans to learn as much as she can about the film making process.

Ervin’s instructor, Professor Steven Hirohama, congratulated Michele on her award and added “Michele has exhibited some of the key traits of a successful filmmaker – that of painstaking prep work, being resourceful and establishing collaboration with her crew and cast. It’s rewarding as an instructor to see that every project she does gets better and better.”

Cerritos College film production program has been in existence since 2005. Since its inception, Hirohama was integral to develop the film production program. He brings many years of professional experience as a producer, director and a production company owner

Falcon Alumna Returns to the Classroom

Former film student Michele Ervin recently returned to a cinematography class to screen her first feature documentary film.

The film TRESS Artists and Angeles, Masters of Natural Hair is a journey of discovering natural beauty. The film follows men and women in the hair care industry who demonstrate hair styling that empowers people and bring out their cultural heritage and inner beauty.

The students were eager to learn about the technical elements she used in the film such as cameras, lighting, and lenses. They also provided constructive criticism of the film and identified areas of improvement to better depict the emotional journey of the story.

Michele created six short films while studying in the Cerritos College Film Program. These films were screened at 32 film festivals from New York to San Francisco, and one in Canada, garnishing awards along the way. She won the Best Short Film award at Media Arts Competition with “The Day Shift” in 2009. In 2010, her film “The Big Fit In” made an official selection at the San Diego Black Film Festival.

After Michele completed her film study at Cerritos College in 2011 (?) she, her husband Larry Ervin and her sister Sheila McKinnon formed SILENTNOISE Productions. She began working on her first feature-length film. Faced with many obstacles creating a narrative film, she found that a documentary offered more freedom both creatively and financially.

“With TRESS Artists and Angeles, we had the freedom to shoot what we wanted and tell the story we wanted to tell,” said Michele.

Michele credits film classes by Professor Steven Hirohama for her success. “I was able to find my strength as a producer and director, while learning all elements of filmmaking in his class,” said Michele.