At the end of the academic year, CCAD faculty select one outstanding senior for each undergraduate major. Today, in part seven of our nine-part series, meet Outstanding Cinematic Arts Senior Johnny Hochstetler.
Q. Outstanding Senior is an honor that’s earned. How did you stay focused and motivated to excel academically?
I’ve surrounded myself with really good people and students at CCAD. I’ve always had really high goals for myself and dreams. In art, you get out what you put into it. I’ve feel like I’ve really put my all into everything, so it’s really starting to pay off.
Q: What was your proudest achievement while at CCAD?
One of the coolest projects I worked on was doing a music video for a cover of Royals by Lorde. I shot it in the new Cinematic Arts studio using the RED camera.
Q: What was your biggest challenge as a student?
Trying to juggle everything at once. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like to pick and choose where I direct my energy. I just try to do my best in whatever I’m doing.
Q: Do you remember a single point when you realized that you were meant to be here doing what you were doing?
One of the biggest moments was last semester when I was working on a huge project for class. I was the director of photography for that project, and there was one week when I spent 60 hours outside of class doing shoots. There was a moment after a shoot when Cinematic Arts Assistant Professor Phil Garrett told me that he was really impressed with what I was doing for the project. That was really cool.
Q: What was your favorite class at CCAD?
As crazy and as hard as it was, the Collaborative Projects class was my favorite. It was cool to bond with other students outside of the classroom.
Q: What is your fondest memory at CCAD?
Between my sophomore and junior year we had a terrible house fire and I lost everything—my artwork, computers, hard drives, equipment, everything. It made me realize what was really important. During my first semester after that summer, I did better work than I had ever done before.
Q: What word or phrase sums up your feelings about graduation?
Excited. Anxious. Nervous. But I totally feel like I’m ready.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
I just signed a lease in Ventura, CA, and I’m going to do freelance work in Los Angeles.
Q: What’s your ultimate dream job or goal?
My dream would be to be a director of music videos. I think that I’m totally capable of doing it. I just need to get my foot in the door. I really want to always be doing something with music.
Q: What is one thing you know now that you wish you would’ve known as a freshman?
You really have to find what you want to do. If you’re passionate about the work you’re doing, it will show, and it will make you a happier person. You’ll be more motivated and less stressed.
Hochstetler is from Westerville, OH, and attended Westerville North High School.
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