Biola docuseries gets green light

The Biola docuseries will capture the lives of six Biola students and is scheduled to air in September 2015 in Canada.

Aaron Fooks/THE CHIMES

Sarah Pineda, Writer

A production team working for Crossroads Christian Communications officially began filming a docuseries show on March 19 that will portray the day-to-day lives of Biola students.

After working with the California labor law, Canadian tax credits and Biola University to gain permission to film on campus, the docuseries crew will film campus life until graduation in May 2015. The series will air in Canada in September 2015 on YesTv and potentially air in the United States at a later time. Six students from different years and majors have been selected as cast members in the docuseries, as the show will document their lives as Christian students attending Biola.

“Usually you throw away the first couple weeks of filming because people are just getting used to each other and being on camera. I don’t think that’s the case with this group. We can start running very quickly with usable material,” said Jon Oleksiuk, producer of the docuseries.

The docuseries crew plans to film 10 hours a day, Monday through Thursday on campus. About 20 students from different concentrations in the cinema and media arts department are also contributing to the production of the docuseries. Students receive credit for an internship, along with mentorship from the lead staff of the YesTv production team, Oleksiuk said.

There will be signs and posters notifying students while filming at main locations on campus, Oleksuik said. However, if filming in the private areas, like dorms, Oleksuik will inform resident directors and resident advisors ahead of time so that students are aware.

“We’re going to try and put up boards to let people know where we will be filming so that we’re not invading privacy. But I mean, space is a public space and people that are walking through are knowingly giving consent to be filmed,” Oleksuik said.

If students have any questions or concerns regarding potentially being filmed, they can email Brenda Velasco, assistant director of public relations and internal communications, Oleksuik said.

Although there were originally 40 students selected for filming, the number became lower as Oleksiuk placed the students in groups that would create more chemistry on-screen. Over the past month, the funding agency asked the docuseries to narrow the students to six in order to follow their lives more closely rather than a big group, Oleksuik said. David Oh, sophomore journalism major, was one of the students who was placed as a secondary actor due to the cuts.

“It’s intense because since it’s a professional production, they have those cameras that scare you, you know the type which are so expensive you can’t even hold them and there are those reflectors to put you in the shade,” said David Oh, sophomore broadcast journalism major. “People are putting makeup on you and you’re sitting there shaking and once the cameras go on, there’s friends behind the set waving at you because you’re in a public place and it’s super awkward and scary, but it’s exciting and fun.”

Over the past month, the funding agency asked the docuseries to narrow the students to six in order to follow their lives more closely rather than a big group, Oleksuik said. As one of the last 12 actors, Oh was placed as a secondary actor after the final six cut.

“To get to meet these interesting people and make friendships with them is probably one of my favorite thing about this whole process,” said Oh.