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Major: Media X 

Pathway: Maker

Graduation Year: 2020

Hometown: Santa Barbara, CA

Activities: University Student Photographer

What's next: Piper's career goal is to be a filmmaker

Outstanding Media X Student Piper Davis

Q: Why did you choose Pacific?

A: I chose the University of the Pacific because of what my family and friends had told me about the reputation of the school. They basically told me that everyone they knew that came to this university was successful in their endeavors and I wanted that same level of success.

Q: Why did you major in Media X?

A: Ever since high school I have been extremely interested in that form of media, that whole subject. My high school had a small academy focusing on that and I joined it not knowing what I wanted to do with my life and I found my passion there. When I came here I was a film studies major; Media X hadn't begun as a major yet. When it did start, I chose to switch to it because I saw a more innovative major.

We like to think of it as the future of storytelling in all forms of media, whether it's visual or something you listen to. It could be on the screen, it could be a live performance ─ anything that involves storytelling. It goes through the making of (content), the analysis, the management ─ all of those areas were hugely attractive to me. I saw a lot more prosperous future for me switching to that.

Q: Is there a professor who particularly inspired you?

A: One Media X professor who's been hugely inspirational to me is Gary Armagnac ─ just the way that he is able to inspire his students, the way he interacts with them is not something I've experienced with any other professors I've had in my life. He can scare you ... but no matter what, you're going to have a unique and very fulfilling experience.

Q: What's your favorite memory of your time in Media X?

A; My favorite memory of Media X was probably from this semester. It was not that big of a deal, but it was walking into my performance capture class and just saying hi to all the students I'd become so close with. 

Being a sophomore and switching to Media X, you're not really in the loop with everyone as much as you would be coming in as a freshman. I was kind of the new kid. I didn't really know that many people, (but) halfway through the semester these are all pretty much my best friends. I say hi to all of them, I know all their names. I just felt like I belonged and that was a great feeling.

Q: What's your favorite film?

A; Probably "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" directed by Wes Anderson. I love Wes Anderson's movies. He has probably the most distinct style as a director.

Q: What advice do you have for students starting out in Media X?

A: It would be to do more than you think you need to do. There's always another class, there's always another internship or opportunity you can take that will really benefit you in the future. In this market, the bare minimum is not going to cut it. You're going to have to step up and show the world what you can do. Go above and beyond. 

Q: What about high school students who are considering a film studies/digital media major and choosing a university. Why come here?

A: Because the Media X department here does an amazing job at welcoming students who don't necessarily have any experience in the subject. There's tons of introductory classes ─ film production to theater to performance capture ─ so if you're not sure what you want to do and want to try this and you don't have any experience, you're going to feel welcome.  You're not going to feel overwhelmed by all this new stuff. The professors are going to help you. 

We're actually lucky to be up here in Northern California because we're so close to Silicon Valley, we're close to Pixar (Animation Studios). We've had directors from Pixar who are Oscar winners come here and talk to us, a classroom of maybe 20 students. The opportunities that we've been given are truly incredible. 

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