Most of the Los Angeles high schools’ populations saw the Emmys or heard about the award show on Aug. 25, 2014, with strong shows like “The Big Bang Theory” and “Modern Family” taking the wins. However, most people in the Granada Hills community do not realize that we have someone on campus that has won awards by the same people that give out the Emmys every year: Marie Mancini.
Mancini, office assistant in the College and Career Office, won the 2012 Impact University of Southern California (USC) College Television award for her documentary on skateboarding. This is an impressive achievement in the television and film industry, since her documentary won first place in the entire nation.
Mancini is extremely modest about her accomplishment, but the pride in her eyes is clear; she is exceedingly passionate about her love of journalism and documentaries.
Mancini has been interested in journalism since childhood and was involved in theater and speech and debate in high school. Additionally, she stated that growing up close to the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia might have fueled the fire. She recalled, “I remember going to the [CNN] headquarters when I was eight and it was really incredible because they took us to this room where we got to do fake telecasts. It was amazing; we got to wear suits and look professional while they were filming our fake news reports.”
Mancini’s move from Georgia to California to attend USC set the ball in motion for her eventual win at the 2012 Impact USC awards.
She majored in broadcast journalism and was the executive producer at Annenberg TV News (ATVN), a student-run news station at USC that aired at 6:00 p.m. Mancini learned more about digital media and helped improve the school website through that experience.
However, at USC Mancini also picked up skateboarding. She laughed as she said, “I was really interested in skateboarding, so I picked up the art while at USC; I used to longboard to and from various classes throughout the day.”
After Mancini became interested in skateboarding, she met professional skateboarders who would participate in races, sometimes racing at speeds up to 60 miles per hour (mph). Awed by their fun yet dangerous lifestyle, Mancini made a documentary about the skateboarders’ intense adrenaline-pumping hobby.
Mancini and her partner in her journalism class produced the documentary for their final project. They interviewed and observed the skateboarders while they did what they loved most.
Mancini said, “It was really incredible because I would be driving my Jeep downhill alongside them on Mulholland Drive as they skated and my partner filmed the entire thing out of the windows; they would be keeping pace with the Jeep on the switchback road.”
After Mancini and her partner turned in their final project, to their surprise, they found out that USC wanted to present the video in their show, Impact, and wanted the pair to host the show, too. After the show, the university entered their documentary into a contest and they won a first place award given by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
As Mancini reflected on her experience at USC, she said, “USC was a good experience for me and that’s why I’m so passionate about the school. I’m really grateful to it because of the opportunities it offered its students like the ability to produce their own show; it was just an amazing experience for me.”