CSUN Professor Nominated for Regional Emmy for Work with FBI

Cinema and television arts professor Nate Thomas (left) on the set of the PSA on counterfeit clothing. Photo courtesy of Nate Thomas.

Cinema and television arts professor Nate Thomas (left) on the set of the PSA on counterfeit clothing. Photo courtesy of Nate Thomas.

California State University, Northridge film professor Nate Thomas has been nominated for a regional Emmy Award for a television public service ad (PSA) campaign he directed and produced for the FBI on intellectual property theft.

The three ads — on music piracy, bootleg clothing and the stealing of trade secrets — were nominated for an Emmy in the PSA (single spot or campaign) category. The winners will be announced at the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences 40th Annual Pacific Southwest Emmy Awards Gala scheduled for Saturday, June 14, in Carlsbad.

Thomas said he was honored to receive the nomination and took great pleasure in the fact the nod was for a project he did with CSUN faculty and students.

“In many ways, getting this nomination is an affirmation of what we do here at CSUN and a reflection on the caliber of our students and our faculty,” he said. “Our goal, when we created this project, was to educate people about the dangers of stealing intellectual property. But I also saw it as an opportunity to give our students a chance to work on a professional project that would have national exposure, something they can be proud to put on their resumes.”

The project was done through Thomas’ production company, which specializes in making PSAs. “I call it doing social work using film and other media,” he said.

Working with federal law enforcement officials and assisted by a team of CSUN students and faculty, Thomas created a series of 30-second ads last year as part of national campaigns to educate the public about intellectual property theft and cyber bullying.

The CSUN cinema and television arts students worked alongside seasoned industry journeymen in a variety of capacities behind the camera to create the spots. Editing of the PSAs was done by CSUN students under the supervision of film professor Michael Hoggan, a respected film and television editor with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. In all, Thomas said, more than 20 CSUN film students, faculty and staff worked on the project.

Commissioned by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the ads have been shown as public service announcements across the country. The PSAs can be viewed at http://www.fbi.gov/losangeles/news-and-outreach/public-service-announcements/.