Film & Music

Jaiann Haskins

“Oh, my gosh! My music teacher is James Bergman, and he is amazing. I love that class so much. And he’s so funny!”

For a lot of people, California is a ‘dream state’—and often an escape. So it was for Jaiann Haskins, who felt all those stone walls in her native Maryland closing in on her. “I was going to a university back home and majoring in Film. But the program was terrible, and I was just miserable. Then I met a family friend who’s a producer, and she told me that SMC’s Film program is just the best. And SMC’s Academy of Entertainment & Technology is known for that program throughout the Industry.”

So Jaiann, decidedly on her way to the Film program at USC—(“Of that, I’m 100% certain!”)—came to SMC and watched dazedly as her life turned around. “I hated the whole idea of college at one point. But since I came out here and got surrounded by like-minded people, I just feel so much better and happier,” she says. “Santa Monica is such a beautiful place, and the other students here are so nice and respectful. I just know this is the right place for me to be.”

Not if, but when things go according to her plans, Jaiann states, “I want to be in the development part of films at Universal Studios. I see myself as a person who—if you have a great idea for a film—you bring it to me, and I’ll make it better. Then, I’ll take it to the producers and get it done.” Jaiann knows full well that USC is an expensive place. “But there are websites you can search that will send you emails about scholarships. Maybe something like $5,000 from Pepsi for making a short film about being an American. All you have to do is to look for the money, because it’s surely out there.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.​