FONTANA, CA – When Eduardo Lopez first picked up a film camera in his Jurupa Hills High School TV/Film Production class, he immediately knew he wanted to become a professional filmmaker.

Lopez can be found filming with a camera nearly every day as he assists with all of Jurupa Hills High’s productions in the school’s TV/Film career technical education (CTE) pathway, including Spartan TV News – a weekly studio show produced by students – in any way he can. He gained technical and leadership skills that are greatly respected by his Spartan classmates, establishing himself as a solid crew member with a knack for finding the right angle and lighting for a shot.

Outside of school, Lopez moonlights with Phase 3 Films, a San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC)-based film production company. He started out working first as a production assistant and moved up the ranks from camera assistant to main camera to finally a full-fledged cinematographer and director of photography position.

Lopez achieved an early career milestone and was rewarded for his dedication and tenacity at the 2024 SBVC Wolverine Con Film Festival, sharing the Best Cinematography Award with three of his peers for his work on “Afterworld,” a Phase 3 sci-fi film.

“I am so proud of what Eddie has been able to accomplish through hard work and networking,” Jurupa Hills TV/Film CTE pathway teacher Jhoann Acosta-Idda said. “When Eddie first came to my class, he said he had no plans to go to college, but Eddie’s passion for learning has brought him into a college environment where he can express himself creatively, and I think he is going to do amazing work.”

Jurupa Hills’ CTE pathway in TV/Film Production gives students like Lopez an opportunity to receive professional instruction while they explore the world of filmmaking and receive hands-on experience as they complete projects.

This is the third year Spartan students have submitted movies to Wolverine Con, where they get the opportunity to walk a red carpet and network with other student filmmakers.

Jurupa Hills TV Production students saw eight of their original films screened at 2024 Wolverine Con, with three films: “Dream Beyond the Struggle,” “Lost and Found,” and “I Applied” nominated for audience awards and Olivia Lara’s documentary film about sexual harassment, “Reclaiming What’s Ours,” which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize.

It was at the 2023 Wolverine Con that Lopez, with his classmate Kira Flores, screened “FLIP,” a documentary about a 16-week enrichment camp for at-promise teenagers that was nominated for four awards. It was also where Lopez met Paul Black, an SBVC alumni who helped launch Phase 3 Films. Black offered Lopez an internship because he was so impressed with his work ethic.

“I’ve learned so much from Mrs. Jho and my classmates about camera placement, editing, all of the terminology, and the ability to quickly solve problems on the set,” Lopez said. “These skills have really helped me in my work with Phase 3 Films, where I am working with more experienced filmmakers.”

Lopez, whose favorite cinematographers are Academy Award-winners Hoyte Van Hoytema (“Oppenheimer”) and Roger Deakins (“Blade Runner 2049”), plans to continue his film education through SBVC’s Film, TV, & Media program, honing the skills he has acquired at Jurupa Hills.

“Spartan students are acquiring skills in Mrs. Acosta-Idda’s TV/Film Production classroom not only prepares them for leadership roles but empowers their growth outside the classroom, evidenced by their annual presence at the SBVC Film Festival,” Fontana Unified Superintendent Miki R. Inbody said. “Congratulations to Eduardo Lopez for his amazing work, we are excited to follow his progress as he pursues his passion in filmmaking.”


FUSD_LOPEZ1: Jurupa Hills High School senior Eduardo Lopez achieved an early career milestone at the 2024 San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) Wolverine Con Film Festival for his work on a film titled “Afterworld.” Lopez assists with Jurupa Hills’ TV Production career technical education pathway, called Spartan TV, and also works with Phase 3 Films, an SBVC-based film production company.

FUSD_LOPEZ2: Eduardo Lopez, a senior a Jurupa Hills High School, discovered a passion for film in a TV production class at his school. He earned a share of the Best Cinematography award at the 2024 San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) Wolverine Con Film Festival for his work on a film titled “Afterworld.”