Making a scene: CSUB alum debuts as director on ‘Law & Order: SVU’ | Entertainment


“When On a Time in El Barrio,” the story of a few teenage ladies trafficked from Juarez, Mexico, to New York Town by a brutal gang, was a single of the more demanding episodes of “Law & Get: Distinctive Victims Unit” to shoot.

In the commencing, one particular of the women is set on fire, a scene so intensive an editor was hesitant to get the job done on it when she browse the script. Later, a feminine law enforcement officer assisting lookup for the women is mowed down by an SUV. You can find a standoff at the conclusion involving a dozen cops, criminals and victims.

It was very the “SVU” directorial debut for Oscar Rene Lozoya II, who has been performing his way up the modifying and directing ranks of episodic tv because graduating from CSUB in 2009.

“There was just a ton to consider about whilst we have been taking pictures,” Lozoya claimed from his business office in Los Angeles about a month after the episode aired on NBC. “The exhibit had a good deal additional stunts and night exteriors than a typical episode.”

Lozoya would know. He has been performing on “Regulation & Order” franchise reveals for 13 many years, setting up as an intern and going up to production assistant, editorial assistant, assistant editor, editor and now director. He’s worked on the initial “Regulation & Buy” additionally spinoffs “SVU” (his favorite), “Legal Intent,” “Arranged Criminal offense” and “LA” (second preferred).

Lozoya has also carried out modifying function on “Rizzoli & Isles,” “Alcatraz,” “Californication” and “Chicago Fireplace,” as nicely as written and directed a element film, “How We Met.” His limited movie “The Neglected Area” is on the festival circuit and has received a lot more than 20 awards.

Lozoya’s tale of showbiz good results is unique, stated veteran television editor and producer Leon Ortiz-Gil. He failed to show up at a prestigious movie university or have wealthy, perfectly-connected mom and dad. He just labored his way up by seeking out mentors, filling in in which he was necessary, consistently honing his craft and currently being a joy to operate with, Ortiz-Gil said.

“He was normally energetic. He was incredibly devoted. By encouraging people today out, he aided himself out,” stated Ortiz-Gil, whose function on demonstrates including “Matlock,” “24,” “Battlestar Galactica” and “Legislation & Buy” gained him an American Cinema Editors Occupation Accomplishment award in 2018. “My recommendation for any individual coming into the company is to be like Oscar.”

Fun with lightsabers

Lozoya is an Albuquerque, N.M., indigenous who constantly required to move to California and chose Bakersfield after a yr of college or university in New Mexico mainly because spouse and children close friends lived there. He did not know what he wanted to do with his lifestyle but was fantastic with desktops and so took pc science and company classes at Bakersfield College or university and then CSUB.

A pal using film lessons at BC requested Lozoya to act in his films. The videos ended up terrible but exciting to make, Lozoya claimed.

When the close friend failed to do anything with footage from a “Star Wars” parody they filmed, Lozoya questioned if he could mess all-around with it. He transpired to have Adobe Premiere and Photoshop on a laptop computer presented to him by his photographer father.

“I keep in mind hunting on the internet and figuring out how to do the lightsaber results. I practically rotoscoped, body-by-frame in Photoshop, a lightsaber onto the broomsticks that we made use of,” Lozoya said. “Even nevertheless it was quite tedious do the job, I was like, ‘Oh, person, this is type of a ton of exciting.'”

Right after taking pictures extra and more movies with his close friend, Lozoya knew he’d identified his job.

To get working experience, Lozoya edited video for Bakersfield CBS affiliate KBAK and the Bakersfield Jam, the city’s now-defunct NBA D-League basketball team. He also designed YouTube movies and small movies.

CSUB communications professor Mary Slaughter inspired Lozoya with good responses journalism professor Judith Pratt taught him narrative storytelling. Professors Slaughter and Donna Simmons pushed him to go after internships Gary Byrd taught him to master by carrying out.

With aid from the California State University Amusement Alliance, which aids CSU pupils, college and alumni break into the enjoyment enterprise by way of connections and monetary support, he landed a knowledge analytics internship at Warner Bros. It gave Lozoya the huge break he essential.

“I know it sounds incredibly silly and cliche, but I very seriously would not be here without them,” Lozoya said of his CSUB communications professors. “… It all honestly began with them staying an advocate for me.”

Lozoya was a standout pupil, Slaughter claimed. He was charismatic and playful while also determined and resourceful. In its place of stressing about grades or other people’s opinions, he took the initiative to say what he preferred to say with assignments although even now staying in the assignment’s parameters.

Most importantly, Slaughter stated, he took gain of chances to study and advance outside the house the classroom. College students can study a ton from his instance, she stated.

“Consider initiative,” Slaughter claimed. “Solution your operate with a sense of excitement alternatively of concern. Never procrastinate. That was Oscar.”


After Lozoya gained his bachelor’s diploma in communications with an emphasis in digital media from CSUB, he secured a summer season internship with NBC Universal/Dick Wolf Films doing work on 3 “Law & Get” sequence: “SVU,” “Prison Intent” and the primary present it phone calls “The Mother Ship.” When that finished, he assumed he’d go back to operating for the Bakersfield Jam as a tricaster director and shooter of marketing substance.

But then, Wolf Movies offered him a submit-creation assistant job and he took it. Post-PAs do what ever the submit-generation team wants finished, from providing DVDs of episode cuts to executives to fetching men and women breakfast. All through downtime, he sat with assistant editors and editors to learn their craft.

“He arrived in at the incredibly base of the barrel,” Ortiz-Gil reported. “But he was usually curious. He would continue to be late. He desired to know anything about editing.”

Lozoya counts himself fortunate to have invested time with people today like Ortiz-Gil, producers Tim DeLuca and Mark Dragin, and producer-director-editor Arthur Forney, who has government-developed hundreds of “Legislation & Order” episodes. He soaked in every thing they experienced to say about storytelling and what did and did not get the job done in the making of demonstrates.

“I was capable to sit in the similar place as men and women who made some of the most legendary tv in heritage,” Lozoya explained.

From there Lozoya labored up to assistant editor on “Legislation & Buy: LA,” organizing footage shot the earlier working day, incorporating audio outcomes to scenes and obtaining footage to the promo office for production of teases to the subsequent week’s episode.

“LOLA” was a person of the most problematic shows Ortiz-Gil has at any time worked on, he said. People today ended up so determined to see it succeed that they shot and re-shot scenes, too much to handle the two assistant editors (like Lozoya) with do the job. The other assistant was a “major-notch, seasoned veteran,” and Lozoya saved up with him, Ortiz-Gil reported.

When “Legislation & Get: LA” was canceled right after 1 season, Lozoya hopped above to “Alcatraz,” a Fox drama that lasted just one time, and “Californication,” a Showtime comedy-drama starring David Duchovny that aired for seven seasons. The latter gave Lozoya working experience encouraging notify tales in a single significant chunk as opposed to five acts damaged up by commercials.

In the summer season of 2012, Forney asked Lozoya to be an assistant editor on the pilot of “Chicago Fire,” a new Dick Wolf sequence. When the pilot was picked up, Lozoya joined it halfway by means of the period.

In 2015, Lozoya was promoted to editor on “Chicago Fireplace,” possessing proved himself volunteering to reduce scenes for hectic editors and filling in for an editor on maternity go away. He was a “Chicago Fireplace” editor for 18 episodes above 4 seasons.

“It can be a pretty interesting job for the reason that not only do you use your resourceful brain but also your complex mind,” Lozoya mentioned. “And it really is extraordinary what you can do in the slicing room, you could absolutely reshape a tale.”

He genuinely loved “Chicago Hearth,” about the experienced and private life of firefighters and paramedics in the Chicago Fireplace Division, mainly because it experienced anything: action, drama, emotion and even comedy, his first adore. But when an modifying place opened on “SVU” at the conclusion of 2017, Lozoya took it and has been there at any time given that.

“You want to function, to go wherever folks are good to you and faithful to you and wonderful to you. And all people at Wolf Films has generally been extraordinary with me,” Lozoya reported.

Not quite Oscar-deserving

Lozoya has generally aspired to direct. He is directed quick website sequence, commercials and sketches with his buddies for YouTube. A couple of sketches went viral, together with a single exactly where he dressed his cousins in Jedi costumes and experienced them fight with lightsabers. It drew focus from “Superior Morning The usa,” “Now” and The Huffington Publish.

One particular of the wonderful things about working at Wolf Movies is that lots of people there are prepared to critique your other perform, Lozoya said. That involve his 2016 element film “How We Met,” an action-comedy-romance about a few whose blind date goes horribly wrong when they unintentionally destroy a crooked cop and have to cover it up.

Lozoya and close friend Chadwick Hopson wrote the script in a week, grabbed a few of buddies to help make, and filmed in Flagstaff, Ariz., the summer season among get the job done on “SVU.” Flagstaff, his friends’ hometown, turned out to be a excellent put to movie.

“We might go to these small business proprietors and say, ‘Hey, we’re intrigued in filming something listed here at your locale. How a great deal would it value?'” Lozoya mentioned. “And they would be like, ‘Oh, you know, we do not have any money right now to give you for you to shoot listed here.’ And we had been like, ‘No, no, no, we want to pay back you.'”

Hopson also starred in the film. His co-star is Christina Moses, now part of the main cast of ABC’s “A Million Minor Factors.” With a funds of just $1,200, the only lodging they could supply her was Hopson’s childhood bedroom.

To get the movie shot in a 7 days without having exceeding the variety of several hours Display screen Actors Guild actors can function for every day, Lozoya experienced to do some artistic and exhausting scheduling. Creating the motion picture taught Lozoya a lot more than any other job has and was excellent preparation for his promotion to editor at “Chicago Fire.”

He describes “How We Met” as a “bit of a university-slash-stoner comedy.”

“Truthfully, I was just striving to make a enjoyable motion picture,” Lozoya explained. “Persons expect, getting that I work for ‘Law & Buy,’ it to be superior-brow materials, stuff that you are definitely heading to feel about.

“Granted, I do assume there are a lot of really amazing emotional moments and incredibly fantastic items you could acquire away from the motion picture. But I know that it is not going to win an Academy Award anytime shortly.”

Acquiring fast paced

As a great deal as Lozoya loved taking pictures a function, he needs to hone his craft as a tv director. He also enjoys the rapid turnaround of episodic operate. He began capturing “At the time On a Time in El Barrio” in February, concluded it at the starting of March and saw it air April 7.

Ortiz-Gil, even now an editor on “SVU,” mentioned “When Upon a Time” was 1 of the ideal episodes of this time, and he expects Lozoya to get extra directing assignments. The actuality he can equally edit and immediate, and that there are nine hourlong Dick Wolf displays, bodes effectively for his job, Ortiz-Gil explained.

“He can be so fast paced that he has to switch issues down,” Ortiz-Gil predicted.

When Lozoya made his “SVU” directorial debut, he emailed Slaughter to let her know. He instructed her how much he appreciated the schooling and help he been given from her at CSUB.

“He is a incredibly remarkable man,” Slaughter claimed. “If we experienced any very small part in him finding there, we are thrilled.”


Supply url