Lights, Camera: Anthony! Community behind the camera

Published by Robin Bailey on

Anthony Gordon, special events technician, dangles a ring inspired by Lord of the Rings. Gordon held and continues to hold a deep appreciation for visual arts and film.
Robin Bruns / The Mainstream

ASUCC officer Anthony Gordon holds many titles: UCC special events technician, public relations officer, archival videographer and merit award theater student. This coming summer, “UCC graduate” will join that list. (See previous “Mainstream” article featuring Gordon.)

Since fall term, Gordon’s work has involved designing the lighting effects for three UCC productions: “The 39 Steps,” the Career Academy’s literacy play, and “The Dining Room” as well as passing on his technical knowledge in theater instructor Bart McHenry’s Stagecraft 1: Tech Directing class.

Gordon owes a majority of his opportunities to his experience with technical direction. Being awarded the merit scholarship for theater was “deeply rooted in being a theater tech,” he says. “I help out with any technical needs that may arise during theatrical production: lighting, sound, construction, costume and set design, among other things of that nature.”

Throughout his life, Gordon divulges having a deep appreciation for visual arts. “I’ve been interested in photography for a long time — but when I bought my own DSLR camera, it really kicked up my wanting to do more with photography,” Gordon says.

His creative passions go beyond photography: “I’d always been interested in costume making and, as most kids in my generation, made stop-motion films,” he says. “Mainly, I’ve loved to see how films get made.”

Quest of the technician

The true origins of Gordon’s involvement in film and theater, though, he attributes to his starring role in a 2017 PSA about child abandonment. “The Teen Center in Winston had been advertising something to do with a camera,” Gordon says, “and I joined, thinking it was a photography thing; turns out, it was the Up2UsNow PSA. I ended up liking it, stuck with it and that was really the start.”

Anthony Gordon assists with a broad range of technical needs within the theater department. One of his skills can be seen when he sewed a costume for “Shakespeare Abridged,” which premiered in May of 2022.
Photo provided by Anthony Gordon

Gordon’s 2017 connections and experience led to his recruitment as a stagehand for UACT’s “Shrek: The Musical” just later that year. There, Gordon met Aaron Horton — who he now works alongside at UCC as special events technician.

While still enrolled at Roseburg High School, Gordon responded to a request for a sound operator from UCC’s previous theater instructor Christina Allaback and was able to help out with the production of “Tick, Tick… BOOM!” This gave Gordon an early foothold into the department until he later started his studies at the college.

“It’s been a fun process,” Gordon says. “Lately, I haven’t been able to accept a lot of gigs, due to being a full-time student — but it’s been really nice to be someone who can help out with theater services for shows here.”

Rise of stage-craft

Through his theatrical work in the community, Gordon has slowly-but-surely been working toward his life goals. “One person I’ve looked up to since I was a little kid is Adam Savage,” Gordon says, “who used to work at ILM and co-hosted MythBusters; he makes a lot of props and costumes.”

ILM, or Industrial Light & Magic, is a Lucasfilm visual effects company; Savage built various ships and miniature sets for “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” and “Attack of the Clones.”

Gordon says, “Making things — and specifically costumes and props — has been something I’ve always loved. But joining Up2UsNow really kick-started a part of my brain that went, ‘Oh, wait — a kid from Douglas County can learn how to make films!’”

Hopes for the present, future

Gordon will graduate this summer; recently, he received his acceptance letter to Portland State. “I’ll be focusing my education on film,” he says, “and focusing my time a lot more on creating or helping out with film-related projects, eventually, leading to a career in film-making.”

Until then, one way Gordon satiates his creative tenacity is in his role as ASUCC Public Relations Officer. “A big reason why I wanted to become Public Relations Officer was to find another creative outlet,” Gordon says.

“Though I have a focus as a film major, I also have a deep love for photography and digital editing,” Gordon says. “I thought (the position) would be a nice, creative way to utilize those skills.”

For more information

To stay up-to-date with events going on at UCC — and to survey some of Gordon’s digital portfolio — readers may follow ASUCC Leadership’s Facebook page. Additionally, Gordon is set to perform as Francis Flute in UACT’s upcoming production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”; currently, show dates and ticket purchasing information can be found on UACT’s website.

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Categories: Campus Life