“I’ve got a Master’s from Columbia, and I teach Film at USC. But I take classes at SMC because the level of instruction is incredibly high. And it’s very inexpensive.”
“I’m a big fan of the Winter Sessions at SMC. I’m a film documentarian, and since most of my work is freelance,” explains Bill Megalos of his unusual uses of SMC, “I’m usually too busy to commit to a class. But often, January is a slow time for me, so I’ve taken—very happily—Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and piano, all with excellent teachers.”
With cameras in hand—and sometimes his guitar—Bill has roamed the Earth documenting poverty in Third World countries. “I’ve made films in 15 different countries throughout Asia. And I’ve worked all over Africa as well, teaching filmmaking workshops and working with NGOs [Non-Government Organizations] to help reduce the destructiveness of poverty.” This roaming ‘ambassador-without-portfolio’ has dedicated much of his life to helping improve the lives of some of the Earth’s most desperate people. And though he takes great satisfaction in his mission in life, Bill is not one to let his level of knowledge stagnate.
“I’ll always be coming back to SMC, because I’ve never had a bad teacher here. All of them have been extremely impressive, each in their own right,” says Bill. “Maria Zamudio, who teaches Spanish, is really, really superb. And this guy, Jim Harmon, who teaches guitar, is very special. I’ve made more progress studying with him in the last two months than I have in the past 10 years learning on my own. I have found,” Bill continues, “that SMC is very open to older people studying. Learning keeps us thriving and in touch. It’s incredibly reasonably priced, and it’s a great academic institution. It is, I think, one of the healthiest environments in all of LA.”