Conservatory of Performing Arts

Behind the Scenes at WQED Multimedia with Alumni Alisyn Blackwell and Zak Boyle

Friday, August 04, 2017

Pictured are Zak Boyle and Alisyn Blackwell at WQED. Submitted photo

Meet Alisyn Blackwell and Zak Boyle, Digital Producers at WQED

Point Park University alumni Alisyn Blackwell and Zak Boyle work side-by-side as part of WQED Multimedia's digital production team. Below, the alumni discuss how the education and training they received at Point Park prepared them for professional success in the workplace. 

"Alisyn and Zak came to us with a desire to build upon the knowledge they'd acquired at Point Park University. Their creativity and enthusiasm impacts every project they undertake."

-- Amy Grove, producer/editor, WQED


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What factors made you choose Point Park?

I heard really good things about Point Park's broadcasting program and really enjoyed my campus visit, so it was an easy decision for me. — Alisyn Blackwell, B.A. in broadcasting, 2011

I was looking for a focused program that would let me be creative and technical at the same time. Point Park University was the only school in the area that offered hands-on learning in the first year, taught by excellent professors to show you the way. — Zak Boyle, B.A. in cinema production, 2015

What was it like going to school in Downtown Pittsburgh?

It was great being Downtown. We both interned at WQED in Oakland, which made it easy to get back-and-forth from work and school.  — AB and ZB

What are your key responsibilities at WQED?

We are responsible for working on the direct-to-web content for WQED. We shoot, edit and produce. We work for the digital production team and create shows like Pittsburgh Eats and WQED Sessions. Additionally, we help out on other productions as needed. — ZB

How did you land your position at WQED?

I had done an internship at WQED the summer before my graduation. They remembered me and called me back to work as a production assistant on a documentary called Pittsburgh from the Air. The position became available full time and I was offered the job, and worked my way up from there. — AB

I had an internship at WQED in 2012. One of the producers here really liked me and asked me to be the associate producer/second camera for a documentary called Chautauqua Charting a Life in the Arts. From there I became an assistant editor, then moved to my current role as a digital producer. — ZB

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I really enjoy the creative freedom that is encouraged at WQED. We’re always being pushed to think outside of the box and try new ways of doing things. It’s a really good space for growth in our field. — AB

What advice do you have for new Point Park students?

The best advice we can give to new students is to take advantage of the real-world experience you will get at Point Park. Being able to work and go to school will prepare you for what your field will be like and give you an advantage on the competition when you graduate.  —  AB and ZB

What advice do you have for current students?

Take advantage of all the opportunities that you have. I worked with a lot of upperclassmen my first year and those friendships also got me other jobs in the movie industry. The best way to craft your skill is to be constantly practicing and learning from your mistakes. — ZB

What are your career goals?

We aspire to be well respected in our industry. —  AB and ZB

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