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Student Stories

Senior Spotlight: Justin Bishop

“The most dangerous thing you can do in life is play it safe.” Whether it’s behind the scenes or in front of a camera, rising senior Justin Bishop is capturing life at its fullest. An accomplished videographer and photographer, Justin shares that once you push past the fear, you really can have it all…

What attracted you to the Academy?

When I was looking at colleges to apply to, I wanted it all  arts, business, technology, a big football team, and a family that I knew would be there for the rest of my life. I was interested in everything but couldn’t make a decision on what interested me the most.

Describe a passion project you’re currently working?

Jet Kwok, a fellow senior in the Academy, and I share a passion for video and music which landed us both a job at Coachella during our sophomore year. On stage at Louis the Child’s set we gave each other that look – the look of pure stoke.

Since then, Jet and I have taken our love for videography to Do LaB, Lightning in a Bottle,  and Epic Records. We have worked with artists like Machine Gun Kelly and Francesca Simone creating music videos for their social media channels. We also do freelance work for companies in the entertainment and nonprofit sectors.

Is there a leader or mentor who inspires you? 


Casey Neistat, the legendary YouTube filmmaker and vlogger. Many people preach "Do what you want, follow your dreams, you can do anything," but not many people actually live it. Casey Neistat lives this every single day and his actions back up what he preaches.

Is there an inspirational quote you live by?

The most dangerous thing you can do in life is play it safe.

What advice would you give to a freshman?

Don’t be afraid to be yourself. I have been told this throughout my entire life, but I never really believed anyone. I was always afraid to let go and be who I wanted to be. When I started doing the things I wanted to do I discovered my passions, goals, and what I really wanted to get out of my life.

Take every experience you have and learn from it. Whether it’s going to Thailand for a month, failing a class or getting rejected from the school of your dreams – everything happens for a reason. If you treat the negative times as lessons and learn from them you'll become a stronger person.

Describe one thing most people don’t know about you?

I can hold my breath for three and a half minutes.

What is one thing your parents taught you that you’d like to share?

Without a goal, you can't score.

Fun Facts

What are the essential things you always keep in your backpack?

Headphones, water bottle, gum, and definitely my laptop.

Favorite app or website?

Instagram. I get to connect and view work from creatives across the globe, and share our stories and experiences instantly on a platform.
*Chipotle's app comes in as a close second.

Favorite class at USC and why?

Rapid Visualization! We learned to take our thoughts, ideas, and imagination and manifest them into a physical form.

Favorite way to de-stress:

Surfing or rooftop sunsets.

Guilty Pleasure?

The Defiant Ones.

Thank you, Justin!

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