CSUN alumna Sandy Pedeflous recently launched a positive news outlet called “Smile TV.” The outlet promotes stories of courage, passion, and happiness from all over the world that she hopes will make viewers smile. Pedeflous graduated from CSUN in 1983 as a radio and TV film major, which is now known as cinema and television arts. She said an internship she gained through CSUN helped shape her career. Before starting Smile TV, Pedeflous’ first job was at KETV and then as a prize coordinator for the Newlyweds Game. She said the industry can be crazy at times, but she has made a lot of friends and great connections. The Daily Sundial caught up with Pedeflous to find out how she started the website and how students can follow in her footsteps.
Where did you get the idea for Smile TV?Sandy Pedeflous:
Smile TV was an idea I’d had since I was a kid. Back then there were only three major networks. All I saw was negativity and when I asked my parents why they watched the news they said it was simply to stay informed. It was then that I said I hoped to start a positive news network someday. Then in November of last year I was at a restaurant having lunch with friends and that’s when the idea had kept resurfacing with me. My friends encouraged me to give my idea a try.
DS: Why did you want to start Smile TV?
SP: The media pushes too hard on the negative aspect of humanity. Why can’t we focus on the good? Positivity breathes positivity and the stories that pull on your heartstrings are the ones that become viral. I think there’s a lot of good things in the world that we can focus on instead and I’d love to have a positive impact on the media.
DS: How did you start the network?
SP: I quit my job at the time and started a Kickstarter campaign, which is a website where you can get donations if people like your idea. Within several months the campaign had raised $20,000 and about $14,000 of what was used to buy all the equipment for the network, such as the cameras and lights. Then I started looking for volunteers and interns. I remember telling myself that if I ever had the opportunity to have an intern I’d give them the hands on training that I got.
DS: How many volunteers do you have now?
SP: I have about 27 volunteers and they come from all over the place. I have people from CSUN, USC, UCLA and Cal Lutheran. I also have people from France, Canada, New York, and Russia.
DS: Do you have any tips for students?
SP: Get a good solid internship that gives practical experience where you can gain connections. Be honest with yourself and do what you want to do by giving 110 percent. And if you’re not happy with something, don’t give up.