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MJF professor uses film to illustrate urban evolution

Dr. Andy Cline set out to write a book about the changing landscape of urban communities — particularly the mass migration of suburban residents to more central neighborhoods within walking distance of commerce. That idea evolved, and now he will soon release the first cut of his full-length documentary film, “Downtown”.

A 15-minute version, title yet to be determined, will be submitted to the New Urbanism Film Festival. If accepted it will show in Los Angeles Oct. 8-11.

Students become the teachers

Cline, an associate professor in media, journalism and film, recruited several former and current students to help him complete the film project. A photojournalist in a former life, he said he admittedly knew little about filmmaking before beginning “Downtown.” He has relied on the expertise of his crew to teach him the ropes. What he does know is a good story when he sees it.

Urban renewal at crux of trend

The New Urbanism movement is not terribly new. For the last three decades, people have been fighting the sprawl of suburbia and advocating for sustainable living. Many larger cities have reverted back to its roots of mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods.

Springfield is finally catching up.

CAndy Clineline said baby boomers — his generation — and millennials are flocking to downtown areas to escape the confinement that comes with maintaining landscaping and driving miles into town for work and entertainment.

“It doesn’t take many from America’s two largest generations doing a thing to make a trend,” he said. “And in a place like Springfield, the movement of 250 to 500 people can cause a Heers, a Sterling, a McDaniel to get built. They can’t build stuff fast enough.”

Springfield exemplifies national struggle

“Downtown” will detail the difficulties and opportunities metropolitan areas face as more residents seek out sustainable, human-scale communities. The scope of the documentary’s reporting is national, Cline said, but the stories are based in Springfield, a microcosm of the trend at large.

“Springfield, while it’s not Portland, Oregon, it’s also not the armpit of America. It’s somewhere in the middle. We are struggling with the same things that many urban areas are struggling with, and similar things are happening here in terms of this trend.”

One interesting topic explored in “Downtown” is ways trust is established in urban areas where people of all socio-economic backgrounds converge. How do you create an environment where all feel comfortable to work and play?

Research develops from filmmaking experience

Cline will be on sabbatical for the fall semester to wrap up the full-length version of “Downtown,” as well as to explore the First Amendment issues he’s encountered as a documentary filmmaker.

“As a journalist I am used to operating in public with complete freedom. Point a camera at anything I want to point a camera at. Well, boy, did I find out that doesn’t go with documentary filmmaking. But my contention is that it should. It is more like journalism than it is like movie-making.”

He said he hopes his sabbatical research will result in more First Amendment protections granted to documentary filmmakers.

Turning this experience into an MSU course

Cline said his work on “Downtown” has inspired him to incorporate documentary filmmaking into his work as an educator. He’s developing two new film projects to work on with students as part of classes offered at Missouri State.

Next summer, he and geography professor Dr. Paul Rollinson will take a group of students on a study away trip to the Trans-Siberian Railway. His students will film the trip.

He will also begin work on a full-length documentary about the impending student debt crisis and the potential it has to undermine the economic well being of an entire generation.

Donate to the cause

Cline has funded the making of “Downtown,” produced by his company Carbon Trace Productions, mostly out of pocket. He has received in-kind donations from individuals and from the Doug and Linda Roller Foundation. Visit the MSU Foundation site to make a donation to the project. Contact Dr. Cline by email for more information about “Downtown” or future classes associated with his projects.

Posted in Broadcast Journalism, Digital Film Production, Faculty & Staff Accomplishments, Media Production, News, Print and Internet Journalism | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tickets are now available for ‘Show-Me Chefs’ fundraiser

Tickets are now on sale for the Cooking with Care Gala on Sept. 25, raising money for a second season of media, journalism and film web series “Show-Me Chefs.”

MJF will partner with Care to Learn for the event, to be held at 319 Event Center in downtown Springfield. It will include a multi-course meal prepared by the first season’s chefs. There will also be live entertainment, silent auctions and a chef-showdown competition. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Season one airs day after fundraiser

The first season featured eight local chefs who faced off in a seven-episode series to air Sept. 26 on KOZL-TV.

Show-Me Chef's Cooking with Care Gala

Get event tickets online

Tickets can purchased through Eventbrite or the Show-Me Chefs Facebook page. Proceeds will benefit Care to Learn and film production for the next season of “Show-Me Chefs.”

Event details

Date: Sept. 25
Time: 6 – 10 p.m.
Location: 319 Event Center
Tickets: $100 for general public, $40 for students or $150 for VIP tickets with cooking showdown privileges (limited number)
Connect online: #showmechefs

Posted in Digital Film Production, Electronic Arts, Event, Faculty & Staff Accomplishments, News | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

‘A Little Help’ wins LA Webfest award

A little HelpThe media, journalism and film department’s second Web series, “A Little Help,” took the top prize for theme music at the 2015 Los Angeles Web Series Festival, also known as LA Webfest, in April. The music was composed by David Greathouse, who also played Dan in the series.

The four-part series had three other LA Webfest nominations and has been selected to screen at the 2015 Miami Web Fest on Oct. 1-4. It won a bronze Telly Award earlier this year.

About ‘A Little Help’

“A Little Help” was an interdisciplinary effort across the College of Arts and Letters, from digital film and media production, electronic arts and graphic design, to journalism, communication, and public relations.

The series follows comedian Ringo who hopes to pursue his dreams in New York City, but his efforts are thwarted by his dysfunctional friends and family, including his pot-smoking parents.

A group of students, led by screenwriting graduate student Kevin Shabel and digital film senior Nich Peltz, wrote the script, while MSU students, faculty and staff joined community actors to comprise the cast. After more than 250 hours of post-production that also involved a team of students, faculty and staff, the series was launched in July 2014.

Posted in Award Recognition, Digital Film Production, Electronic Arts, Faculty & Staff Accomplishments, Film Festival, Film Series, Media Production, News | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

‘Show-Me Chefs’ raising money for season two

Media, journalism and film students are cooking up big things with their reality cooking competition series “Show-Me Chefs.” Eight local chefs will face off in a seven-episode event to air Sept. 26 on KOZL-TV, but students are already looking toward the second season.

Cooking with Care Gala

The media, journalism and film department will partner with Care to Learn for a fundraising event, Cooking with Care Gala, on Sept. 25, to raise money for season two.

The event will be held at 319 Event Center in downtown Springfield. It will include a multi-course meal prepared by the first season’s chefs. There will also be live entertainment, silent auctions and a chef-showdown competition. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Show-Me Chef's Cooking with Care Gala

Get tickets online

Tickets can purchased through Eventbrite or the Show-Me Chefs Facebook page. Proceeds will benefit Care to Learn and film production for the next season of “Show-Me Chefs.”

Event details

Date: Sept. 25
Time: 6 – 10 p.m.
Location: 319 Event Center
Tickets: $100 for general public, $40 for students or $150 for VIP judges
Connect online: #showmechefs

Posted in Broadcast Journalism, Digital Film Production, Electronic Arts, Event, Faculty & Staff Accomplishments, Media Production, News, Public | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Funding needed for student-produced series

Students in Rich Amberg‘s MED 597 Advance Studies in Media, focusing on producing a web series, will start filming “Limbo” this month and are using Missouri State’s online fundraising platform to help fund it.

The money raised on MSU Crowdfunding will pay for costumes, makeup, set dressing, props, location fees, equipment rentals and special effects. Donor perks include film mementos such as a poster or a signed script.

About ‘Limbo’

“Limbo” is a darkly comedic story that explores the world between heaven and hell. The protagonist Katie finds herself in Limbo after suffering an accident. In order to move on, she must embrace her fate as a case worker for the recently deceased and team up with Billy, a bitter hippie counselor.

How to contribute

To help the students reach their goal of $3,000 by June 20, or to find out more about the film, go to the group’s crowdfunding page.

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‘Show-Me Chefs’ preparing for fall TV release

Springfield chefs battled it out and a victor was named. Audiences will be able to watch the drama unfold on the student-produced series “Show-Me Chefs” in the fall semester on partnering television network KOZL-TV and on the web. The show airs Sept. 26.

Going behind the scenes

The media, journalism and film department-produced series will feature seven episodes of area chefs going head-to-head in cooking challenges judged by local culinary experts and personalities.

Executive producer and associate professor Dr. Deborah L. Larson said the series is part of a capstone course in advanced television production that includes students from across the College of Arts and Letters, from broadcast journalism and public relations to digital film and media production.

Students get hands-on experience

Student co-producer Daan Jansen said the course has provided him with real-world, resume-building opportunity: “It doesn’t feel like school; it feels like I have a job. It’s been the biggest learning experience for me.”

Jansen is a South African native who is getting a graduate degree in producing and screenwriting.

Community shows its support

The show has also pushed students out into community, like at the Farmer’s Market of the Ozarks, to solicit support.

Co-producer Alexandra Perez-Diaz, originally from Spain, said she was surprised at their willingness to participate.

“In my country nobody’s going to give you anything for free, even if you give back with publicity. For me, it was like, ‘Who am I to call them and ask for free food?’ But they were all willing.”

In addition to the farmer’s market, 319 Event Center, KOLR-10, Care to Learn and Mama Jean’s Natural Market are all show sponsors.

Posted in Broadcast Journalism, Digital Film Production, Electronic Arts, Faculty & Staff Accomplishments, News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Animation program listed as top in nation

ElectronicArtsStudents-BlogFeatureAnimation Career Review (ACR) has placed Missouri State’s animation program as 21st in its Top 50 Public Animation Schools and Colleges in the U.S., and 13th in its Top 25 Public Animation Schools and Colleges in the Midwest.

How programs are ranked

ACR ranks schools according to:

  • Academic reputation
  • Admission selectivity
  • Depth and breadth of the program and faculty
  • Value as it relates to tuition and indebtedness
  • Geographic location

ACR publishes the results to help prospective students interested in careers in animation and gaming choose a college. ACR generates more than 225,000 unique visitors per month.

About MSU’s animation program

Students interested in majoring in animation can do so through a BFA in art, with an animation emphasis, or BS in electronic arts, with an animation emphasis.

Missouri State’s animation curriculum explores 2D and 3D animation techniques. Students begin building their portfolio throughout the program, preparing them for careers in gaming, advertising, film, television, broadcast, and/or education.

Want to know more about animation?
Contact Vonda Yarberry by email or at 417-837-2356.

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MJF Showcase to highlight student creativity

This year’s media, journalism and film showcase provides an overview of exciting student achievements — including short films, award-winning journalism and creative works.

Key details

    • When: Tuesday, May 12
    • Hours: 6:30 – 10 p.m.
    • Where: Plaster Student Union Theater
    • Free and open to the public

Learn more about the department of media, journalism & film

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EA seniors to debut their thesis work

The 16th annual Electronic Arts Showcase will feature the latest in film, animation, documentary and other digital achievements.

Students shoot a scene from the film, "Dead on Time."
Students shoot a scene from the film, “Dead on Time.”

The screening will include:

“Dead on Time”
An experimental narrative film based on the album, “Dead Man’s Bones”

“TAR”
A futuristic video game

SEEK
An interactive scavenger app for mobile devices

“High Hoax”
A documentary chronicling the formation of a DIY band

The SEEK app offers new students a fun and interactive way to explore campus.
The SEEK app offers new students a fun and interactive way to explore campus.

“What Makes Us Human”
An original short film

Event details

Date: Monday, May 11
Time: 6:30 – 10 p.m.
Location: Plaster Student Union Theater
Admission: Free and open to the public

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The Standard wins 25 college media awards

Standard LogoMissouri State’s student-run newspaper The Standard earned 25 Division I awards at the Missouri College Media Association (MCMA) annual contest last weekend. Submissions are judged by reporters and editors across the state.

About the MCMA convention

The awards were announced at the annual MCMA convention, held this year on April 11 in Maryville, Missouri. Nine students and faculty advisor Jack Dimond attended the event, which offers professional development sessions and panel discussions.

Awards

1st Place

  • Sweepstakes — Staff
  • News writing — “Conference championship moved to Illinois State” by Trevor Mitchell, Mike Ursery, Eli Wohlenhaus and John Robinson
  • News Photography — “Memorial march” by Evan Henningsen
  • Advertising — “Springfield Family Laundry” by Brooke Partridge
  • Sports Page — “March 18 sports section” by Nicolette Martin
  • Special Section/Supplement — “Back to Campus”
  • Sports Column — “It’s time to end the Terry Allen era” by John Robinson
  • Entertainment Review — “‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ ‘unlike any traditional movie'” by Nic Deckard

2nd Place

  • Best Overall Newspaper — Staff
  • Story Illustration — “Share a Coke with Boomer” by Nic Deckard
  • Editorial / Op-Ed Page — “Nov. 11 opinion page” by Peyson Shields
  • Special Section/Supplement — “Basketball preview”
  • Website Homepage — Staff
  • Feature Writing — “I run for life” by Amber Duran

3rd Place

  • Feature Photography — “Jazz lounge” by Evan Henningsen
  • Sports Photography — “Football Bears squander opportunities … again” by Raven Kohlenberger
  • One Multimedia Element — “Standard Sports Challenge: Eli vs. Marcelo Bonani” by Eli Wohlenhaus and Erin Snider
  • Sports Writing — “Women’s handball team captures first place …” by John Robinson
  • In-depth News Reporting — “Homecoming protest and its aftermath” by Trevor Mitchell and Annie Gooch
  • Sports Column — “Royals season preview” by Eli Wohlenhaus

Honorable Mention

  • News Writing — “Breaking Gates can break MSU’s bank” by Trevor Mitchell
  • Page One Design — “Oct. 28 issue” by Rose Marthis
  • Sports Page — “April 15 sports section” by Nicolette Martin
  • Column — “Let freedom ring” by Mike Ursery
  • Entertainment Review — “Spirits say don’t see ‘Ouija'” by Trevor Mitchell
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