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Media, Journalism & Film Department Blog

Acclaimed director to give master class in filmmaking

Alex R. Johnson, the director and screenwriter of the acclaimed independent feature, “Two Step,” will present a master class in filmmaking from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Jan. 30, in Plaster Student Union Theater. The film will be screened the following evening, Jan. 31 from 7 to 9:30 p.m., with a talk-back session to immediately follow. Both events are free and open to the public.

Analyzing the filmmaking industry

Johnson, a producer, director and screenwriter, will discuss the state of independent filmmaking in the U.S. today; describe his work as a director, producer and screenwriter; and analyze several scenes from his award-winning dark thriller.

Professor to offer insights

Media, journalism and film’s assistant professor, Harrison Witt, will join Johnson in the class. Witt teaches cinematography, editing and filmmaking. He gaffed “Two Step,” which as been picked up for national and international distribution and has enjoyed a very successful run through the festival circuit this year.

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

MJF alumna stars in TruTV docu-comedy

Photo credit: www.trutv.com
Photo credit: www.trutv.com

It isn’t unusual for media, journalism and film alumna Callie Carroll to be seen on TV. She is, after all, a news anchor for a Greenville, Mississippi, news station. But her audience and following might soon explode.

Show brings comedic light to news rivalry

The Missouri native is co-starring in the new comedic docu-soap, Breaking Greenville. The reality show features two competing news stations, including WXVT where Carroll is a morning news anchor. From the producers of The Office, the show promises to highlight “the playful — and at times cut-throat — rivalry between two local news stations and the dynamic newscasters who are determined to take their jobs seriously, even when some of the news they cover is less than serious,” according to its website.

Breaking Greenville airs at 9:30 p.m. Jan. 29 on TruTV.

More about Carroll

In a recent interview, Carroll — a 2013 MSU graduate in broadcast journalismtold the Springfield News-Leader the show began filming about the time she started working for the station, not long after graduation.

“I wanted to stay in the Midwest but this opportunity came along. Straight out of college I was able to produce and anchor my own morning show,” she said. “It’s been a great place to get a lot of experience. I really had to sink or swim.”

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Extras needed for EA students’ short film

what-makes-us-humanA group of electronic arts students are recruiting extras for a protest scene in their senior thesis production, “What Makes Us Human.”

How to participate

The scene will take place Saturday, Jan. 17, noon to 3 p.m. in front of Meyer Library. Participants are asked to wear an article of clothing — such as a shirt, jacket or hat — that can be removed for different takes to give the appearance of different people in the crowd.

Those planning to attend should refrain from wearing clothing with large logos or words on it. Cookies and coffee will be served.

About the short film

Producer Graham Haerther said the short film is a futuristic thriller where a new mode of transportation drastically improves travel times but comes with intense controversy. The mock protest being filmed Saturday will appear to occur outside of the questionable technology company at the heart of the story.

Other principle students working on the film include Brian Schwabauer (director), Jordan Ousley (director of photography), Nate Kuneman (assistant director) and Zach Eastin (VFX supervisor).

For more information

Visit the film’s Facebook page or contact Haerther at gh5505@live.missouristate.edu for more information.

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MJF’s Epilogue selected for Vancouver Web Fest

EpilogueThe award-winning media, journalism and film web series, “Epilogue,” will join about 60 nominees in the 2015 Vancouver Web Fest, the second annual Canadian web festival to be held March 6-8, 2015, at Performance Works theater on Vancouver’s Granville Island.

About Epilogue

Released in 2012, the six-episode series was a collaborative effort combining the talents of students, faculty and alumni in MJF, electronic arts, music, communication and theatre and dance, under the primary direction of professors Diana Botsford, Dr. Deborah Larson and Colby Jennings.


When a modern worldwide plague becomes resistant to all cures, time-travelers must seek answers in a legendary 14th century rural French village known for its immunity to the original Bubonic Plague. The team gets more than they’ve bargained for when the inevitable twists of time travel force them into discovering the modern plague’s origins – ending in an unexpected confrontation to prevent humanity’s extinction.


In 2013, “Epilogue” received multiple awards, including:

Watch all six episodes of Epilogue online.

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

‘A Little Help’ Web series receives LA Webfest nominations

A little HelpMissouri State’s media, journalism and film department may have another award winner on its hands. The department’s second Web series, “A Little Help,” has received four nominations from the 2015 LA Web Series Festival, or LAWEBFEST, to be held April 2-5, 2015, in Los Angeles.


LAWEBFEST announced the nominations last week, revealing that “A Little Help” will compete in the following categories:

  • Outstanding Student Series (creator Kevin Shabel / produced Deborah Larson, Cibee Jaime, Nich Peltz)
  • Outstanding Actor – Student Series (William Bixby)
  • Outstanding Actor – Student Series (David Greathouse)
  • Outstanding Theme Song (David Greathouse, composer)[general pool]

According to the LAWEBFEST website, each series is anonymously judged by industry and non-industry professionals.

About ‘A Little Help’

Although produced by media, journalism and film, “A Little Help” was an interdisciplinary effort across the College of Arts and Letters, from digital film and media productionelectronic 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.

About MJF’s Web series model

In an effort to provide more real-world experiences for their students, professors Diana Dru Botsford and Deborah L. Larson collaborated to utilize the Instructional Scaffolding model to create a Web series, the first of which debuted in 2013 with the time-traveling epic, “Epilogue.” That series went on to win numerous awards, including a second place Emmy in the series category of the 34th College Television Awards.

Posted in Award Recognition, Digital Film Production, Electronic Arts, Faculty & Staff Accomplishments, Film Festival, Media Production, News, Print and Internet Journalism | Leave a comment

Spring training: The Standard to coach students interested in becoming reporters

Standard LogoAfter a successful fall semester of training a new crop of would-be reporters, The Standard’s faculty advisor Jack Dimond said the program will continue in spring 2015.

“We covered a lot of ground, and I believe we will be bringing a new group of reporters onto the staff in January who are not only prepared to do good work but confident in their own ability to do it,” he said. “We plan to start recruiting for our January class in the next couple of weeks.”

About the program

Dimond, who also teaches Introduction to Journalism and News Reporting and Writing, said two training groups met 11 times throughout the fall semester. These information sessions covered topics such as interviewing skills, story ideas, basic news writing, access to public records and visual presentation of stories. He said although the content may remain similar for the program’s second semester, he hopes to bring a more formal structure to next year’s meetings.

How to sign up

Dimond said those positions are filling up fast. Students interested in joining should reach him by phone at 417-836-8467 or by email at JackDimond@missouristate.edu.

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KSPR sports anchor to teach spring course

HughKeeton-webfriendlyThe department of media, journalism and film has announced KSPR sports anchor Hugh Keeton will be teaching its newest Spring 2015 course, JRN 300: Sports Journalism.

MJF increasing career opportunities for students

The course, offered Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 11:15 a.m., filled up quickly, a testament to the growing need for such programs, said department head Dr. Mary Jane Pardue.

“We’re delighted to be able to offer sports journalism to our students. We recognize that a number of them are interested in sports reporting, and we’re confident that they will enhance their career opportunities with this experience,” she said.

Students will build a resume in Keeton’s class

Keeton has spent nearly 15 years in broadcast journalism, most of which in sports. The award-winning journalist joined KSPR in 2011 and will continue to anchor its sports programming. He is ready, however, to take on new challenge, he said, — teaching the craft to the next generation of reporters.

“I want to give students a real feel for the job I do every day and give them a working knowledge of what it’s like to work in print and broadcast journalism,” he said. “For me, it will be an intriguing opportunity to meet and interact with students interested in media. It will be refreshing in a lot of ways.”

Keeton said through assignments rooted in real experiences — such as covering sporting events and putting together feature and sports packages — students will come away with tangible work to add to their resumes.

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