Friday, June 20, 2014

Students help train editorial, advertising staffers

So Juli Metzger, Tim Underhill, five editors from the Daily News and I had a great time yesterday doing a mobile video seminar for reporters, editors and advertising reps.

This was for the Hoosier State Press Association Foundation. The very nice Karen Braeckel, the foundation's executive director, had some kind words in an email today:

"Congratulations on a job well-done. You and your team made a lot of people happy as you did an amazing job of teaching a new skill in a day."

This was for three dozen folks - as far away as Princeton in western Indiana and The Times of Northwest Indiana in Munster. The Smart Video and Mobile Money seminars were designed for editorial and advertising personnel respectively. We taught both groups how to use the Voddio editing app for iPhones.

The DN editors served as teaching assistants. Everybody loved them, including Karen.

"The students played a great role in assisting the attendees in a courteous, professional manner," she said. "No question seemed too simple."

Juli produced a video (above) that caught the flavor of the conference:

Ninety five percent of attendees who responded in an online satisfaction survey said they would recommend the training for others

"I had an awesome day and am so thankful for this learning experience," one said in the survey comments.

Another called the program "very challenging and engaging. Nice balance of teaching skills focused for both beginners and advanced video professionals."

"It's a lot of information to take in," another wrote. "But I liked that we got to shoot and edit our own video while we were here. That helped the most with learning to think through the process."

The team produced two conference blogs for editorial and advertising attendees to post examples of their practice work. Also on the blogs is a video recap from Strauss covering the essentials of the video software training.

Forty percent of the attendees arrived with little or no experience in editing video.

"I came in with very little experience in broadcasting and video," one wrote. "I left knowing tons more about each for a low price. This was well worth the money, time, and drive! I would love to come back."

Karen called the conference a good pilot project and said she would like to expand the training to two days, including one for video neophytes who might need more assistance.

She echoed the comments of many attendees who found the school's new Unified Media Lab a great place for the training:

"The facility is beautiful," she said.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ball State wins eight Emmys

Ball State University has won eight regional Emmy Awards for excellence, including three by the Sports Link student production unit and others dealing with farming, classic automobiles and the Midwest.

Sports Link photographer Christopher Renkel won a Video Journalist Emmy for the piece "Finding Refuge." The production group and instructor Chris Taylor also won the Newscast and Live Event categories.

Also winning were projects from the Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry. Garret Brubaker and Dan Edwards won Editing Emmys for their work on “Down to Earth: Small Farm Issues in a Big Farm World.”

Kayla Sprayue won an award for Director-Post Production for, “Legacies of Perfection: Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg” about the former Indiana car manufacturers.

Telecommunications instructor Chris Flook won two awards, for animation and editing, for his work on “Miracle on 34th Street” and a segment on the Midwest Restoration Festival. Graduate student Kayla Eiler won for directing the festival segment.

The awards were presented by the Lower Great Lakes Chapter of the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences, which includes markets from Erie, Pennsylvania, through Cleveland, Toledo, Fort Wayne, Muncie, Lima, Indianapolis, and Bloomington.

The awards were presented Saturday June 7 at the Cleveland Convention Center.
Ball State Emmy winners from

    Crafts: Editor - Program. Down to Earth: Small Farm Issues in a Big Farm World. Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry. Garret Brubaker and Dan Edwards, Editors.
    Crafts: Video Journalist. Finding Refuge. Ball State Sports Link. Christopher Renkel, Photographer.
    Crafts: Director - Post Production. Legacies of Perfection: Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg. Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry. Kayla Sprayue, Director.
    Student: Newscast & Information. Ball State Sports Link: 3rd Down Chirp. Ball State Sports Link. Chris Taylor, Instructor.
    Student: Sports - Live Event. Ball State Sports Link: Men's Volleyball vs. Loyola. Ball State Sports Link. Chris Taylor, Instructor.
    Crafts: Graphics/Animation. Miracle on 34th Street. Ball State University. Chris Flook, Animator/Motionographer.
    Crafts: Audio. Down to Earth: Small Farm Issues in a Big Farm World. Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry. Garret Brubaker, Dan Edwards, and Sam Noble, Audio Technicians.
    Lifestyle Program - Feature/Segment. Midwest Restoration Festival. Ball State University. Kayla Eiler, Director, and Chris Flook, Editor.
      - John Strauss,

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Saying goodbye to your dog

We've lost our dog Zeke. He was a great buddy to us for 14 years, remembered for getting himself into a few adventures.

One night he showed up at the front door with a possum in his mouth. The critter was still alive. Zeke found him again two nights later and brought him back. One day he tangled with a raccoon in the back yard - just wanting to play with a new friend, we think.

He loved to swim and go for walks. I shot a lot of video with him. In this one, set to the movie music of "White Fang," my thought was that every dog probably thinks of himself as a heroic protector of his family - if only the people would let him off the leash.

Zeke passed away last Monday. That hurt, but if you've ever thought about getting a pet I'd urge you to do it. The animals need homes (Zeke came from the Humane Society), and you may find a "forever friend."

Zeke could be very patient with silly humans, including this time when I passed him off as a descendant of Albert Einstein's dog "Schmoopie"....