All posts by Zachary Eichelberger

Filmmaking an Important Part of the Communication Department

Filmmaking is a format that some students love to be a part of, and here at Hilbert College, it’s something that the Digital Media And Communication departments’ students love to get involved with.

This year, there are some new updates to the studio room for filmmakers to look forward to with making their own films. Andrew Wozniak, a filmmaking DMAC student who will be leaving after the fall semester to fully commit to his field, said filmmaking can be fun and lead to a bright career.

“I started as concentrated in marketing, nowhere near filmmaking,” he said. “But, my sophomore year, I changed my concentration to journalism and part of that is doing the multimedia journalism, which is filming, interviewing and putting that into a short film, telling the story that you’re telling. Professor (Chris) Gallant, my advisor, recommended I took [COM 365] to get experience with using Adobe premiere, and just extra experience in making films.”

Wozniak said DMAC students will definitely get experience in filmmaking through the program.

“Yeah, Anything on campus, whether it was COM 365, it was COM 180 I believe, my freshman year where we made a commercial for Ten Lives Club, or helping with Brandon Moran, he was the film guy and I worked on a couple of commercials with him as of last year. Experience is key when you’re trying to build up a career.”

Now that this is Wozniak’s last semester at Hilbert College, he gave some advice to any new students looking to join the filmmaking program for DMAC students: “Just stick with it. Don’t get behind, because once you’re behind, it’ll pile up. It’s definitely worth it and it’s a good time. I’m looking forward to my future career, whether it’s filmmaking, journalism, or something completely different from there.”

For each semester, there’s something new to look forward to. This semester, Hilbert’s DMAC professor, Gallant, said advances are being made in the film studio in Paczesny Hall.

“We have finished the video production studio, which is a sound stage that people can record inside and that there’s set lighting. We got some new lights, we made it a black box studio setting, which is really helpful for individual filmmaking projects,” he said.

Gallant said the department is always working to update equipment and facilities for students.

“We also have a lot of great equipment for students to use, we do have a new Panasonic cinema camera that is Netflix approved,” he said. “We just taped  a remake of the short film, Lights Out, with that camera.”

Gallant said many students who’ve been through the filmmaking program have gone on to have successful careers in their own ways.

“Yeah. We absolutely do have students do [film and production],” he said. “Probably the most notable student that we’ve had go through our program, go into the filmmaking industry and is working in there right now is Tom Wills. He has the designation of being a member of the society of camera operators.”

He also mentioned Ryan Fleet, who works in commercial production.

With filmmaking at Hilbert, there seems to be a future that Gallant is excited about.

“Students have entered their films in film festivals and even won in the past,” he said. “People have entered films from our program and production work outside their program. Now that we’re back and in person, I think we will be moving back to doing [production]. It’s my goal to try to enter the films that we produce in COM 365 and 375 to short film festivals.”

Theater Class Offers Changes Perspectives

Theater is something that people will enjoy getting to perform in front of a crowd or will find it nerve wracking to do.

Taylor Doherty, a theater professor at Hilbert, said… paraphrase something he said. “The chance to inhabit the psychological shoes of another person can be a wonderful, transformative experience,” Doherty said.

Doherty said that the idea that “theater and film people” are liberal, is a stereotype. “And I think it’s because when you’re acting a role – REALLY fully immersing yourself in the role – you see the world from their perspective,” he said. “You understand their hopes and fears. And you realize that we’re all the same deep down. So it becomes they’re ‘different from you’ when you’ve have seen the world from their perspective.”

Doherty said if there’s nervousness to performing.

“Yes there is,” Doherty said. “After all, when you’re acting in a film or on stage, you’re in a very vulnerable position. You’re experiencing intense emotions… for real… and people are watching you do it.”

But it’s all about practicing. The more someone does it, the more it gets easier to do. And he disagrees with the idea that people in media professions do no need to try acting, Doherty said.

“Everyone should try acting at least once,” he said of acting. “And I don’t mean a quick improv, I mean a REAL acting experience. I bet it would give people a greater understanding of the films they know and love.”

Students should be given an understanding on the process of what gets people interested in being a part of theater and the experience that a student gets when doing it.

Emmanuel McClain, a Digital Media and Communication student who took Doherty’s introduction to theater course, said performing theater is an experience that people will enjoy if they try.

“I needed a class to take for an elective,” McClain said. “It turned out to be great. It was a fun and humbling experience.”

After doing the class, McClain said people should try doing theater more often. “Yes. 100% yes,” He said.

Media Club Helps Students Hone Skills

New school, new opportunities to get involved with clubs. For all you DMAC majors, check out the Digital Media Club.

The Digital Media Club is for DMAC (Digital Media And Communication) students to try and really get involved with their majors.

According to one of the members, Kenny Trometer, Media club is, “basically a club, where students from around campus, come together, and work on movie projects, journalism projects, podcasts, music. Pretty much anything to deal with digital media.”

When it comes to what the club is providing for students in the DMAC program, it really provides students with tapping into their skills and finding their true potential in their field.

“It provides experience that they’ll need for the future,” Trometer said. “Say for example, if you want to get in the broadcasting business, we’ll provide you more experiences and more time to practice with the tools. As a result, You’ll better understand your major, and what you want to do.”

With college, students are looking to gain that experience to be put onto their portfolio. This is a way for business and companies see what the student has done and what they can provide the company. When it comes to the Digital Media Club, they can help students with not only creating one, but helping them add to it.

“Yeah. Stuff like sports games, take some pictures, interview with the coaches; Start your own business, or freelance for a couple of local newspapers. Make movies, put that into a festival, that’s what we’re going to do here in the spring” says Club treasurer and member, Jamal Harris.

Student under the DMAC program, they can go on to have successful careers, which is what the club has experienced with. Harris said.

“Yeah, I couldn’t give any specifics, but I believe so.”

Clubs usually have a goal for students, and with this one; Eric Stevens, the head of the club, has his goal for the club.

“The major goal for me, is to create stuff,” he said. “Basically, having a creative outlet for people to do things that they want to do. So, a chance for them to explore music, art, video production. Give people a place to be creative because what I’ve seen, none of the other clubs right now, seem to do that. It’s mainly just, kind of regular activities going on, not really any creative type media.”

“Also, to teach people how to do things that they want to do. Offering an opportunity for anyone to be creative,” he added.

So, for any DMAC majors wanted to be free to create an opportunity for them, this club is a perfect place for students to enjoy for everyone.