Student-Created Documentary ‘The Fifth Mode’ Airs on Cincinnati’s CET Tonight

In early 2017, a team of UC Engineering students — one of only 27 teams to make the cut — participated in Elon Musk’s SpaceX Hyperloop Competition in Hawthorne, California. CCM E-Media students in UC’s Production Master Class captured their work in a new documentary The Fifth Mode, which airs at 10 p.m. tonight, June 26, 2019, on Cincinnati’s PBS station, CET.

The UC Hyperloop team featured in “The Fifth Mode.”

The concept of the Hyperloop is similar to the pneumatic tubes used at drive-through banks and pharmacies, although these trains will only travel horizontally. Passengers will occupy a car that travels through an enclosed tube, hovering inside of it due to magnetic repulsion. Theoretically, this train could travel at speeds upwards of 700 miles per hour, reducing a commute between Cincinnati and New York to under an hour, and doing so significantly more cheaply than current airfare prices. The Hyperloop competition encourages young engineers and designers to attempt to create this train system. To read more about the Hyperloop competition and UC’s participation, check out this UC Magazine article.

The 30-minute documentary about UC’s journey to the competition was created by CCM E-Media students in the Production Master Class, supervised by CCM professor and E-Media division head Kevin Burke and Emmy Award-winning producer Brian Leitten (BFA E-Media, 2001).

E-Media students filming “The Fifth Mode.” Left to Right: Kelsey Keiser, Laura Walters, Ben Vanden Eynden and Matt Harris.

Twenty-five students worked as editors, producers, music supervisors, audio mixers and graphic designers to create The Fifth Mode, including student producer Laura Walters, as well as Nate Carpenter, David Carrero, Jesse Circelli, La’nice Davis, Jason Gerz, Matt Harris, Kelsey Keiser, Nile Ross, Tanner Segbers, Max Vanden Eynden, Ben Vanden Eynden, Mitch Webb (who was also part of the Hyperloop team) and Becca Wheelen. All of these students completed their bachelor’s degrees in E-Media at CCM in Spring 2018.

UC’s Production Master Class is an experience-based learning initiative that provides students with the opportunity to work alongside faculty and professionals on film and TV productions designed for regional, national and international distribution. Since its inception in 2012, the class has completed five documentaries, which have all aired on television in the US, Canada, Italy, France and Russia and have appeared in film festivals on five continents. In April 2019, The Fifth Mode enjoyed a screening at the Canton Film Festival.

The Fifth Mode will air at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26, as well as 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 30 and 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17. Visit the CET website for more information.

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Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

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A picture of CCM faculty member Donald Hancock holding his Emmy Award.

Emmy Award-Winning Producer Donald Hancock is Named Assistant Professor of Film and Television Production at CCM

CCM Dean Stanley E. Romanstein has announced the appointment of Donald Hancock to the position of Assistant Professor of Film and Television Production in CCM’s Division of E-Media. Hancock joined CCM’s faculty as an adjunct in 2012. His new appointment will begin on Aug. 15, 2019.

A picture of CCM faculty member Donald Hancock holding his Emmy Award.

Hancock is an Emmy Award-winning producer, professor and an active member of the media community. He has an MA in Film and Television from Savannah College of Art and Design and a BFA in E-Media from CCM. Hancock currently works as a producer at CET, Cincinnati’s PBS Member Station. He has produced “The Art Show,” CET’s weekly art magazine program, since 2013. He also produces content for a variety of partners with CET, including ArtsWave and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Hancock won a Regional Emmy Award for “Cincinnati’s Music Hall: The Next Movement,” a 60-minute documentary that he co-wrote, produced and shot. The documentary details the historic $150 million renovation of Cincinnati’s National Historic Landmark. Watch a promotional spot for the documentary below.

In 2013, Hancock was chosen as one of 25 producers from around the country to participate in the PBS/CPB Producer’s Academy, whose goal is to engage a talented pool of diverse producers in public broadcasting. Hancock has also partnered with WGBH and PBS to produce content around national programming including “Finding Your Roots,” “American Experience” and “Downton Abbey.”

For the past seven years, Hancock has been an adjunct professor at CCM, teaching Digital Video and Integrated Media Production courses to sophomore and junior-level students. In his spare time, he serves on the Executive Board for the UC Center for Film and Media Studies, as well as the community advisory board at Elementz Urban Arts Center. He is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, a member of the Broadcast Education Association and volunteers as a Big Brother in the Big Brother Big Sisters Program.

Dean Romanstein thanked search committee members Kevin Burke (chair), Peter DePietroJohn HebbelerTondra Holt and Hagit Limor for their work on finding CCM’s new Assistant Professor of Film and Television Production.

Please join us in congratulating Donald Hancock on his new appointment!

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UC's Digital Media Collaborative.

Digital Media Cluster Hires Bring Filmmaking, Program-Building Expertise to UC

Matt Irvine.

Matt Irvine.

Building a digital media program from the ground up comes naturally to Matt Irvine, who joins the University of Cincinnati in fall 2015 as the inaugural director of the Digital Media Collaborative (DMC), a collective effort between the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), the College of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning (DAAP), the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences and UC Libraries.

The DMC began with seed funding from President Santa Ono’s Transformation Fund matched by CCM, DAAP and A&S, and was successfully launched as part of Provost Davenport’s Cluster Hiring initiative.

Kristyn Benedyk.

Kristyn Benedyk.

Irvine, who joins UC with appointments across all of the related areas, comes to Cincinnati from DePaul University, where he was instrumental in founding DePaul’s School of Cinematic Arts. The school, which is ranked in the top 20 film schools in the nation, includes bachelor’s degrees in animation and digital cinema, bachelor’s of fine arts in animation and graduate degrees in animation, cinema production, documentary, cinema and screenwriting. Irvine will be joined at UC by Kristyn Benedyk, an accomplished screenwriter and teacher who helped launch DePaul’s screenwriting program in 2011. Benedyk, who is also Irvine’s wife, will also be appointed across the same three colleges and UC Libraries.

“These dual-career cluster hires exemplify the power of aggressive recruitment and collaboration,” said Provost Beverly Davenport, whose office led the call for cluster hiring in summer 2014. “Together, these three colleges and our libraries were able to woo industry and educational leaders to build an exciting and forward-looking program in Cincinnati.”

The Digital Media Cluster includes multiple departments in the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences, CCM’s Division of Electronic Media, and Graphic Communication Design and Media Art out of DAAP, as well as technology and other resources from UC Libraries. “Speaking on behalf of my fellow deans who are involved in this collaborative, we are extremely enthusiastic about Matt and Kristyn’s hire,” said Peter Landgren, dean of CCM, the home college for both new faculty members.

“Their talents will enhance the existing strengths of our colleges, allowing us to provide our students with the creative, intellectual and interdisciplinary skills necessary to make an impact in the constantly changing digital media landscape.”

“There’s an excitement in Cincinnati,” Irvine said. “There has been so much support from everybody.”

Benedyk, who leaves her post as chair of the screenwriting program at DePaul, agreed. “There are already so many incredibly talented faculty at UC working in established, interesting and successful programs,” said Benedyk, who founded and produced a successful annual entertainment writers’ conference in Chicago. “I think it is great that the Digital Media Cluster is going to bring all of those people together working towards a shared objective that will result in UC becoming one of the top destinations for media education in the country.”

Both Benedyk and Irvine credited UC’s Cluster Hiring initiative and Dual Career Assistance program, both led by Provost Beverly Davenport, for sparking their interest in and eventually their commitments to Cincinnati.

“We’re better together than we are apart,” he said.

For Benedyk, whose background in Education fuels her passion for teaching, the move, in the end, was about quality of life.

“The dual career program was a huge draw for me,” said Benedyk, who was impressed by the reaction she got from faculty and administrators when she visited campus. “I immediately felt very welcomed as a potential faculty member.”

UC’s Cluster Hiring Initiative, launched by the Office of the Provost, supports existing and emerging partnerships within and between colleges, divisions and areas. Cluster hiring investments harness the power of faculty members focused on solving the world’s biggest challenges through leading-edge research and interdisciplinary collaborations that erase boundaries and embrace creative, bold ideas. Designed to attract top-quality faculty from around the world, UC’s Clusters represent the university’s commitment to investing in faculty and interdisciplinary problem-solving. The Provost’s Dual Career Assistance program dedicates funds and resources to accommodate job candidates and employees with opportunities to sustain healthy, connected families.

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Students in UC's Production Master Class documenting 'Expedition Alaska 2015.'

UC Production Master Class Films 2015 Expedition Alaska Adventure Race

This summer, the University of Cincinnati’s Production Master Class changes venues from California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range to the pristine wilderness of Alaska to document Expedition Alaska 2015, a 350 mile, seven day non-stop adventure race from June 28 to July 5.

A crew of seven UC students is in Alaska now, working with media professionals to develop a documentary film covering this extraordinary sporting event!

A premier qualifying race for the Adventure Racing World Series, Expedition Alaska 2015 features ocean kayaking, whitewater rafting, glacier trekking, rock climbing and mountain biking. Four person teams, comprised of the world’s best endurance athletes, will navigate by map and compass through the stunning scenery of the world’s most remote, famous and beautiful terrain, the Kenai Peninsula.

The UC Production Master Class involves an interdisciplinary group of students and faculty from the University of Cincinnati who work with nationally recognized television and film professionals to produce digital media content that reaches a national and global audience.

Since 2012, the UC Production Master Class has involved over 90 UC students hailing from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

UC Production Master Class.Developed by CCM Professor Kevin Burke and UC Alumnus and Emmy award-winning producer Brian J. Leitten (BFA, 2001), the UC Production Master Course was first funded by a three-year grant from the UC Forward Collaborative, an initiative that supports experiential learning and is part of the UC Academic Master Plan. Earlier this year, UC President Santa Ono pledged additional funding, which allowed the production to continue beyond its initial three-year grant period.

The goal was to create a transformative, “hands-on” experience for the students by taking them out of the classroom and into the field to produce the documentary series that could be distributed to a national television audience.

The project’s initial three years focused on the Gold Rush Expedition Race, a grueling 275-mile race through the California wilderness. Three 90-minute films were produced to document that race. All three films have aired nationally on NBC’s Universal Sports Network.

The 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary film was recently nominated for an Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in the professional category of Best Documentary – Cultural/Topical. You can learn more about that nomination by visiting http://www.uc.edu/news/NR.aspx?id=21859.

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The 2013 UC Gold Rush team at Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.

UC Production Master Class Documentary Film Receives Regional Emmy Nomination

We are happy to report that the University of Cincinnati student-produced 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary film has been nominated for an Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences! The nomination is in the professional category of Best Documentary – Cultural/Topical.

UC Production Master Class.A three-year project of the UC Production Master Class, the Gold Rush Expedition Race documentaries chronicle one of the foremost expedition races in the world. Each 90-minute documentary features an international field of 50 elite athletes tackling a grueling 275-mile course through the California wilderness as they test their mental and physical limits in the toughest competition in North America. All three films have aired nationally on NBC’s Universal Sports Network (you can view upcoming broadcast times here).

Since 2012, the UC Production Master Class has involved over 90 UC students hailing from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

The project was conceived by CCM Division of Electronic Media Professor Kevin Burke and professional television director/producer and distinguished CCM alumnus Brian J. Leitten (BFA, 2001), who advise the project and provide professional guidance and feedback to the students during all phases of the documentaries development.

Student teams shoot, edit, script and produce the Gold Rush Expedition Race films on location in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. “Although there is professional mentoring and oversight during the project,” Burke explains, “it is primarily produced and edited by the students, which makes it a unique example of successful experiential learning and interdisciplinary collaboration.”

The UC Production Master Course was first funded by a three-year grant from the UC Forward Collaborative, an initiative that supports experiential learning and is part of the UC Academic Master Plan. Earlier this year, UC President Santa Ono pledged additional funding, which will allow the production to continue beyond its initial three-year grant period. The presidential investment represents Ono’s ongoing support of interdisciplinary digital media projects and experiential learning at the University of Cincinnati.

“We are delighted with this nomination and are grateful to President Ono, UC Provost Beverly Davenport and the UC Forward Collaborative for their support of yet another successful example of experiential learning at UC,” says Burke.

Burke and Leitten served as Executive Producers on the 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race, alongside UC students Callie Peters and Ben Proctor.

The 51st Annual Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Awards will be held at the Keeneland Entertainment Center in Lexington, Ky. Winners will be announced on July 25. The Ohio Valley Region includes Cincinnati, Columbus, Louisville, Lexington, most of West Virginia, southern Indiana, southern half of Ohio and northern half of Kentucky. Learn more by visiting http://ohiovalleyemmy.org/awards.

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Next Installment of Student-Produced ‘Gold Rush Expedition Race’ Film Series Premieres on May 27 on the Universal Sports Network

The newest installment of the University of Cincinnati‘s student-produced Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary film series will receive its national broadcast premiere on NBC’s Universal Sports Network at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27.

Created by UC’s Production Master Class, the 90-minute long documentary film is part of a three-year series about the Gold Rush Expedition Race, one of the world’s premier expedition races. The race features an international field of 50 elite athletes as they trek, mountain bike, climb and kayak along a grueling 275 mile course admits the beauty of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. The race is part of the Adventure Racing World Series.

The 2014 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary will air 10 times on USN. The cable network aired the 2012 and 2013 installments of this action-packed documentary series last October. You can learn more about those initial broadcasts by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/notations-ovations/student-produced-film-series-airs-on-universal-sports-network.

The UC Production Master Class involves an interdisciplinary group of students and faculty who work with nationally recognized television and film professionals to produce digital media content that reaches a national and global audience.

Since 2012, it has involved three UC Professors, a UC alumnus, a cadre of media professionals and over 90 students from nine different academic programs at CCMDAAP and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

For more information about the 2014 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary’s broadcast schedule, please visit goldrushracedoc.com/2014-premiere.

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CCM Professor Kevin Burke and members of the 2014 UC Gold Rush documentary team. Photo by Kaori Funahashi.

Next Installment of Student-Produced ‘Gold Rush Expedition Race’ Film Series to Premiere at the Esquire Theatre on April 28

The 2014 installment of the University of Cincinnati‘s student-produced Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary film series will receive a special premiere screening at Cincinnati’s Esquire Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28. Hosted by the University of Cincinnati Production Master Class, this screening is free and open to the entire UC community.

The event is sponsored and supported by the UC Forward Initiative, the Office of the President, CCM’s Division of Electronic Media (CCM E-Media), McMicken College’s Center for Film and Media Studies and the UC Alumni Association.

Join us at Cincinnati's Esquire Theatre on April 28 for a premiere screening of the 2014 'Gold Rush Expedition Race' documentary film.

Join us at Cincinnati’s Esquire Theatre on April 28 for a premiere screening of the 2014 ‘Gold Rush Expedition Race’ documentary film.

The 2014 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary will have its national broadcast premiere on NBC’s Universal Sports Network on May 27, 2015. The documentary program will air 10 times on USN. The cable network aired the 2012 and 2013 installments of this action-packed documentary series last October. You can learn more about those initial broadcasts by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/notations-ovations/student-produced-film-series-airs-on-universal-sports-network.

Educationally grounded, professionally driven and student produced, the UC Production Master Class has been transforming the college classroom since its inception in 2012, bringing together an interdisciplinary group of UC students and faculty who are working with nationally-recognized digital media professionals to produce a documentary film series that is currently airing on national television.

To date, this course has involved three UC professors, a UC alumnus, a cadre of film professionals and over 90 UC students from nine different academic programs at CCM, DAAP and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

This group has fused its skills on the production of a three-year, 90-minute documentary film series about the Gold Rush Expedition Race, one of the world’s premier expedition races that features an international field of 50 elite athletes trekking, mountain biking, climbing and kayaking along a grueling 275-mile course amidst the beauty of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. The race is part of the Adventure Racing World Series.

The Production Master Class was the idea of CCM Professor of Electronic Media Kevin Burke and distinguished UC Alumnus and Emmy award-winning producer, Brian J. Leitten. The initiative was originally made possible by a three-year grant from the University of Cincinnati’s UC Forward Collaborative, which supports experiential learning and is part of the UC Academic Master Plan.

The Production Master Class was designed to create a transformative “hands-on” experience for the students by taking them out of the classroom and into the field to produce a documentary film series that could be distributed to a national television audience. “The idea was to totally re-invent the college classroom,” notes UC President Santa J. Ono, PhD, “focusing interdisciplinary teams of faculty and students on real world projects.”

Over the past three years, the Production Master Class has brought dozens of UC students to California to work alongside educators and a select crew of film and media professionals. The interaction with professional mentors and students from different disciplines enhances experiential learning and prepares the students for professional careers in the television and film industry. Both Burke and Leitten serve as Executive Producers, advising the project and providing professional guidance and feedback to the students during all phases of the documentary’s development.

Students take on the roles of supervising producers, story producers, editors, scriptwriters, music supervisors and narrators. Leitten joins Burke for each class session via social media applications from New York, where he serves as the Director of Production at the internet media entertainment giant, VEVO.com.

The Production Master Course is also taught by DAAP Associate Professor of Graphic Communication Design Yoshiko Burke, whose students create all motion graphic design and animation content. CCM Assistant Professor of Electronic Media Lorin Parker provides professional guidance and expertise to those students who create the audio mix and sound design for the documentary. At each stage of the project, the students are held to the standards and expectations of professionals in the discipline, providing them with invaluable industry experience.

The Production Master Course has resulted in both academic and professional recognition in peer-reviewed competitions and film festivals. The 2012 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary was selected from over 1,300 global entries for the Best of Festival Award in the 2014 Broadcast Education Association Film Festival, capturing its highest honor of the Festival, the prestigious Chairman Award. The film went on to win professional recognition with two bronze Telly Awards, and most recently, the student design team was recognized with a Silver Award at the prestigious Graphis New Talent Annual 2015 for their work on the 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary.

In August 2015, the 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race film will screen at the University Film and Video Association conference in Washington, D.C.

Screening Time
7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28

Location
Esquire Theatre
320 Ludlow Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45220

Admission
Admission to the premiere screening of the 2014 Gold Rush Expedition Race is free. Reservations are not required. Learn more about the screening by visiting goldrushracedoc.com/2014-premiere.

Parking and Directions
The Esquire Theatre is located in Clifton’s Gaslight District, just a short drive from UC’s campus. The theatre  validates tickets for moviegoers for two hours of parking in the “Merchant Lot” on Howell, located one block from Ludlow Avenue (a side street off Clifton Avenue, behind the former IGA Grocery Store). Howell Avenue is parallel to Ludlow Ave. On street parking is also often available on or near Ludlow Avenue.

Everyone is welcome to use the Valet Parking available in front of La Poste Eatery on Telford St. (just around the corner from the Esquire, off Ludlow). This valet service costs $7.00 and is available Mon. – Sat., from 5-10 pm.

For more information on parking and directions, please visit www.esquiretheatre.com/location.

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