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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CCM Announces ‘Furnish the Future’ Seat-Naming Campaign

The seats of CCM's newly-renovated Corbett Auditorium. Photography by Andrew Higley/UC Creative Services.

Arts advocates have a new way of supporting CCM in its mission to fuel the future of the arts. Purchase a commemorative plaque through the Furnish the Future campaign and your support will be displayed on one of the newly-installed seats in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium.

With a pledge payable over five years, supporters of the Furnish the Future seat-naming campaign can play a leading role in continuing to provide a first-class facility for CCM’s students, faculty members and audiences. In recognition of your support, a plaque bearing your name or the name of someone you choose to honor or memorialize will adorn one of the seats in the beautifully-renovated Corbett Auditorium.

A Cause For Applause

A black and white photo of an applauding crowd in CCM's Corbett Auditorium. Photo by Andrew Higley/UC Creative Services.

Your support is cause for applause in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium.

Originally opened in 1967, Corbett Auditorium has provided a space for generations of aspiring artists to refine their skills. Countless alumni have made their debuts on the stage of Corbett Auditorium and hundreds of thousands of audience members have been whisked away on musical journeys in its seats. The iconic performance hall was recently renovated as part of a $15-million slate of enhancements to CCM Village, ensuring that CCM will continue to have the state-of-the-art facilities required to educate and inspire future generations of world-class performers, producers, educators, researchers, composers, designers, technicians and media personnel.

Funds raised through the Furnish the Future campaign will help CCM continue to recruit leading student scholars, provide travel opportunities for students and faculty members and support special collaborative projects at the college.

Securing Your Seat

CCM is now accepting pledges for its Furnish the Future campaign. Pledge opportunities vary in price from $250-5,000. Refer to the chart below for details. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Quantities are limited and additional restrictions may apply.

Each seat plaque can accommodate up to two lines of text including a maximum of 25 characters (including spaces and punctuation) per line.

The purchase of a seat plaque does not guarantee the corresponding seat for performances.

Make your pledge by emailing sarah.mizelle@uc.edu, calling 513-556-4441 or visiting foundation.uc.edu/furnishthefuture.

A seating chart for Corbett Auditorium.

Photography by Andrew Higley/UC Creative Services

Video by Kevin Burke/CCM Division of Electronic Media

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CCM E-Media and Acting students win NATAS Student Production Award

The Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) awarded a team of CCM Electronic Media and Acting students the 2018 Regional Student Production Award for Best Long Form – Fiction for a film they created in class. The students competed in the College/University category, which includes Ohio University, Xavier University, Asbury University and other schools in the Ohio Valley area.

Integration Episode 1: The Update is a science-fiction drama that was created in the Spring 2018 Capstone Film course (EMED 4003), taught by Electronic Media Division Head Kevin Burke. The professor is no stranger to having his students’ work honored at prestigious events and film festivals.

“Projects produced in the class have won multiple Student Emmy Awards at both the regional and national levels, have been entered and won awards in a number of film festivals and have won in a variety of student production competitions,” Burke says.

Integration Episode 1: The Update is set in a future where computers are even more ubiquitous than they are today. A charismatic but less-than-ethical CEO instructs one of his employees, an unsuspecting computer programmer, to create a dramatic software update to one of the company’s programs. The 22-minute film follows the consequences of this update.

Nine E-Media students and four Acting students participated in creating the film, with assistance from Burke and CCM Acting professor Bob Pavlovich. The E-Media students are Matthew Harris, Austin Baker, Javert Valbarr, Nile Ross-Watson, Jared Bailey, Connor Smith, Caleb Smiley, Jamila Flowers and Jesse Circelli. The Acting students in the film are Isaac Hickox-Young, Sarah Durham, Landon Hawkins and Briley Oakley.

“I think Matt Harris did a great job writing, directing and editing the film. Austin Baker’s cinematography, Caleb Smiley’s lighting, the sound design by Connor Smith and visual effects by Javert Albarr all helped the film receive recognition by the Student Emmy Awards,” Burke says.

However, Burke is quick to point out that this film involved the work of both E-Media and Acting students. He refers to the project as a “CCM Collaborative Film.”

“I believe the outstanding performances by the CCM Acting students really set the film apart from the other entries,” Burke adds. “The talent, range and discipline of these students allow the audience to suspend their disbelief, care about the fictional characters and buy into the premise of the film.”

Producer Nile Ross-Watson fondly remembers the moment that he and fellow students decided to work on a science-fiction film, a challenging genre that he thinks no other E-Media students have attempted before for their final projects.

“I remember sitting with Matthew and Austin, thinking of what we were going to do for our final project,” he shares. “After some time, we came up with the idea of a Sci-Fi project! We were instantly bouncing ideas back and forth. One of the big ideas that we knew we wanted to do was have a color scheme throughout the project. Matthew looks at me and says, ‘What’s a good color that says futuristic?’ I instantly said, ‘Teal.’ From there, we had a good idea of what our project was going to look like.”

The students approached this class project as they would approach any professional project, says Ross-Watson. They spent many days studying all aspects of the film until they were satisfied with the final product. CCM’s E-Media program emphasizes hands-on learning so students will have plenty of experience and preparation for their future careers. Alumni from CCM E-Media have recently been recognized at the Academy Awards, the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and the Grammy Awards.

Learn more about CCM E-Media at ccm.uc.edu/emedia.

About the Ohio Valley Chapter
The Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences was established in 1962. It is dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television and the promotion of creative leadership for artistic, educational and technical achievements within the television industry. The Chapter presents the prestigious and coveted Emmy® Award to television professionals in thirteen markets in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia, honors industry trailblazers with the Silver and Gold Circle and makes scholarships available to students at colleges and universities throughout the region.

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Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

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‘Waco’ TV Series Editor Elliot Greenberg Shares Career Insights with CCM Students

Hollywood feature film editor and CCM Electronic Media alumnus Elliot Greenberg (BFA 2001) returns to CCM this week to talk to current students about his own journey in the film and television business. His master class will take place at 12:30 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 in CCM’s Mary Emery Hall Room 3250.

Elliot Greenberg.

Greenberg recently finished work on the six-part TV miniseries Waco for the Paramount Network. The series is based on the 1993 Waco, Texas siege and marks Greenberg’s first time editing for television.

The process of cutting a six-hour miniseries brought many new challenges to the seasoned feature film editor — who has previously worked with Waco creators John Erick and Drew Dowdle on such movies as The Poughkeepsie Tapes, Quarantine, Devil, As Above, So Below and No Escape.

“Besides the technical challenges, the subject matter was the real challenge,” Greenberg says of Waco. “Telling the true story of this tragedy weighed heavy on me each and every day. To help bring it to life as part of an amazing team of filmmakers, actors and craftspeople has been a true honor and one I am very proud of.”

Greenberg visits CCM to give current students a look into what the film and TV business is like from the perspective of post-production editing work. He will talk to students about his own career, from breaking into the film industry and rising through the ranks to becoming the lead picture editor on feature films and TV shows.

“I hope that through my own journey, students will gain a better understanding of what it is like to work in Hollywood,” Greenberg says. “From someone who has been exactly where they are now, I hope to show them that getting to work at such a high level in the film/TV business is not as impossible as it might seem, and with a lot of hard work and determination they can achieve their careers goals no matter what the field.”

After graduating from CCM, Greenberg moved across the country to Los Angeles and started his career as a post-production assistant, training under director Wes Craven’s longtime editor Patrick Lussier on the films Cursed and Red Eye. He then moved on to work at View Askew Productions as the first assistant editor on Clerks II. His credits also include ChronicleEscape Plan, Fantastic Four and To The Bone, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017.

Greenberg remembers his time at CCM fondly. As a student, he won the Paramount Studio internship as part of E-Media’s annual Frederick W. Ziv Awards in 2001. He was also part of a group who produced a short film called Eastern Standard Time, which won a student Emmy Award.

“The award wasn’t what I remember most,” Greenberg says. “It was the late night after-hour editing sessions with E-Media Professor Kevin Burke that stuck with me. His mentorship is what gave us the belief we could pull this project off, and proved to me one of the cornerstones of my career — that we don’t work alone. Collaboration is what this business is all about. I am forever grateful to not only Professor Burke for this, but for all of my teachers at E-Media.”

You can see Greenberg’s most recent work in Waco. Episode four of the six-part series airs at 10 p.m. this Wednesday, Feb. 21 on the Paramount Network.

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CCM staff member Dave Colussi with E-Media alumna Melissa Hopkins, professor Kevin Burke and alumnus Tavi Wolf.

E-Media Launches ‘Give One Day’ Campaign for Student Equipment

CCM staff member Dave Colussi with E-Media alumna Melissa Hopkins, professor Kevin Burke and alumnus Tavi Wolf.

CCM staff member Dave Colussi with E-Media alumna Melissa Hopkins, professor Kevin Burke and alumnus Tavi Wolf.

CCM graduate Tavi Wolf (BFA E-Media, 1999) is leading a new alumni giving campaign for the Division of Electronic Media, which encourages graduates to “give one day” to CCM in order to keep current students supplied with industry-level production equipment.

The Give One Day donation campaign launched at the 2017 E-Media Excellence Awards Ceremony in April. The Division hopes it will raise $33,000 by next spring’s Excellence Awards Ceremony.

The campaign challenges CCM alumni and friends to donate, whether it be one day’s wage or $25, so E-Media can keep up-to-date with professional-quality production equipment for students including cameras, lights, lens and tripods.

“As the owner of a small production company, I need to hire crew with the experience needed for time-sensitive productions,” says Wolf. “We don’t have time to train new hires on the job, so I want to help ensure that the current students in E-Media have their hands on the equipment the professionals are using.”

“Lets raise the funds necessary to keep our program competitive, not only with other schools but with the industry work force.”

Wolf says he was motivated to start the Give One Day campaign about a year ago, when E-Media alumni, faculty and community members united to raise $5,000 in one week for an alumnus in need.

Wolf saw how quickly alumni raised money for a fellow E-Media family member and wanted to channel that passion into a campaign that will benefit the entire Division.

One donation helps E-Media students get one step closer to becoming future directors, cinematographers or film-makers.

You can make a donation to the Give One Day: Electronic Media Alumni Campaign online at ccm.weshareonline.org/ws/opportunities/E-Media

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A screenshot from 'Standard Definition' featuring CCM Musical Theatre graduates Ben Biggers and Chris Collins-Pisano.

UC Student Film Accepted into Cleveland International Film Festival

Electronic Media majors Tim Young and Elliot Feltner filmed Standard Definition with their classmates for a school project last spring. Now it will be shown alongside 216 short films from around the world.

Last spring, former University of Cincinnati students Tim Young and Elliot Feltner created a short film for their capstone class that any aspiring filmmaker can relate to. The comedic story focuses on two Cincinnati-based film students who argue about the necessity of spending money on film projects — until they find a magical camera that makes everything it captures appear beautiful.

Nearly a year later, Young and Feltner’s Standard Definition is set to be screened at the 2017 Cleveland International Film Festival.

“It is unreal that our film was chosen to be screened at the Cleveland International Film Festival,” Young said. “When we first started shooting and cutting it together, we had no plans to enter it into any festivals. We just wanted to make something that we could be proud of and show to our friends and families.”

The 41-year-old film festival will screen 200 feature films and 216 short films from 71 countries between March 29 and April 9. Standard Definition will play at the festival on April 6.

Roommates Young and Feltner were enrolled in the Electronic Media program at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music when they filmed Standard Definition for Kevin Burke’s “Advanced Video Production” capstone course. They both graduated with bachelor of fine arts degrees in 2016.

They had to present Burke with a pre-production plan and a list of group members before the class began, which helped ease the filming process. “Once the class started in January, we had all of the tools necessary to start filming,” said Young, director and co-producer of Standard Definition.

The two film students enlisted help from fellow e-media majors Fritz Pape, Katie Laird and Yiyang Xu, and from other programs across CCM. Lead actors Chris Collins-Pisano, Ben Biggers and Raven Thomas are all 2016 graduates of the Musical Theatre program.

Young was the teaching assistant in Biggers and Collins-Pisano’s “Acting for the Camera” class, taught by Robert Pavlovich. The group applied the acting techniques they learned in class while working on the film, Young said.

From left to right: 'Standard Definition' filmmakers Yiyang Xu, Katie Laird, Tim Young, Elliot Feltner and Fritz Pape.

From left to right: ‘Standard Definition’ filmmakers Yiyang Xu, Katie Laird, Tim Young, Elliot Feltner and Fritz Pape.

“I couldn’t have made the film without the help of our other group members,” Young said. “This project was a collaborative effort, and the film would not exist without them. We had a small crew to make this film compared to others, but the people in our group are so skilled and multi-talented that we were able to pull it off.”

The short film debuted at Tangeman University Center’s MainStreet Cinema last spring and received an “incredible response from the audience,” Young said. They worked with Burke as well as professors Kristyn Benedyk and Matt Irvine from UC’s Digital Media Collaborative program to submit Standard Definition to a handful of festivals and will continue to do so throughout the coming months.

Not everything came easy for the filmmakers, though. In August 2016, Feltner was in a severe car crash on Interstate 75, caused by a man who was later indicted on a charge of driving under the influence of illegal drugs.

Feltner, who had been an avid amateur inline skater as well as a filmmaker, barely escaped the ordeal with his life. He was injured so badly that he technically died twice, and police were dispatched to his parents’ home to notify them of their son’s death. However, due to quick medical care from nurses who happened to witness the crash, Feltner was resuscitated and airlifted to a nearby hospital. He suffered brain trauma and multiple spinal cord injuries.

For months, he has been in rehabilitation at Craig Hospital in Denver, which specializes in treating spinal cord injuries. He recently returned to Cincinnati and will continue outpatient rehabilitation here.

Young said Feltner is getting better every day. Before the car crash, the roommates saw each other every day and worked on Standard Definition together. After the crash, they were separated as Feltner focused on rehabilitation.

“I basically wrote the film about the two of us, or film students just like us,” said Young, reflecting on how the crash impacted his perspective of the time they spent creating Standard Definition. “Every day after shooting we would come home and stay up late editing together rough cuts of the scenes. It was so exciting and rewarding to see all of our hard work turning into something tangible that we could be proud of.”

“After his accident I only saw Elliot a few times over the course of months as he dealt with his injuries. Going from spending every day and night together to not speaking for weeks at a time was really difficult and really made me appreciate how special our time making Standard Definition together really was.”

Standard Definition plays at the Cleveland International Film Festival on Thursday, April 6 at 9:35 p.m. at Tower City Cinemas, 230 West Huron Road in Cleveland.
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Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

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