Scenes from the Expedition Alaska Adventure Race. Photo by UC Production Master Class.

Student Documentary, ‘The Making of Expedition Alaska,’ Accepted into U.S. Drone Film Festival

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A student-produced documentary that chronicles an adventure race through “Alaska’s Playground” was recently accepted into the U.S. Drone Film Festival. The behind-the-scenes documentary, The Making of Expedition Alaska was created by the University of Cincinnati Production Master Class and focuses on the process that went into filming a 350-mile, seven-day adventure race in the Kenai Peninsula.

Students also created a documentary series titled Expedition Alaska which features the grueling race and beautiful Alaskan landscape. Two episodes of the series will premiere at the Esquire Theatre in Clifton from 7:30-9:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 27.

As previously reported, seven UC students traveled to Alaska in the summer of 2015 to work with two UC professors and a cadre of media professionals to film the documentaries. The Making of Expedition Alaska was nominated for Best News/Documentary in the New York City Drone Film Festival earlier this year and was recently accepted into the U.S. Drone Film Festival, where it will be screened April 30.

The UC Production Master Class used drones to film and chronicle the Expedition Alaska Adventure Race through the Kenai Peninsula. Photo provided by the UC Production Master Class.

The UC Production Master Class used drones to film and chronicle the Expedition Alaska Adventure Race through the Kenai Peninsula. Photo provided by the UC Production Master Class.

Featuring the pristine wilderness of the Kenai Peninsula, Expedition Alaska captures stunning scenery of ocean kayaking, whitewater rafting, glacier trekking, rock climbing and mountain biking during the Expedition Alaska Adventure Race — a qualifying race for the Adventure Racing World Series. The race pits four-person teams, comprised of the world’s best endurance athletes, against each other as they navigate by map and compass through the remote and beautiful terrain.

The UC Production Master Class crew gets wet while whitewater rafting during the Expedition Alaska Adventure Race. Photo provided by the UC Production Master Class.

The UC Production Master Class crew gets wet while whitewater rafting during the Expedition Alaska Adventure Race. Photo provided by the UC Production Master Class.

Expedition Alaska‘s premiere at Esquire Theatre is a FREE event and open to the general public. It is sponsored and supported by the UC Office of the President, Center for Film and Media Students, UC Forward Initiative, College-Conservatory of Music’s Electronic Media Division, and UC Alumni Association.

The Production Master Class is a collaborative, experiential learning initiative that involves students, faculty and alumni from CCM’s Electronic Media Division, the College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning’s School of Design and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Communication.

UC students, professors, and a cadre of media professionals traveled to film "Expedition Alaska." Photo provided by the UC Production Master Class.

UC students, professors, and a cadre of media professionals traveled to film “Expedition Alaska.” Photo provided by the UC Production Master Class.

Since its inception in 2012, the PMC has provided a transformative “hands-on” experience for more than 100 students from nine different academic programs at UC, taking them out of the classroom to connect with nationally recognized professionals from the film and television industry.

“The idea was to totally re-invent the college classroom,” notes UC President Santa Ono, “focusing interdisciplinary teams of faculty and students on real world projects.”

NBC’s Universal Sports Network nationally broadcast the 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary series, produced by the PMC from 2012-15. Focusing on a grueling 275-mile adventure race through the California wilderness, the documentary was nominated by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for an Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Award in the professional category of Best Documentary. Additionally, the student design team was recognized with a Silver Award at the prestigious Graphis New Talent Annual 2015, an international student design competition.

Join us for the FREE premiere of Expedition Alaska at the Esquire Theatre Wednesday, April 27, from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.!

Racers from the Expedition Alaska Adventure Race trek up a glacier in the Kenai Peninsula. Photo provided by the UC Production Master Class.

Racers from the Expedition Alaska Adventure Race trek up a glacier in the Kenai Peninsula. Photo provided by the UC Production Master Class.

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Background on the Production Master Class
The PMC is an interdisciplinary collaboration at the UC. It involves CCM Professors Kevin Burke and Lorin Parker, DAAP Professor Yoshiko Burke and Brian J. Leitten, UC Alumnus and Emmy award-winning producer. The initiative was originally made possible by a grant from the UC Forward Collaborative that supports experiential learning and is part of the UC Academic Master Plan. In 2015, the PMC received additional support from the Office of the President and the Center for Film and Media Studies at UC, and external sponsorship by Switch Sunglasses. The PMC is offered as a class through the Electronic Media Division and School of Design; both programs provide the facilities and staff support.

During the production, students take on the roles of supervising producers, story producers, editors, scriptwriters, music supervisors and narrators. Electronic Media Professor Kevin Burke and Brian Leitten serve as Executive Producers on the documentary, advising and managing the project while providing professional guidance and feedback during all phases of the film’s development. Leitten joins Professor Burke for each class session via video conferencing from New York, where he serves as Director of Production at VEVO. Communication Design Professor Yoshiko Burke supervises students in the creation of all motion and graphic design content, and Electronic Media Professor Lorin Parker provides guidance and expertise to students regarding the audio mix and sound design. At each stage of the project, the students are held to the standards and expectations of professionals in their discipline, providing them with invaluable industry experience.

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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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benwynnfamilymontage1979

CCM Welcomes Guest Artists Benjamin Wynn and Anthony Ciannamea for Public Lecture and Master Class on Thursday, Jan. 22

Deru, featuring EFFIXX: 1979

Deru, featuring EFFIXX: 1979

CCM’s Division of Electronic Media, in collaboration with the Contemporary Arts Center, welcomes guest artists Benjamin Wynn and Anthony Ciannamea for a public presentation and master class at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 22 in room 425 of UC’s Tangeman University Center. This event is free and open to the general public.

Wynn (who produces electronic music under the name “Deru”) and Ciannamea (who runs a studio focused on telling stories with physical objects in real spaces called “EFFIXX”) will discuss their work 1979, which will be featured at the Contemporary Arts Center on Saturday, Jan. 24.

In addition to presenting, Wynn and Ciannamea will interact with students from UC and Northern Kentucky University, lending guidance, instruction and support.

“These guys make great music, film, media, and art,” explains Assistant Professor of Electronic Media Lorin Edwin Parker. “This is a fantastic opportunity, and the Contemporary Arts Center and [CAC performance curator and CCM alumnus] Drew Klein (BFA Electronic Media, 2007) are so great to bring them out to Cincy!”

A concept album, performance, and sculptural object, 1979 features nine songs by Wynn accompanied by nine short films by video artist Ciannamea that are housed in a customized handheld video projector called the Obverse Box. The subject matter found within is nostalgic and emotive, focusing on common origins and shared human experiences.

Deru, featuring EFFIXX: 1979 will have its Cincinnati premiere a 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 24, at the Contemporary Arts Center. Tickets are $10 for members, $15 for the general public. For more information on this premiere, visit http://contemporaryartscenter.org.

About Benjamin Wynn
Benjamin Wynn is an Emmy Award winning American composer, sound designer and music producer.

Wynn grew up in Chicago, where his earliest influences came across the airwaves of the legendary University of Chicago radio station, WHPK. Listening to hip-hop and specifically its use of static in music, prompted Wynn’s first forays into manipulating sound. Wynn continued his sonic explorations at the California Institute of the Arts, where he studied synthesis, signal processing, acoustics, music theory and composition, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Technology. While at CalArts, Wynn also delved into world music, studying Balinese gamelan, African drumming and hand percussion. His multi-layered musical sensibility combines hip-hop, electronic, world music and classical composition.

Wynn is co-owner of a music and sound design company in Los Angeles called, The Track Team. Wynn started The Track Team with co-founder Jeremy Zuckerman in 2004.

Together they have done music for the Nickelodeon TV series, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, created the score for the feature film Just Peck, and music and sound design for DC Comics shorts. Wynn is currently working on the sound design for the sequel to Avatar the Last Airbender, Avatar: The Legend of Korra. In 2012, Ben and Jeremy won an Emmy Award for music editing for Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness.

Wynn was the force behind the sound design for all three seasons of Nickelodeon’s hit television show, Avatar the Last Airbender. In 2009, Wynn was nominated for a Motion Picture Sound Editor’s Golden Reel award for his sound design work on Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Wynn is also an electronic music producer under the name “Deru”. His music is best described as an amalgamation of hip-hop, electronic and IDM. He is signed to the label Mush Records and has released three albums on Mush Records, Merck Records and Neo Ouija and many remixes and tracks for compilations for labels like Hometapes, Ghostly International, Hymen Records, 1320 Records, Unseen and Mille Plateaux.

Deru recently scored the music and curated the soundtrack for the feature-length film, Outliers, Vol. I: Iceland. The score is based on his field recordings from a trip to Iceland in October 2011. The film premiered in Chicago in July 2012 and in Sopot, Poland and Amsterdam, Netherlands in September 2012.

In 2007, Wynn (as Deru) collaborated with British composer Joby Talbot on the score to Wayne McGregor’s ballet, Genus, based on Charles Darwin’s book, On the Origin of Species, commissioned by the Paris Opera Ballet. The ballet premiered at the Palais Garnier in October 2007 and was commissioned for a second round of performances in November 2009. The ambitious eight-part score combines electronics with a 10-part choir and string instruments. The score is available on Ant-Zen and Dear Oh Dear Records and was featured in the 2009 documentary, La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet.

About Anthony Ciannamea
Anthony Ciannamea is a Chicago-born filmmaker and designer inspired by the intersection of technology, mythology and mysticism in storytelling. After nearly a decade as an interface designer and creative coder in Chicago, Anthony co-founded ScenicStudio.tv and has spent past few years directing a series of music videos and a feature-length documentary (Outliers, Vol. I: Iceland). The now San Francisco-based creative director is currently focused on bringing his analog, lo-fi cinema aesthetic to live performance visuals as well as helping artists and independent labels introduce dimensional narrative into releases.

Obsessed with blending digital processes and modern tools with an anthropological curiosity to re-contextualize the past, he recently spent the past year producing live visuals as a monthly resident at Low End Theory SF, on tour with Shigeto, as well as events for Deru and Prefuse 73.

Anthony runs EFFIXX – a small studio focused on making beautiful things and telling stories with physical objects in real spaces.

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CCM Welcomes Electronic Musician and DJ Orville Kline for Public Lecture and Master Class on Thursday, April 10

Ableton University Tour

CCM welcomes notable electronic musician, DJ and audio engineer Orville Kline for a public presentation and performance beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 10, in Mary Emery Hall Room 3250.

As part of the Ableton music software company’s University Tour, Kline will provide a commercial electronic music and audio production master class for CCM students and faculty (invitation only) from 1-4 p.m.

This class will be followed by a presentation and performance at 6:30 p.m., which is free and open to the public.

Kline’s unique style of heavy electronic music and minimal techno music helped him break into Chicago’s cutthroat DJ scene.

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