Wednesday, May 02, 2007

BPCC earns hardware at WorldFest

The telecommunications department at Bossier Parish Community College earned two awards for its work at WorldFest, or the Houston International Film Festival.

The feature-length "Brothers Two" was made by students and a guest director. It earned top prize for use of music in the music video production category. The music video "Deidra and Friends" took home a third place award.

John Andrew Prime of The Times wrote a more comprehensive story about it today. Click here to read.

The awards are notable for BPCC, noted Telecommunications Dean Larry Powell, since past projects have been hampered by audio shortcomings.

Powell produced "Brothers Two" with Associate Professor Paula Kaszuba.

Powell said the department now has all the audio gear it needs to make professional quality work. That's evident by the fact that two Hollywood actors have used BPCC's sound-recording studio in the recent past for post-production dubbing work.

If you want to study the nuts and bolts of film and video production, take a look at the two-year programs at BPCC. When I visited Monday, every student working on a movie project was working on an AVID editing station.

They have the equipment and resources -- HD cameras, lights, a camera jib, sound-recording studios, motion capture technology, etc. -- a student should expect in community college program. They also have an internship program, through which a student can gain credit and experience by working on a local movie set.

BPCC is also in the preproduction phases of making its annual student movie. This one will be called "Criminal Justice 101." The college is collaborating with Louisiana Technical College, whose students are building a courtroom set.

If you have any question, contact Powell by calling (318) 678-6038 or emailing


Chris Lyon said...

Too bad the students won't get to use it unless it's related to a school sponsored project- which only happens once a year. And the students don't get to do the fun stuff.

Don't get me started.

Congrats to them getting the equipment and all but, for some reason I get a funny feeling it won't get much use.

I love it when organizations get equipment like BPCC and then don't ever use it- or use it rarely.

Alexandyr Kent said...

I get the impression that the students do use it much more frequently than once per year, actually. On the day I visited, the students were casually hanging out in a lab and editing. The program appears to be very hands on.

Chris Lyon said...

I'm talking about the equipment that doesn't get used often: the mocap stage, HD cinema cameras, boom mics, clapper boards... film stuff. Stuff that would be useful for a student wanting to learn how to get into the industry here in town.

Sure everyone is hand's on every day... Shoot, we use the VHSC cameras and the VHS linear editing systems (that will be obsolete in 2009) at least once a week!

Oh, and when we finally got the grant to get point and shoot Canon HD MiniDV cameras for the students to use, the were immediately switched off of the HD mode and we were told that shooting in widescreen and HD was unacceptable as an industry standard- even though HD will be the broadcast standard by 2009. Even if DTV is what people decide to go to locally, HD is currently the national network standard for news broadcast. So unless you plan on sticking around Shreveport- students are using dinosaur equipment. But, alas, we shoot in 4x3 DV mode...

And the best part? Every SINGLE screen mounted in the classrooms are HD Widescreen. So we watch our class videos in stretched DV.

And it's not that the digital editing systems can't handle it because they can. We don't even edit the footage in the first class. Editing is a grade point off. We have to film everything in sequence. Of course, it's the base class, but if we know the technology- why not let us explore it? 20 out of the 25 people in our class are using an editing system outside of the classroom and yet they aren't allowed to utilize them to realize a creative vision for a grade. It's hindering.

The thing that gets me the most is the fact that the students aren't learning future technologies until later in their 2 year career at BPCC. And the linear technology isn't really used as a comparative learning device to prepare the students for non-linear (computer based) systems. They are just told the steps and then are asked to spit it back up instead of learning the theory behind the editing and filming process.

It's like the news, get these shots : pan, tilt, zoom and you get an "A." I feel like I got ripped off by paying to go to the 101 class.

I'm not saying that I'm all big and bad, but even people who aren't as experienced as me in video are walking out of that class when we sit down and the teacher pulls out Independence Day and walks through 20 minutes of the movie and says "Now what kind of shot is that? is it a pan or a zoom?" every time Roland Emmerich had an itch to move the camera.