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Media Communication Update March 2009

Students attend Sundance Festival & T.U. Alumnae Receive Top Sundance Award for Short Film For the second year in a row, Media Communication students had the opportunity to attend the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah as a part of January-term course entitled, “Seminar on Independent Film.” Sundance is celebrated as the premier film festival for independent films and filmmakers. The January-term course encouraged students to think critically about the films they viewed at Sundance, especially the role that faith plays in the films. While attending the film festival, students had the opportunity to Current Taylor students and faculty at the Windrider Forum with Sundance view films from a wide range of award-winning producer, Michelle Steffes (Taylor, class of 2000) genres and topics, as well as to participate in the Windrider Forum. Windrider provides opportunities for students from Taylor, as well as Fuller Theological Seminary, Biola University, and Point Loma Nazarene, to engage in conversations about faith & film with one another and with Sundance filmmakers. Taylor Universityʼs presence at the festival reached beyond the audience; two Taylor alumnae won Best Short Film at the festival for their roles in the production of “Short Term 12,” directed and written by Destin Cretton. Michelle Steffes (ʼ00) served as the producer and Katie Taylor (ʼ02) was the casting director for the film about a worker in a residential facility for at-risk youth. Receiving the Sundance award was a tremendous achievement for the young Taylor alumnae. “(Short films) are the most important gateway for any director to become a director of a feature film,” Steffes said. “You have to show you can direct. It is a great stepping stone to directing features.



Taylor Students Learn Film Acting with “Actors From the London Stage” On Friday, March 6th, Actors From The London Stage (AFTLS) held a film acting and directing workshop at Taylor. The workshop demonstrated how an actor and director work together in a film scene to create an optimal performance. Six student actors performed a scene from the Academy Awardwinning film “A Beautiful Mind,” working on the character motivations and adapting to the cameraʼs role in the performance. Actors From The London Stage is one of the oldest touring theater companies in the world and is in its 33rd year of operation. The group tours nationally, visiting up to twenty different universities per year.

Students reenact a scene from “A Beautiful Mind”

Media Professor’s Photography Recognized Donna Downs was selected as a Finalist in Photographer's Forum magazine's 29th Annual College Photography Contest. Her photo will be included in the book, Best of College Photography 2009.

Media Students Attend Indiana Broadcasters Association Job Fair Junior and senior Media Communication students attended the Indiana Broadcasters Association job fair on Saturday, February 7th with Professor Kathy Bruner. Television and radio stations from across the state of Indiana sent representatives to the event at the Indianapolis Sheraton. The job fair not only provided students with a chance to discover employment and internship opportunities, but also a chance to network and distribute their résumés. Eliza Dhonau, a senior Media Communication student, said, “This was a great way for me to practice interviewing and networking skills and make contacts with people working in the media industry. It was also encouraging to see how many companies were hiring and that, despite the economic state, there are still media jobs out there.” This job fair is just one of several students have the opportunity to attend throughout the semester.

Students Join Final Cut Pro Users Group When the Indianapolis Final Cut Pro Users Group put out the announcement about their February meeting, seven Taylor students and faculty signed up to attend. Final Cut Pro is the industry standard software for video editing used at Taylor. The monthly networking meeting was held 2


at the beautiful facilities of Fox 59 and featured software training on Appleʼs Motion software. During the break, students toured the Fox 59 studios with a Taylor graduate who is a news photographer in Indianapolis.

The SOLD Project Inspires Filmmakers On Monday, February 16th, the Media Communication Program welcomed filmmaker and founder of The SOLD Project, Rachel Sparks. The SOLD Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing child prostitution and trafficking. While at Taylor, Sparks visited an audio production class and hosted a question and answer session. That evening, Sparks showed The SOLD Projectʼs film “Thailand,” which addresses the problem of sex trafficking in the nation of Thailand. The movie was followed by an open discussion with Sparks whose film inspired students to use film to as means of speaking out about social injustices.

Department Conducts Eight-Year Review Professors in the communication arts department have been working all year on the mandatory eightyear review of the departmentʼs mission, programs and curriculum. The process involves external review and a rigorous reporting procedure reflecting all the changes since 2001, and they are many!

Faculty & Students Receive Production Award The Broadcast Education Association (BEA) Festival of Media Arts awarded a Taylor University faculty and student collaborative project the Best of Competition Award in the mixed category. The award recognizes video or film projects involving student and faculty collaboration. Professors John and Kathy Bruner led Taylor students in producing and then submitting “Rooted,” a film-based apologetics resource DVD for small group study commissioned by Legacy of Truth in Atlanta. Taylor University's Producing for Clients class was hired to produce four DVD films and four talk show segments designed to be discussion starters for high school and young adult students considering significant questions about truth, science, law and ethics. This is the fourth time Taylor faculty and students have taken home honors in the BEA Festival of Media Arts.



P.R. Students Learn Grant-writing by Doing Donna Downs始 advanced public relations course teaches a variety of topics including grant-writing, and students are jumping in to the process with both feet. They are writing grants for clients as diverse as the Upland Fire Department, the town of Matthews, the organization Carpenter's Hands taking on home renovations, the Marion Inner City Outreach (MICO house), and the Betsy Smith House.

Thanks for your continued support of our program. Your investment in Taylor media students is such a blessing to us! Sincerely, John Bruner, Kathy Bruner, Donna Downs, & Mike Saunier


Media Comm update 3_09  

A quarterly update from the Media Communication program at Taylor University.

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